WASHINGTON (OSV News) — Registration for the National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis July 17-21, 2024, will open Feb. 15 at 1 p.m. (EST)/noon (CST).
The Year of the National Eucharistic Congress and Missionary Sending 2024-25 is the third and final year of the U.S. bishops’ National Eucharistic Revival.
The congress is expected to draw more than 80,000 people, and organizers have compared the event to World Youth Day, with prayer and liturgies, catechesis for individuals and families, and a festival-like atmosphere. Registration is expected to fill quickly, Tim Glemkowski, executive director of the National Eucharistic Congress, told OSV News in a recent interview.
To be notified when congress registration opens, those who want to attend can sign up at the National Eucharistic Congress’s website, www.eucharisticcongress.org.
Eucharistic Revival launched to increase devotion to the Eucharist
Launched last year, the National Eucharistic Revival is a three-year campaign by the U.S. bishops to increase the Catholic understanding of and devotion to Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist. Part of the impetus for the campaign was a Pew Research Center study in the fall of 2019 that showed just 30% to 40% of Catholics understand and believe in the Real Presence.
Amore recent study conducted by the Center For Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University found that 50% of Catholics know the teaching on the Real Presence in the Eucharist and only 40% believe this teaching. The study also showed that only 15% of Catholics attend Sunday Mass on a weekly basis.
The revival opened June 19, 2022, on the solemnity of Corpus Christi, a feast that celebrates the Body and Blood of Christ. Many dioceses marked the day last year with Eucharistic processions.
Speaking to the media in November about the revival, Bishop Andrew H. Cozzens of Crookston, Minnesota, said the beauty and diversity expressed in those processions “capture what is at the heart of this movement, which is a movement that we seek to invite people to a transformative encounter with Christ in the Eucharist that they might be healed, unified and sent on mission.”
The diocesan year has included the launch of Heart of the Revival weekly e-newsletter (available in English and Spanish), expanded content on the National Eucharistic Revival’s website (eucharisticrevival.org) and the training of more than 50 priests from around the U.S. to be Eucharistic preachers. Those priests have been primarily preaching at events for priests and diocesan leaders, Bishop Cozzens told OSV News Dec. 30.
National Eucharistic Congress nonprofit formed to plan national event
The Washington-based National Eucharistic Congress nonprofit was formed in 2022 to plan the national event. Bishop Cozzens serves as chairman of its board of directors.
In an April 2022 interview with Catholic News Service, Glemkowski noted that “the original vision” for the revival began to be discussed when then-Auxiliary Bishop Robert E. Barron of Los Angeles was chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis shortly after the Pew study results on Catholics’ understanding of the Real Presence.
Bishop Barron, now head of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota, was succeeded as evangelization chairman in November 2020 by Bishop Cozzens, who continued to move ahead with plans for the revival, and in 2021, the U.S. Catholic bishops voted to approve the initiative. In November 2022, the bishops elected Archbishop Charles C. Thompson of Indianapolis, in whose archdiocese the National Eucharistic Congress will take place, to succeed Bishop Cozzens as chairman of the evangelization and catechesis committee in November 2023.Tags: Eucharistic Revival, USCCB