Catholics across the Diocese of Wilmington will demonstrate their devotion to the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist as they begin the diocesan portion of the three-year national Eucharistic Revival on June 19.
The feast of Corpus Christi, also June 19, is where Catholics celebrate and honor the body and blood of Jesus Christ in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.
The bishops of the United States are calling for a three-year grassroots revival of devotion and belief in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. They believe that God wants to see a movement of Catholics across the United States, healed, converted, formed, and unified by an encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist—and sent out in mission “for the life of the world,” according to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
These three years will culminate in the first National Eucharistic Congress in the United States in almost fifty years. According to the USCCB, almost a hundred thousand Catholics will join together for the event in Indianapolis July 17-21, 2024 for a once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage toward the “source and summit” of our Catholic faith.
On Sunday, June 19 at 2 p.m., a special Mass will be celebrated at the Cathedral of St. Peter, 500 N. West Street, Wilmington, by Bishop Koenig followed by a procession with the Holy Eucharist through the streets of Wilmington beginning at 3 p.m. All are invited by the bishop to join the Corpus Christi Mass and Eucharistic procession for this special day of devotion and prayer in the city of Wilmington. The Mass will be livestreamed on the Diocese of Wilmington YouTube channel.
“The Eucharistic procession is an opportunity to dedicate a special moment in time and bring about awareness of this special gift God has given us,” said Father Glenn Evers, chairperson of the diocesan Eucharistic Revival committee. “It gives people a chance to encounter God in a new way, an opportunity to find true happiness and help people to find what they’re looking for.”
The event marks the beginning of the diocesan year of the Eucharistic Revival in the Diocese of Wilmington. All parishes are invited to send at least five representatives to participate in this special Mass and procession.
After the 2 p.m. Mass, worshippers will process to St. Patrick’s Church at 1414 N. King Street, to St. Joseph’s Church at 1012 N. French Street and back to the cathedral. Prayers, music and adoration will take place along the procession route and during stops at each church.
“The Eucharist is the source and summit of our Christian life,” Bishop Koenig said. “It is fitting that we gather in unity in the City of Wilmington, to begin our Revival by celebrating, worshiping and witnessing to the central role that the Jesus in the Eucharist has in our Catholic faith.”
The National Eucharistic Revival and National Eucharistic Congress are a direct response to the Holy Father’s call for a “pastoral and missionary conversion which cannot leave things as they presently are,” so that the Church in the United States might be “permanently in a state of mission” (Evangelii Gaudium, n. 25). Here are some ways to contribute to the revival starting this week:
- Pray the official Eucharistic Revival Corpus Christi Novena. The novena is available in both English and Spanish.
- Visit the Diocesan Eucharistic Revival website for updates and resources.
- Sign-up for the USCCB’s “The Heart of the Revival” Newsletter and to become a Prayer Partner, here.
- Share any Eucharistic initiatives, celebrations, and events on social media using #EucharisticRevival — beginning with this year’s Corpus Christi celebrations.
This Eucharistic Revival seeks to bring together clergy, religious, laity, apostolates, movements, and parish and diocesan leaders to spur momentum, collaboration, and lasting impact for the renewal of the Catholic Church in the U.S. Grounded in prayer and responding to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the National Eucharistic Revival has four primary goals:
- To provide a more profound encounter with Jesus Christ in the Sunday liturgy as a point of unity among all Catholics, and through this powerful encounter, to find personal healing and courage to take the Gospel to a world in need of authentic love – the love of Christ found in the Eucharist.
- To spark personal conversions through the joyful discovery of a relationship with Christ by encountering the love of God present in Jesus in the Eucharist.
- To elevate the truth and practices of our Catholic faith through the rediscovery of the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.
- To form, inspire, and launch missionary disciples, filled with love of God and neighbor that comes from an encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist, to the margins of the church and the world.
General information on the National Eucharistic Revival may be found here.