Diocesan News

Eucharistic Revival Final Preparations Underway for a ‘Very Memorable’ Experience

Vincent LeVien (in center of circle), director of external affairs for DeSales Media Group, is coordinating with the NYPD and other city agencies to ensure a safe and smooth-running revival. “We’re honored to do this, having thousands of young people here,” he said.

FLUSHING MEADOWS-CORONA PARK — In a venue where fans come to watch the greatest tennis players in the world serve to compete in their matches, thousands of the Catholic faithful will be gathering this month to serve the Lord.

Preparations are being finalized for the Diocese of Brooklyn’s Eucharistic Revival set for Saturday, April 20, at Louis Armstrong Stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. 

The daylong event, which will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., promises to be chock full of memorable sights and sounds, including a Eucharistic procession, a Mass, the recitation of the rosary, lots of live music, and several inspiring speeches.

Bishop Robert Brennan will celebrate Mass on an altar set up on one side of the stadium’s court, and on the other side, a stage will be set for singers and musicians who will inspire the faithful with hymns and up-tempo music.

DeSales Media Group, the ministry that produces The Tablet, will be providing coverage of the revival, broadcasting much of it live on NET-TV and featuring it on Currents News and in The Tablet.

The goal of the revival is to bring the faithful closer to the Lord and help people experience Jesus Christ’s presence in the Eucharist, said Father Joseph Gibino, vicar for evangelization and catechesis for the diocese.

“It is Easter so we should be proclaiming to the world that we are a people blessed and graced. And that’s our hope for the whole event — that people believe they have encountered the risen Christ,” Father Gibino explained.

His mention of Easter referred to the fact that the Eastertide season lasts from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday, which this year is on May 19.

Father Gibino said 10,000 people are expected to attend the revival. Tickets have been distributed to parishes in the diocese and parishioners will be sitting with their church contingents. Colorful banners are being made bearing the names of all of the parishes in the diocese and will be placed in the stands.

The attendees will be permitted to bring their own food, but coolers will not be permitted.

It is anticipated that the majority of participants will be arriving at the tennis center on buses from their parishes. 

People who were baptized at the Easter Vigil on March 30 — the church calls them neophytes — will enjoy special seating at the revival. Three hundred chairs will be set up on the court level near the altar for them.

Bishop Brennan will be arriving via the subway with parishioners from various churches boarding the No. 7 train along the way. 

And parishioners from three Queens parishes — St. Michael in Flushing, St. Leo in Corona, and Our Lady of Sorrows in Corona — will be traveling on foot, processing from their churches to Louis Armstrong Stadium.

On Wednesday, April 3, Father Gibino and a team from DeSales Media Group visited the tennis center to conduct a walk-through of the site with U.S. Tennis Association representatives and members of the NYPD to finalize the logistics of the revival.

The topics of discussion included the floor plan, the event schedule, staging and other technical aspects of the NET-TV broadcast.

“I don’t think people realize the amount of work behind the scenes,” said Vincent LeVien, director of external affairs for DeSales Media Group. LeVien and his team are working with the USTA, the NYPD, and the MTA, among other agencies.

For Marilyn Arreaga, a producer for DeSales Media Group, the walkthrough was an important part of the preparation process. 

“Today was a day to gather all our vendors together so we can coordinate where exactly our setups are going to be — the staging, camera, the audio, our trucks. There’s a lot of components coming in together to definitely make this day very, very memorable,” she explained.

Between the Diocese of Brooklyn, the DeSales Media Group team, the vendors erecting the stages and camera platforms, the USTA staff, and city agencies, it will take about 200 people to bring the revival to life for not only the faithful attending the event but for the viewers watching NET-TV at home.

NET-TV will be employing multiple cameras to capture the revival, including a high-definition camera, a Jumbotron, and other equipment.

However, despite all of the work and preparation going into the revival, the main goal is to have all of those efforts become invisible, said Evan Bellouny, technical operations supervisor for DeSales Media Group.

“For me, that means if somebody can see where all my cables are and everything we did, I didn’t do my job,” Bellouny explained.

The attendees and the viewers at home “should be completely lost in this event as if it is a Mass — just on a larger scale than when you’re visiting your home parish,” he added. 

The diocesan celebration was originally set for Oct. 7 at Maimonides Park in Coney Island but was postponed due to inclement weather.

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. 

Dioceses across the nation were asked to organize their own Eucharistic Revivals.

The National Eucharistic Revival will culminate with the National Eucharistic Congress, which will take place July 17-21 in Indianapolis.

For information on the April 20 revival, contact your local parish or visit: www.dioceseofbrooklyn.org