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Bishop Robert J. Brennan of Brooklyn, N.Y., concelebrated Mass with his auxiliary bishops and priests during the Diocese of Brooklyn’s Eucharistic Revival at Louis Armstrong Stadium at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y., April 20. More than 6,000 pilgrims from diocesan parishes attended the event.
Bishop Robert J. Brennan of Brooklyn, N.Y., concelebrated Mass with his auxiliary bishops and priests during the Diocese of Brooklyn’s Eucharistic Revival at Louis Armstrong Stadium at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y., April 20. More than 6,000 pilgrims from diocesan parishes attended the event.
Photo Credit: Gregory A. Shemitz | The Tablet

National Eucharistic Congress promises ‘profound impact’ for families

INDIANAPOLIS — Tens of thousands of Catholics will come to Indianapolis for the National Eucharistic Congress July 17-21 — some as individuals, some as couples, some as groups.

And some will come as families.

“The Church is a family of families,” said Gabriela Ross, director of the Indianapolis Archdiocese’s Office of Marriage and Family Life. “It just makes sense for them to be here for the congress!”

Ross serves on the NEC planning team for the congress’s family track.

“We’ve tried to think of everything to make attending the National Eucharistic Congress as easy as possible for families,” she said, including offering free admission for children ages 12 and younger traveling with their family.

Ross spoke about the experience families can look forward to at the congress — and how families can prepare and be involved, whether or not they attend.

Families coming together to spend time focusing on the Eucharist is important, Ross said.

“The Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith,” she said. “And marriage as a sacrament is an icon of God’s love.

“The vocation of marriage is to baptize and evangelize the family. If marriages are going to succeed in that vocation and mission, then they need the Eucharist as the source of their love, because the Eucharist transforms and purifies the family.”

The NEC website notes the same, stating, that “fostering a love of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist within our homes will have a profound impact on how we love others outside of our homes. … Eucharistic revival happens at the grassroots level, and the domestic Church is an essential part of this movement.”

This message will be shared during the morning “Cultivate” family impact sessions during the congress. Speakers include Voluntas Dei Father Leo Patalinghug, founder of the Plating Grace international food and faith movement and host of EWTN’s “Savoring Our Faith” show; John Paul II Healing Center founder Bob Schuchts; and Damon and Melanie Owens, founders of the online Joyful Ever After marriage ministry.

Ennie and Cana Hickman, founders of the Del Rey Collective ministry, will serve as emcees, and Catholic musician Steve Angrisano will provide music at each session.

“It’s wonderful for Catholic families to encourage and support each other in their witness,” said Ross. “The family track has taken the time to anticipate a lot of those family needs — nursing, a sensory-friendly room, a family quiet room, volunteers at all entrances and exits, like a checkpoint in case little ones try to wander off.”

While the morning sessions are ticketed and have a capacity limit, all attendees are welcome to enjoy afternoon breakout talks and experiences.

“There are other family workshops beyond the talks,” Ross said, including a “Catholic home experience that has eucharistic adoration and activities for the whole family every day,” and an area offering Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.

Families also can enjoy some sightseeing in the afternoons. The Indiana Convention Center and neighboring Lucas Oil Stadium — the two NEC venues — are within walking distance of several museums, the canal walk, Monument Circle and more.

Whether planning on attending the congress or not, there are ways for families to be involved and focused on the Eucharist ahead of time, said Ross.

The National Eucharistic Revival website offers resources in English and Spanish for families and children of different ages at eucharisticrevival.org/revival-resources. Options include videos and activities on eucharistic saints, the Mass, small group discussions and more.

Opportunities in their own faith communities can help enrich families in the Eucharist, too.

“Join in a Corpus Christi procession, and invite other families to join you,” Ross suggested. The feast is celebrated June 2 this year.

The most important action families can take is to pray, Ross said, who invited families to include the National Eucharistic Congress among their intentions.

“Pray for the success of the congress, for those in attendance, for those planning the event,” she said. “And pray for renewal, that our country will experience renewed love for the Eucharist.”

Ross encouraged families throughout the country to come to the National Eucharistic Congress.

“This is such a unique moment in the life of the Church,” she said. “It really is an incredible opportunity for families that will have a ripple effect. But it takes families (who) come to create those ripple effects when they go back to their communities and take their lived experience and witness to the faith.”

Ross acknowledges that planning any family trip can have its challenges.

“But in this case, everything is planned out for you — all you have to do is come.”

Brooklyn NY revival draws thousands to celebrate deep love for Jesus in Eucharist

By Paula Katinas | OSV News

QUEENS, N.Y. — A deep love for Jesus Christ was etched on Lina Then’s face as she sat in Louis Armstrong Stadium awaiting the start of the Diocese of Brooklyn’s first Eucharistic Revival April 20.

According to diocesan officials who organized the day, the goal of the Eucharistic Revival was to reinforce a central truth of the Catholic faith — that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist and that holy Communion is not some sort of symbol of Jesus, but it is Him.

Then, who is a parishioner of Blessed Sacrament Church in Cypress Hills, believes that wholeheartedly.

“He is in the Eucharist, I know that,” said Then, who also is a member of the Comunidad Siervos de Cristo Vivo, a Catholic lay organization that promotes adoration, evangelization and transformation through Jesus Christ.

Then, who was one of the 6,500 pilgrims who came from all over the diocese to be there, was in high spirits as she walked into the tennis stadium in Queens for the Eucharist Revival. “I hope that the Holy Spirit will be here to transform people’s hearts so that they will see the truth about Jesus,” she told The Tablet, Brooklyn’s diocesan newspaper.

The diocese’s Eucharistic Revival was one of the grassroots gatherings taking place across the country as part of the National Eucharistic Revival, an initiative launched by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2022. The USCCB requested that dioceses across the nation organize their own eucharistic revivals.

Louis Armstrong Stadium is normally a place where tennis stars compete in the U.S. Open. But during the Saturday revival, there were moments when this sports venue felt like a church. There also were moments when the joy and energy were so palpable, the stadium took on the feel of a rock concert.

The day was filled with memorable sights and sounds, including a Mass, an Angelus, praise and worship, witness testimonies, the Rosary led by young people who had taken part in World Youth Day in Portugal last summer, and a eucharistic procession in which a monstrance carrying the Blessed Sacrament was held aloft for all to see.

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