PROSPECT HEIGHTS — Dioceses throughout the U.S., including Brooklyn, are about to make a handoff to their parishes in the second yearlong phase of the National Eucharistic Revival.
The three-year revival aims to help Catholics forge deeper relationships with the Savior Christ through his real presence in the Eucharist.
Called “The Year of Parish Revival,” this second part also starts on Corpus Christi Sunday (June 11) — the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ.
Throughout the coming year, each parish in the U.S. is asked to help its members grow in the faith by joining in grassroots efforts inspired by four “invitations.” They include: reinvigorated worship, personal encounters with Christ, robust formation, and sending missionaries to reconnect with lapsed Catholics and serve the poor.
Bishop Robert Brennan said, “Having traveled throughout Brooklyn and Queens, especially during the Synod and the Lenten Pilgrimage, I can honestly say I do get a deep sense that within our parishes there is indeed a great love for the Eucharist.”
He noted that there will be parish and deanery eucharistic processions on the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. The processions “are concrete expressions of our real commitment to bring our faith out into the neighborhood,” he said.
Tim Glemkowski, executive director for the 2024 National Eucharistic Congress, has said the parish year of the revival is “the most important one” of the three. That is because it is intended to “create eucharistic communities, communities that are full of life because they’ve received life from the source of life,” he said.
Planning for this second phase began with the diocese’s 22 deaneries, said Father Joseph Gibino, vicar for evangelization and catechesis.
“Each deanery has been asked to do something for Corpus Christi, to decide how they would celebrate the solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ,” Father Gibino said. “And each deanery is doing something a little different.
“For example, in Queens, we have a parish that on Thursday, June 8, is going to have a 7 p.m. Mass for all of the parishes in the deanery. Then on Sunday, the actual feast day, each parish will celebrate in their own ways.
“After that, we’re going to be doing a number of events to gather all of the parishes together.”
The first event will be a diocesan celebration Saturday, Oct. 7, at Maimonides Park in Coney Island, home of the Brooklyn Cyclones minor league baseball team. Youth activities, family catechesis, a eucharistic procession, and Mass highlight the day.
“We look forward to a large gathering as we celebrate our Catholic faith and the encounter with Jesus truly present in the Eucharist,” Bishop Brennan said.
Father Gibino said, “We’re then going to suggest that, during Advent, each parish has a parish mission or Advent study.”
That would involve a four-week Scripture program focused on the Eucharist.
Although the parishes are expected to develop their own grassroots activities, they will have guidance from a 24-page document produced by the nonprofit group that is organizing the 10th National Eucharistic Congress in 2024.
Pastors and parish leaders can use The Year of Parish Revival “Leader’s Playbook” to explore ways to share the “four invitations.” It was released May 1 in pdf form. It’s free and available at eucharisticrevival.org/lead.
Father Gibino noted, however, that the playbook is not a rigid directive, but a blueprint for parish leaders to glean ideas — an important consideration for the Diocese of Brooklyn, the “Diocese of Immigrants.”
“We have so much cultural diversity and so many languages that we really need to adapt the playbook so that it can be used in so many different ways,” he said.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops called for the three-year revival in response to a 2019 Pew Research Poll that asserted only 31% of U.S. Catholics believe in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.
But the bishops resolved to redirect Catholics to the real presence in the Eucharist. There, they insist, people can grow to be better parents, children, friends, and neighbors and receive the strength to live their lives in harmony with God’s will.
The revival began with the Year of Diocesan Revival on Corpus Christi Sunday last year, June 19. The first-year focus was to equip dioceses to inspire pursuits of the four invitations.
The Lenten Pilgrimage in Brooklyn and Queens was born out of the diocesan revival.
Bishop Brennan envisioned the pilgrimage as part of the National Eucharistic Revival to reinvigorate the faith in the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.
Father Gibino confirmed the pilgrimage will return in 2024, with a new slate of participating parishes. The 42 parishes volunteer to host “stations” for eucharistic adoration and Mass, although there could be a few repeats from this year’s roster.
For example, he noted, the Basilica Cathedral of St. James in Downtown Brooklyn is where the Lenten Pilgrimage began this year on Feb. 22, Ash Wednesday. “The cathedral is the obvious place to start again,” Father Gibino said.
The third phase is the Year of Mission, to be highlighted by the National Eucharistic Congress, July 17-21, 2024 in Indianapolis.
For more information on the Diocesan Eucharistic Revival, visit eucharisticrevivalbq.org