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June 23, 2022 REL Topic - Catechesis, REL Sacraments- Eucharist, REL PD - Catechist, REL PD - Leaders

Catechist Stream: National Eucharist Revival (Episode 20)

The National Eucharistic Revival, sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, kicked off on June 19, 2022. The revival is a grassroots movement of Catholics, responding to the gift of the Eucharist in their own ways. In Episode 20 of their weekly Catechist Stream, Deacon Matt and Steve explored and explained the Eucharistic Revival. This article will share a summary and key takeaways of the episode hosted by Steve Botsford, Sadlier’s Senior Director of Digital Catechesis, and Deacon Matt Halbach, PhD, Sadlier’s Executive Director of Catechesis.

If you missed it, watch the full episode here!

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What does the National Eucharistic Revival mean for catechists? 

The National Eucharistic Revival is a call for catechists to be more intentional about catechizing and evangelizing about the Eucharist. There has been a growing decline of Eucharistic faith and devotion, potentially attributed to misunderstanding of Church teaching or other factors. A recent Pew research report has revealed that only one third of Catholics say they believe in transubstantiation, the core teaching and belief that, during Mass, the bread and wine used for Holy Communion become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Transubstantiation is central to the Catholic faith. We refer to the transubstantiated bread and wine as the Eucharist and the Catholic Church teaches that the Eucharist is the source and summit of Christian life.

In response to this decline of Eucharistic faith and devotion, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops reminds us that Jesus is truly present and ready to heal renew and unify the Church and the world through the Sacrament of the Eucharist. This national movement was begun by the Conference, led by Bishop Andrew Cozzens, Chair of the USCCB Committee on Evangelization & Catechesis. (Bishop Cozzens shared more on the Revival, and the document called “The Mystery of the Eucharist and the Life of the Church,” in Sadlier’s Rediscovering the Eucharist: Challenges and Opportunities for Renewal 3-Part Masterclass which is available on demand).

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Mission and Vision of the Eucharistic Revival

The USCCB’s Eucharistic Revival web site is a key resource for the Eucharistic Revival, and includes sections on the mission, vision, and timeline. According to eucharisticrevival.org, the mission of the Eucharistic Revival is “to renew the Church by enkindling a living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ in the holy Eucharist.”

This mission is simultaneously exciting and challenging. It involves healing, conversion, formation, and unification of God’s people all through an encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist. There is a real focus on healing and unity; it will be through people's witness of faith and their stories about the Eucharist as a source of healing that will propel the revival.

The National Eucharistic Revival is a call for catechists to be more intentional about catechizing and evangelizing about the Eucharist.

The invitation to take part in the revival is an invitation from people. It is a call to action for all baptized Catholics and not just a program that the dioceses and parishes will run in the name of the Bishops’ Conference. Catechists must be ready in the next few years to give witness to faith in the Eucharist and to be people who invite others to come back to Jesus and the Eucharist.

The Timeline of the Eucharist Revival

Feast of Corpus Christi 

The Eucharistic Revival was launched on the Feast of Corpus Christi, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. The Feast of Corpus Christi dates to the middle of the 13th century. The origin of the feast day is an incredible story of a Eucharistic miracle, an appeal by Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church, and a granting by Pope Urban IV. Saint Thomas Aquinas made several appeals to Pope Urban IV that there be a feast day to highlight the Eucharist. The feast began at a critical time theologically in the Church and helped balance the sacramental meaning of the Real Presence in the Eucharist. The feast, therefore, is a fitting time to kick off the Eucharistic Revival.

The revival is a multi-year initiative:

The Year of Diocesan Revival

The first year, between June 19, 2022, and June 11, 2023, will focus on diocesan revival, inviting diocesan staff, bishops, and priests to respond and support them as they outreach at the diocesan level with congresses and events.

The Year of Parish Revival

The second year of the Revival, between June 11, 2023, and July 17, 2024, will focus on parish revival, including celebration of the Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, missions, and through resources and preaching, at the parish level. There will be a National Eucharistic Conference between July 17 and 21, 2024.

The Year of Going Out on Mission

The third year of the Revival will be a national year of mission, an opportunity to go out and share with others, inspired by the Holy Spirit. This mission-focused year will begin on July 21, 2024, and end on the feast of Pentecost, 2025.

Eucharistic Renewal Track

Two important groups that will be involved in the Revival are Eucharistic preachers and Eucharistic missionaries that will be trained and formed so that they can teach and evangelize about the Eucharist in parishes and dioceses. There will be 100,000 Eucharistic missionaries!

Formation is available through a Eucharistic renewal track hosted by Franciscan University’s Catechetical Institute. Sadlier has formed a partnership with Franciscan University to sponsor the Eucharistic Renewal track that will help to form these 100,000 Eucharistic missionaries. (Check out a CHATechesis episode with Bill Keimig, Assistant Director of Franciscan University’s Catechetical Institute, about this innovative partnership and the Institute’s role in forming ministers!)

Now is the time to take the initiative in beginning the Eucharistic journey as the revival begins. Begin by reviving your own Eucharistic understanding and appreciation. Checking out your own diocesan website to see what your diocese is doing and offering as the Eucharistic Revival gets underway. Sadlier will continue to provide resources for directors, catechists, and families throughout the Eucharistic Revival.

Start your collection of Eucharist resources and download our Eucharist Family Kit. This free kit includes resources to support Catholic families in learning about and celebrating the Sacrament of Eucharist together. 

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Join the Stream

Don’t miss the chance to join Catechist Stream live in its interactive format. In addition to reading episode recaps on the Sadlier Religion Blog, you can also connect with Catechist Stream: