Each parish and Catholic community is being asked to take part in celebrating love of the Eucharist
By Deacon Jim Bello
and Emily Booker
Catholics across East Tennessee are invited to reflect and deepen their connection to Jesus in the Eucharist during the National Eucharistic Revival, now underway.
The revival is a movement to restore understanding of and devotion to the mystery of the Eucharist in the United States.
One of the prompts for a national revival was a 2019 Pew Research study that found 69 percent of Catholics don’t believe the Church’s teaching that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist.
Overall, 43 percent of Catholics believe that the bread and wine are symbolic and also incorrectly think that this reflects the position of the Church.
Still, one-in-five Catholics (22 percent) reject the idea of transubstantiation even though they know the Church’s teaching. This lack of understanding of the source and summit of the faith can seem discouraging.
But this revival offers Diocese of Knoxville faithful an opportunity to improve understanding and foster a genuine love of the Eucharist.
During this time, every Catholic is invited to explore the meaning of Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist—body and blood, soul and divinity—and to respond to the gift of the Eucharist. Each Catholic also is being called to go out and invite others so that they may come to know and love Jesus, too.
The revival is designed to impact every level of the Church, from the home and parish to the national stage. The plan for the revival, according to the national planning committee, includes five pillars:
- To foster encounters with Jesus through kerygmatic proclamation and experiences of eucharistic devotion.
- To contemplate and proclaim the doctrine of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist through the truth of the Church’s teaching, the beauty of the Church’s worship, and goodness of a life of service.
- To empower grassroots creativity by partnering with movements, apostolates, educational institutions, and parishes.
- To reach the smallest unit: parish small groups and families.
- To embrace and learn from the various rich intercultural eucharistic traditions.
There is an unmistakable excitement around the Eucharistic Revival in the Diocese of Knoxville and a curiosity about practical ways to participate. The Office of Christian Formation is offering resources to help parishes and individuals embrace this revival and promote the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
Throughout the revival, the diocese will be organizing processions, gatherings, and likely at least one diocesan eucharistic gathering in 2024.
Parishes also will be hosting special eucharistic events, talks on the Eucharist, and an increase in adoration. Parish missionaries in each parish will be available to help implement a renewed focus on the Eucharist in every Catholic community.
The Eucharistic Revival in the Diocese of Knoxville should be one of communio, or unity and community, that serves to bring God’s children together with Christ at its center.
Parishioners can participate by personally inviting others to small groups, book studies, and sharing personal experiences. Parish ministries can begin to include a few minutes of eucharistic adoration in meetings, and parishioners can form prayer groups to pray for the success of the revival.
A calendar of events for significant parish and deanery activities, as well as resources designed to facilitate eucharistic evangelization and catechesis, is available at dioknox.org/revival in English and dioknox.org/avivamiento in Spanish.
The webpages also feature testimonials of eucharistic experiences from parishioners, resources to help guide small groups, and information about the National Eucharistic Revival and Eucharistic Congress.
In July 2024, the National Eucharistic Congress will be held in Indianapolis, calling tens of thousands of people from all over the country to celebrate Jesus’ presence in the Eucharist.
Itineraries and tickets for joining a pilgrimage from the Diocese of Knoxville to the Eucharistic Congress will be announced later this year.
Individual voices are a vital witness to this revival. Christ longs for every single soul. Every believer is called to share the Good News. It is individuals who will help others return to the source and summit of the Faith: Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist.
How has Christ’s presence in the Eucharist affected your life?
If you would like to share a story about an experience or your relationship with the Eucharist, you can e-mail a written (100-300 words) reflection or a video (approximately one minute) to email@example.com.
Testimonies will possibly be shared in promotional materials to open more hearts to the healing power of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Diocese of Knoxville parishes also can send event schedules, testimonials, and encounters, or coverage of eucharistic events in their communities to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please send me contact info for Jimm Bello. We, the Legion of Mary have a question for him.
Deacon Bello can be reached at email@example.com.