(OSV News) — Parish leaders seeking guidance for the National Eucharistic Revival’s upcoming parish year now have a 24-page resource to assist their discernment. The “Leader’s Playbook,” released May 1, helps parishes answer the question “what are we being asked to do?” through four “invitations” for the Year of Parish Revival, which begins on the solemnity of Corpus Christi June 11.
“The parish year of the revival is the most important one” in the three-year National Eucharistic Revival, said Tim Glemkowski, executive director for the National Eucharistic Congress, a nonprofit organization tasked with organizing the 10th National Eucharistic Congress in 2024 and supporting the U.S. Catholic bishops’ vision for the National Eucharistic Revival. The Year of Parish Revival aims “to create Eucharistic communities, communities that are full of life because they’ve received life from the source of life,” he said.
‘Leader’s Playbook’ created for pastors and parish leaders
The Year of Parish Revival “Leader’s Playbook” was created primarily for pastors and parish leaders. Based on the revival’s four “pillars,” the playbook’s “four invitations” for the parish year are reinvigorating worship, personal encounter, robust faith formation and missionary sending.
The playbook suggests and recommends certain practices for each of the invitations, but it “is not a prescriptive guide, nor is it all-encompassing,” the playbook states, emphasizing the importance of each parish’s discernment.
It calls for “attentiveness to the ‘ars celebrandi'” or “art of celebrating” the Mass, which includes “prayerful understanding of the liturgical texts, feasts, and seasons throughout the year,” reverence and proper preparation for the Mass. It invites parishes to host monthly “encounter nights” where people can meet Jesus in Eucharistic adoration. It encourages pastors to preach a homily series on the Eucharist and to form small groups that focus on catechetical formation with Eucharistic encounter. And it asks Catholics to “invite one back” by bringing a fallen-away Catholic back to Mass, or by reaching out to a friend interested in learning about the faith.
“These are for your discernment as you respond to revival already present in your community and foster it, create conditions and openness for new revival, and establish a Eucharistic culture in your parish that sustains the fruits of revival,” the playbook states.
Revival is ‘invitation to deepen relationship with Jesus Christ through Eucharist’
A similar playbook was developed in the fall of 2022 for the current Year of the Diocese, which ends June 11 with the opening of the Year of the Parish.
In a welcome letter introducing the Year of the Parish playbook, Bishop Andrew H. Cozzens of Crookston, Minnesota, described the revival as an invitation “to deepen our relationship with Jesus Christ, Our Lord, through the celebration of the Eucharist, so that we can be set on fire for the mission our Church needs so desperately.”
“Parishes can use this manual to strengthen their Eucharistic culture and share the gift of the Eucharist with all people, regardless of where they are on their faith journey,” said Bishop Cozzens, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Evangelization, and the chairman of the bishops’ advisory group for the revival.
The playbook is available at www.eucharisticrevival.org/lead.
National Eucharistic Congress takes place in 2024
The third year of the revival is the Year of Going Out on Mission. Next summer, between its second and third years, the revival is holding a National Eucharistic Congress July 17-21 in Indianapolis. The event will serve as a “hinge” connecting the revival’s emphasis on personal encounter and mission, Glemkowski said. Leading up to the congress will be a two-month-long National Eucharistic Pilgrimage, with pilgrims traveling with the Eucharist along four U.S. routes to Indianapolis.
For some Catholics, the Year of Parish Revival is an opportunity to deepen their relationship with Jesus, and for others, it is an invitation to begin that personal relationship with their savior, Glemkowski said.
God the Father sent his son “to reconcile all things to himself,” he said. “That’s why there is church — so that every person in every time and in every place could receive life, and life to the full. That’s mediated through the Eucharist. This isn’t just one thing among many in our faith. … This is the source and summit.”
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Maria Wiering is senior writer for OSV News.