I was very pleasantly surprised when, earlier this week, I saw an article announcing that the United States Bishops’ Conference was preparing to announce a national, multi year program “to renew the church by enkindling a living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.” This National Eucharistic Revival is scheduled to begin roughly a year from now, in the summer of 2022.
The tentative plan, which hopefully will be finalized soon, envisions mostly diocesan based events for the first year (summer 2022 summer 2023) of the revival, which might include things such as special diocesan “days of adoration,” Corpus Christi processions (we are ahead of the game when it comes to those!), and perhaps diocesan based Eucharistic Congresses.
During the second year of the revival (summer 2023 - summer 2024) the focus will shift to parish based events. As part of this phase, both clergy and lay leaders will have the opportunity to be specially trained and appointed as “Eucharistic missionaries” who will be tasked with responsibilities for Eucharistic events in their individual parishes as well as evangelizing and sharing our beautiful Catholic belief in the Eucharist with those outside the Church.
While the details right now are still relatively sketchy, I can certainly tell you that what I have already heard has me incredibly excited! When I first arrived in New Haven, our parish already had a strong devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. I believe it is very safe to say that over the past years, that devotion has only grown stronger and is being manifest in a greater variety of ways than before. I can’t wait to see what sorts of programs, ideas, and initiatives our own parish’s Eucharistic missionaries will dream up over the years ahead.
Since we don’t have any details yet about how people will become “Eucharistic missionaries” it is a little early for me to be asking for volunteers. But I would ask everyone in the parish to pray about it and consider whether this might be something the Lord is calling you to over the years ahead. And in the meantime, even before the revival officially starts in summer 2022, always feel free to share with me any ideas you might have about how we can better honor, love, and adore Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
I’ll end with a very traditional prayer to Jesus in the Most Holy Eucharist:
O Sacrament most holy,
O Sacrament divine.
All praise and all thanksgiving
Be every moment Thine.
Fr. John Paul