A three-year revival of devotion to the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, the National Eucharistic Revival, began with the Diocesan phase on June 19, 2022, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi).
Many Parishes hosted Corpus Christi Processions, public Eucharistic Processions along with Adoration, but this was just the beginning of an exciting time within the national Church and within the Diocese of Venice.
The National Eucharistic Revival is a focused effort by the U.S. Catholic Bishops to revive a devotion to and belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. The U.S Bishops believe that God wants to see a movement of Catholics across the United States, healed, converted, formed, and unified by an encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist—and sent out in mission “for the life of the world.”
During the Diocesan Year, there will be a series of events and retreats that encourage the renewal of the Church “by rekindling a living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.” During this time, Eucharistic Missionaries will be trained and become equipped to share the love and the truth of the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.
The pinnacle of the coming year will be a Diocesan Eucharistic Congress on March 24 and March 25, 2023. This event, which is in the early planning stages, will take place at the Convention Center and Luminary Hotel on the Fort Myers riverfront.
The Eucharistic Congress will open on Friday evening with a rally for the youth of the Diocese and will include an outdoor concert and public Adoration. The following day, national speakers, presenting in both English and Spanish, will energize the crowd about the “Source and Summit” of our Faith. There will also be breakout sessions exclusively for women and men. All of this will be followed by a Eucharistic Procession through the streets of Fort Myers before Mass is celebrated by Bishop Frank J. Dewane in an outdoor amphitheater.
The National Eucharistic Revival “is not a program but a movement” that is an invitation to the faithful from God to go on mission and be compelling witnesses of our faith, said Carrie Harkey, Director of the Diocesan Family Life Office and Interim Director of Evangelization.
“We are invited to be part of an exciting journey as the Eucharist stands at the center of our Faith,” Harkey said. “The timing of this is crucial in reminding the faithful about what the Second Vatican Council taught, that the Eucharist is ‘the source and summit of the Christian life’ and is an opportunity to have an intimate encounter with Christ.”
The National Eucharistic Revival will culminate in the first National Eucharistic Congress in the United States in almost 50 years. More than 100,000 Catholics are expected to join together in Indianapolis in July of 2024 for a once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to show their devotion to the “Source and Summit” of our Catholic Faith.
Stay tuned for more information about what is planned on the Diocesan level at www.dioceseofvenice.org. To learn more about the National Eucharistic Revival, please visit https://eucharisticrevival.org. There you will find a free online course from Bishop Andrew Cozzens, head of the Committee for Evangelization and Catechesis at the USCCB, “The Mystery of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church.”