A True Celebration Of the Eucharist

The Diocese of Brooklyn’s Eucharistic Revival, 2024 version, is going to be a special, uplifting, and unifying event. 

On Saturday, April 20, up to 10,000 Catholic faithful from all corners of the diocese are expected to converge on Louis Armstrong Stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens for a day of prayer and celebration, a mass expression of the belief that Jesus Christ is truly present in the Eucharist. 

It should be an exhilarating experience for the faithful looking to celebrate the Eucharist during Eastertide. 

Presiding over it all will be Bishop Robert Brennan, who says he is “really looking forward to this special gathering of the Church in Brooklyn and Queens, how diverse it is, how many nations represented, the languages that are spoken here. 

“Yet we’re absolutely united in our faith, in the Lord, and that has its fullest expressions in our unity in the Eucharist, the source and sign of our communion,” Bishop Brennan added. 

The bishop will travel to the revival on a No. 7 Flushing line subway to the stadium’s Mets-Willets Point destination. But he won’t be alone. 

“There’s going to be a train coming in from the No. 7 line for five stops. Bishop Brennan is going to board the train and we’re going to have thousands of people on that train. It’s going to be an unprecedented event,” said Vincent LeVien, director of external affairs for DeSales Media Group, the ministry that produces The Tablet. DeSales Media is working with the diocese, the MTA, and the NYPD to coordinate Bishop Brennan’s subway journey. 

Meanwhile, hundreds of parishioners from three Queens churches — St. Michael’s in Flushing, St. Leo in Corona, and Our Lady of Sorrows in Corona — will walk in processions to the stadium from their respective parishes. 

“I think it will help us feel closer to the spirit of the revival, to walk as Jesus walked,” said Father Manuel De Jesus Rodriguez, pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Church, who predicts that as many as 1,600 of his parishioners will participate in the procession and the revival. Colorful banners bearing the names of all of the parishes in the diocese will be placed in the stands in the stadium. 

And there will be music. A choir of 75 singers, drawn from choral groups from across the diocese, will perform songs and hymns with African American, African, Chinese, Creole, and Polish roots, to name a few. 

“How we present this rededication to the Eucharist is also a representation of the wide, cultural diversity that exists in our boroughs,” says Joseph Murray, the administrative assistant for the Vicariate Office of Black Catholic Concerns. “The Catholic Church is made stronger by way of the fact that it comprises so many different cultures, countries of origins, and languages.” 

Father Joseph Gibino, vicar for evangelization and catechesis for the diocese, who is organizing the revival, predicted that the day will be “bright and bold and beautiful.” 

“Everything is about the encounter with Christ. We should be proclaiming to the world that we are a people blessed and graced,” Father Gibino proclaimed. “That’s our hope for the whole event — that people believe they have encountered the risen Christ.” 

The revival is one of thousands of grassroots gatherings taking place across the country as part of the three-year National Eucharistic Revival, launched by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2022.