Beginning June 19 on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, the National Eucharistic Revival seeks to renew both understanding of and fervor for the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist – coming from Heaven into our midst every time the holy sacrifice of the Mass takes place.

That reality, sadly, appears to be lost on a significant number of Catholics, if a 2019 Pew Research survey is an accurate depiction of how the faithful regard the central tenet of the faith.

According to the results, 69 percent of all self-identified Catholics said they believed the consecrated bread and wine distributed at Mass are not Jesus, but instead “symbols of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.” The Pew study also showed that just 30 percent of Catholics understand the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. The results struck a nerve with many U.S. bishops, who saw a catechetical crisis in this lack of fundamental understanding.

Emboldened by an obvious need, the bishops not only approved plans for the Eucharistic Revival, they also released a statement in November 2021 on “The Mystery of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church,” addressed to all U.S. Catholics.

The In Focus section of The Monitor this month features resources for participation in the National Eucharistic Revival, with events at the local level, throughout the Diocese and country, as well as explanations – what is it, why it’s important, and ways to encounter Jesus in the Eucharist.