With the start of the second year of the National Eucharistic Revival on June 11, the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, attention will move from the diocesan level into the parishes and focus on ways to bring people in the pews closer to Our Lord.
Parishes prepare for second year of Eucharistic Revival
The three-year Eucharistic Revival, initiated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, opened June 19, 2022 on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, a feast that celebrates Jesus’ Real Presence in the Eucharist. The past year was called the Year of Diocesan Revival and focused on forming priests, diocesan staff and other c leaders to be equipped to support parishes.
During the Parish Year of the Revival, which runs from June 11, 2023 to July 17, 2024, parishes will coordinate events for deeper encounters with Christ. Diocesan Eucharistic Revival co-chairs Father Martin O’Reilly, pastor of Mary, Mother of the Church Parish, Bordentown, and episcopal vicar of Burlington County, and Josue Arriola, director of the diocesan Department of Evangelization and Parish Life, have provided parish point persons with suggestions and resources on ways to implement the Eucharistic Revival in their communities. Possible suggestions include Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament –introducing it in parishes that don’t have it or, for those that do, to increase its availability. For a parish that has monthly Adoration, perhaps it can be offered twice a month, as an example. Similar ideas included holding Holy Hours regularly; having Holy Hours that geared for particular groups, such as for women, men or families, and offering adult faith formation opportunities to teach about the Eucharist.
Julia Cullen, parish catechetical leader and the point person for St. Mary Parish, Colts Neck, noted a parish Eucharistic Revival Team is currently being formed and plans to implement small group sessions this fall are being considered. It’s the hope, she said, “to get a nice group of participants once we pitch it to the parish at large.”
So far, the parish has had Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Holy Hours, Cullen said.
In St. Joseph Parish, Toms River, point person Deacon Gerry Luongo, explained that a morning of recollection was held to introduce parishioners to the Eucharistic Revival.
“As we plan functions for the upcoming year, we are continuing to provide as many opportunities as possible for our parishioners to encounter the living and risen Christ in the Eucharist,” said Deacon Luongo. To start the Parish Year of Renewal, he said a Eucharistic procession will follow the noon Mass on the Feast of Corpus Christi. He noted neighboring Cohort parishes were invited to participate and that “All are welcome. We look forward to having a great turnout to literally walk with Jesus following him as his present-day disciples.”
In the coming year, Deacon Luongo said the parish will continue to invite “all to experience the profound peace which can be found in drawing close to our Lord in our adoration chapel.” On the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Church, the parish holds Prayer in the Presence, where there is an hour of exposition and adoration with praise and worship music, a short reflection focusing on an aspect of deepening love and devotion to Christ and concluding with Benediction.
Deacon Luongo said St. Joseph Parish was blessed to host the traveling Eucharistic Miracles exhibit based upon the website created by Blessed Carlo Acutis. Another event is the Life in the Spirit Seminar planned for this summer.
During the Eucharistic Revival’s third and final year, a national Eucharistic Congress will be held in Indianapolis and is expected to draw more than 80,000 people for the July 17-21, 2024 event.