The National Eucharist Revival is a three year endeavor for the Church in the United States “to be healed, converted, formed, and unified by an encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist – and then sent out on mission for the life of the world.” The year-long initial phase on the Diocesan level concludes this week. A National Eucharistic Congress, celebrated in Indianapolis next summer, will kick-off the third and final year of missionary discipleship. The Second Phase of the National Eucharistic Revival, with a focus on Parish life, begins next weekend with the Liturgical celebration of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.
The Eucharistic Revival’s Parish Year aims “to revive parishioners in their love with Jesus in the Eucharist and to send them forth to share this love with others.” This Parish centered year revolves around four invitations which strive to:
- Assist our understanding and participation in the worship experience
- Identify opportunities to encounter the Eucharist outside of Mass
- Deepen our knowledge of the Paschal Mystery, Transubstantiation, Evangelization, and our call to holiness
- Extension of an invitation to reawaken within one other person the desire to seek the grace of the Eucharist and a regular, meaningful encounter with Jesus
Several of these initiatives have been proposed by you. Thank you for sharing your concerns, suggestions, and visions. Our Parish Envisioning team have discussed these initiatives and they have helped to formulate the priorities of our Parish for the decade ahead.
People are indeed hungering for the Grace of the Eucharist and an encounter with our Risen Lord. Our average weekly Mass attendance has increased by 103 when comparing the first five months of this year to last year. While the virus showed us that we can indeed perform tasks in isolation, it also strengthened within us the desire and need for community. Thank you for your participation and generosity to the parish. Blessings as we continue the initiatives of the Eucharistic Revival here at Our Lady of Peace.
Speaking of revival, the sixtieth anniversary of the death of Pope St. John XXIII is Saturday, 3 June. In January of 1959, four and a half years prior to his death, Pope John declared his intentions to convene an Ecumenical Council. Pope John stated that the inspiration for a council came to him as “a ray of blinding light from the Holy Spirit.”
Pope John sensed that the Church was entering into a new age that was no longer Euro-centric but global. He believed that the Church had a responsibility to dialogue with the fast paced world of technology, science, economics, and social activism. Pope John envisioned the council to be unlike any other in the history of Catholicism- proactive rather than being reactive to a crisis, schism, or heresy. It was to be a council of mercy, and hope where all people could experience the joy of the Gospel. Pope John wanted “to throw open the windows of the Church so that we can see out and the people can see in.”
At the opening of the Second Vatican Council on 11 October, 1962 Pope John addressed those gathered with these words.
“In the daily exercise of our pastoral office, we sometimes have to listen – much to our regret – to the voices of persons who, though burning with religious zeal, are not endowed with too much sense of discretion or measure. In these modern times they can see nothing but prevarication and ruin. We feel we must disagree with these prophets of gloom. In the present order of things, Divine Providence is leading us to a new order of human relations which, by human effort and even beyond human expectation, are directed toward the fulfillment of God’s higher and inscrutable designs; and everything, even human differences, leads to the greater good of the Church.”
Pope John offered these words to the Church before his death. “Now more than ever, certainly more than in past centuries, our intention is to serve people as such and not only Catholics; to defend above all and everywhere the rights of the human person and not only those of the Catholic Church; it is not the Gospel that changes; it is we who begin to understand it better. The moment has arrived when we must recognize the sign of the times, seize the opportunity, and look far abroad.”
May Pope St. John XXIII intercede for us as we embrace the Grace of the Eucharistic Presence of Our Lord and begin to understand the Gospel better.