By Tablet Staff
BALTIMORE — In response to concerns about the cost and length of next summer’s National Eucharistic Congress, the event will now offer new single-day and weekend pass options and scholarship funds for participants.
Bishop Andrew Cozzens of Crookston, Minnesota, chairman of the National Eucharistic Congress, made this announcement Nov. 15 during the annual fall meeting of the U.S. bishops in Baltimore.
“We have heard well the concerns of some that find the length or cost of the Congress to be difficult, and we have worked hard over the last year to ‘open wide the doors to Christ’ in seeking ways to make the Congress an affordable and accessible gathering for the whole Church,” said the bishop, who chairs the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
He said the event’s planners “believe these new options will help make the event more accessible for a greater number of people on any given day, especially Catholics from those dioceses within driving distance to Indianapolis.”
The Congress is taking place July 17-24 with events at Lucas Oil Stadium and other nearby venues in downtown Indianapolis.
A schedule of events, with programming details being updated regularly, is available on the Congress website — eucharisticcongress.org.
In early January, a complete schedule will be posted on the website and day and weekend tickets will officially open. Single-day passes range from $49-$95 depending on the day, and weekend passes will be $125. A limited number of single-day passes will be available with an added discount for those who purchase tickets early.
Five-day tickets will also remain available with additional benefits such as premium seating and digital access to content from the Congress. Standard five-day passes are $299-$375 for adults and $99 for children ages 2-18 traveling with their families.
A Solidarity Fund was initiated by the bishops in the summer of 2023 to provide scholarships for those wishing to attend the Congress but expressing financial need. Close to $1 million dollars has been collected from diocesan operating budgets across the country, along with contributions from private donors and foundations.
The donations will make it possible for thousands of pilgrims to register for the Congress at no charge. The Solidarity Fund scholarship application process will also open in early January with information available at that time on the website.
The executive team for the National Eucharistic Congress is also working to identify affordable housing solutions in and around Indianapolis during the Congress.
Describing the upcoming event as a “true pilgrimage,” Bishop Cozzens said the planners aim to provide flexible options for people to stay from dorm rooms at local colleges, to parishes, schools, and retreat centers.
“We are going to have to be creative and help the Church welcome the Church,” he said.