At the June 18 virtual meeting, The bishops of the United States discussed a program of “Eucharistic Revival” which aims to foster deeper devotion and knowledge about the Eucharist starting summer 2022.
Bishop Andrew Cozzens, an auxiliary bishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis and chair of the bishops’ evangelization committee, presented the plan to his fellow bishops. The program aims to support and “start a fire” of devotion to the Eucharist starting from the grassroots of the family, parishes, and dioceses.
The program will span a three-year period of Eucharistic revival nationwide. Cozzens said the idea of a nationwide Eucharistic revival has been met with “incredible enthusiasm” already. Support has also been pledged by many Catholic donors, media organizations, and volunteers across the country.
“One of the signs that the Holy Spirit is behind this is the incredible reception that so many different apostolates and movements have given to this idea,” Cozzens continued.
The impetus of the plan was spurred by a 2019 Pew Research study, the results of which suggested that only about one-third of U.S. Catholics believe that the Eucharist is truly the body and blood of Christ.
Three-year Eucharistic Revival program
The three-year Eucharistic Revival program will include three tiers: parish, diocesan, and nationwide.
Beginning in July 2022, dioceses across the country will be encouraged to hold Eucharistic events and make the Eucharist a primary focus. The bishops aim to provide free teaching materials on the Eucharist, developed with the help of various catechetical partners.
In July 2023, parishes will be encouraged to do the same. Cozzens stressed the importance of spreading the practice of Eucharistic adoration, especially since he has seen the positive impact that adoration continues to have on young people.
“There’s a strong sense among those who work with young people that that encounter [with Jesus] happens profoundly through Eucharistic adoration. We want to encourage every parish to think about increasing Eucharistic adoration as part of the life of this revival.”
As per Cozzens, the revival would culminate in summer 2024 with a Eucharistic celebration event, held in a major city, that would serve as a pilgrimage site. Ideally, a Midwest city because of its accessibility. Final approval for such an event would come from the body of U.S. bishops in November.
Calling the plan a “once in a generation” opportunity to impact faith life, Cozzens said the plan aims to create “Eucharistic missionaries”— people who go out to spread devotion to the Eucharist to new places, what Pope Francis calls “the margins.”