October 18, 2022 // Diocese

Eucharistic Revival Grows with Revive Conference in Mishawaka

A joyful assembly of about 500 children, young adults, families, and the elderly gathered for two hours on Monday, Oct. 10 at Marian High School from the surrounding parishes in Mishawaka and South Bend for a Revive Mission night of prayer, reflection, and adoration. It was sponsored by the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend and facilitated by the Damascus Mission Campus near Columbus, Ohio. This is part of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) three-year world-wide Eucharistic Revival movement.

The Damascus Music Band led those gathered in six prayerful songs, followed by Gina Whitmore of the Damascus team, who energized everyone  by speaking about the simplicity of Jesus’ love. 

Phil Niswonger
Revive was put on by Damascus missionaries out of Columbus, Ohio. Around 500 people attended the evening event, including many young people.

She was followed by the keynote speaker, Brad Pierron, who began his inspirational ministry while a student at Ohio State University in 2014. His dynamic presentation focused on life experiences, as God created mankind to experience life through the Trinity. He spoke of how the history of God’s people comes through the experiences He prepares for them. Even the simple example of the ram’s head being stuck in a thorn bush so that Abraham could use it as a sacrifice instead of his son may in turn be a prototype of Jesus’ crown of thorns – both a sacrifice. 

Pierron continued, “We are made for love and sacrifice.” Even God required the sacrifice of Adam and Eve to avoid the special tree of the Garden in order for them to show their love of God by giving up one thing only. That was all they had to do. Even the simple detail that Jesus was placed in a feeding manger in the town of the “House of Bread” is deep in its meaning. All these point to Jesus in the Eucharist – a sacrifice to show His love for humanity. In the Eucharist, Jesus brings love and sacrifice back together. Christians are to have faith in one miracle, the resurrection of Jesus, so that they can experience resurrection through Jesus. Pierron quoted Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana when asked about the fantastic growth of Catholicism in Africa. He said, “We worship God and get changed.” 

Phil Niswonger
Revive attendees worship Jesus, present in the Blessed Sacrament.

Adoration and Benediction came next in the evening. Whitmore returned to proclaim, “The King of the Universe dwells with us. In the Eucharist is the fullness of healing as is written in Revelation 12. ‘Evil is conquered by the Blood of the Lamb.’” She then enjoined anyone present to share their faith and to serve others. Three people came forth to share their special experience of how they were touched by grace during the evening.

After the final song, attendees were invited to experience small group intercessory prayer provided by 20 volunteers.

Brigitte Bowman

Nathan Sergio was one of the prayer intercessors for the event. He said that he hoped there would be an outpouring of the Holy Spirit during the evening. Tina Masterson of St. Anthony de Padua Parish in South Bend said she felt the energy, the joyful youth, and the fruitfullness of both the prayer and worship.

Brigitte Bowman

Eric Snyder, a member of the Knights of Columbus and parishioner at St. Patrick Church in South Bend, connected with the great insights of both the Old Testament and Jesus Christ as they reflect the love God’s people have for Him and the worship of the One True God. Sandy Wagner of St. Joseph Catholic Church, South Bend, came because she enjoys such praise music.

The Damascus staff and yellow-shirted volunteers were cheerful and welcoming. The Damascus ministry began in 2015 and now has 60 members in their full-time ministry, mostly young adults. They specialize in youth summer camps, extended missions, and retreats. Their charism comes from the example of St. Paul, who came out of Damascus to evangelize more ministers.

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