September 2, 2022 // Diocese

Abiding in Christ In and Through the Eucharistic Revival

Jesus calls all to unity in Himself in and through the Eucharist. Here He offers who He is: “I am the living bread which came down from heaven” (John 6:47) and “He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day”  (John 6:55).

If Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist – body, blood, soul, and divinity – under the appearances of bread and wine, and truly desires to eat this Pasch with his children (Luke 22:15), then how will they respond? Will the faithful fully and with conviction receive the Son of God as Peter did, sharing what He freely gave to all the nations?

The National Eucharistic Revival was conceived through a desire to answer this question. Under the chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Evangelization and Catechesis Committee and organizer of the National Eucharistic Revival, Bishop Andrew Cozzens, bishops of the United States have been asked to consider how each diocese might orient itself to be more aware and understanding of the greatest gift it has received – Jesus Christ truly present in the Eucharist – so that members may respond to Him fully in all aspects of their lives: from the diocesan to the parish level, from the school to the family. 

The Diocesan Eucharistic Revival is comprised of Eucharistic Adoration, pilgrimages, and related opportunities to form and ignite the lives of the faithful within the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.

Chris Langford, point person for the Diocesan Revival, said, “An ancient and true phrase is ‘lex orandi, lex credendi,’ [which means] that how we worship reflects what we believe.” 

True beauty is to experience something deeper, richer, and fuller that reflects beauty itself, who is God. The goal of the Diocesan Eucharistic Revival is for people to be born again by the beauty of the Eucharist, in addition to the goodness and truth of Jesus. All of the initiatives flow from this vision.

Langford explained one such initiative at the local level. “Eucharistic Miracles Exhibits will be a highlight for the revival. Our Lord knows what we need, especially in our age of unbelief, of scientism, skepticism, and relativism. He has given Eucharistic miracles throughout the centuries, and especially recently, so that we might again come to believe in Him, that He is who He says He is.” 

In this Diocesan Year of the Revival, pilgrimage is essential, and a self-guided pilgrimage is currently underway in the diocese, with a different location chosen each month as a site to visit. Monthly locations and “passports” are available to print on the diocese’s website. Carl Loesch, Secretary for Pastoral Ministries and Catechesis for the diocese, explains the significance: “Pilgrimage is an important facet of the Christian life. In this particular Year of the Eucharist, the Church offers us this tangible experience, related to the goal of schools. The goal of our schools is not to get [our students] to graduation, to get to college; it’s to help get each person to heaven. Every pilgrimage is a reminder of that.” 

Kindergarten students at Mishawaka Catholic demonstrate this. Teacher Betsy Williams was inspired to bring her students to adoration, an inspiration that continued into forming an after-school Adoration Club, in which students gathered for prayer before the Eucharist before heading home. As one student was preparing to depart with her mother, Williams proposed, “Isla, tell your mother what you saw today.” Six-year-old Isla proceeded to share that she saw a golden ray of light coming down on all the children. Her mother listened in awe of the grace her little one received and so wanted to share.

Being in the presence of beauty, truth, and goodness Himself cannot help but stir the faithful. Suzanne Horban, parishioner and overseer of the August Diocesan Pilgrimage site, Corpus Christi in South Bend, shared how a visit to the Basilica of the Sacred Heart reflected this. “There is beauty everywhere in the Basilica – the organ, stained-glass windows, painted ceiling with stars, angels, and saints, etc. … but what most captivated me was the tabernacle. How riveting, just to look.” 

Pilgrimages are a call to worship, to participate fully in the Eucharistic life of the Church, and parishes, families, friends, and individuals are responding in wonderful ways. Horban shared her experience of pilgrimage, beginning with the Diocesan Eucharistic Procession on Corpus Christi Sunday that ushered in the Eucharistic Revival. 

“I received a postcard for the Eucharistic Procession in Warsaw. My husband and I decided to take our family. What struck me most, and my daughters too, was how close we all walked towards the beginning of the procession. After we left the first church, the street was so narrow. We had a sense that this was something special, since there was little talk, and close to silence. What we could all hear was music. The hymn, ‘I Receive the Living God,’ was sung. The experience of the pilgrimage stuck with me so much that I asked the music minster at Corpus Christi Parish whether this hymn could be the Communion hymn the following weekend.” 

She was impressed by the size and scope of the crowd that day. She stated that the entire pilgrimage among the thousands of men, women, and children was exhausting and exhilarating, “almost like looking back after having a baby. When you reflect on that experience, you realize the magnitude of how God carried you and the people around you through it all, and you give nothing but thanks.”

Horban and her husband also made their way to Fort Wayne one day. “After praying in the beautiful Oratory of St. Mary Magdalene, we discovered there is a Diocesan Museum next to the cathedral, and went in. It was fascinating learning about the people and places within and outside of our diocese through stories. We saw some religious art that still strikes me, especially a statue of Jesus being scourged at the pillar. We have since told other people about the museum.”

Whether though participation in the diocesan Eucharistic Procession, a parish-wide pilgrimage, or a family-wide saint study sprung from the month’s featured saint, Jesus awaits the faithful in the Eucharist, desiring to be with each one and spread the love of His Eucharistic Heart to all peoples. 

For up-to-date information, visit the diocesan website for all Eucharistic Revival events and activities:

* * *

The best news. Delivered to your inbox.

Subscribe to our mailing list today.