Strength in Numbers: The Diocese’s Revival

This Saturday, Oct. 7, the Diocese of Brooklyn continues its celebration of the Eucharistic Revival at Maimonides Park in Coney Island with a spectacular day-long event beginning at 8 am. 

The event deepens the faithful’s understanding of a key teaching of the faith, that the Lord Jesus Christ is truly present in the bread and wine of the Eucharist. 

As people arrive at the ballpark that day, they will be treated to music from the Jornada Movement Music Ministry, a Hispanic youth movement in the diocese. 

The National Eucharistic Revival will culminate in 2024 with the National Eucharistic Congress, which will take place July 17-21, 2024, in Indianapolis. There is already a great deal of enthusiasm for the congress in the diocese. More than 250 people have already signed up to go. 

The diocese kicked off its revival with a Eucharistic Adoration Pilgrimage during Lent this year. As part of the pilgrimage, participants were given passports that they could get stamped at each church they visited to pray before the Blessed Sacrament. 

According to a new study, almost two-thirds of Catholics believe in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, but only 17% of adult Catholics physically attend Mass at least once per week, according to a survey from Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA). 

The survey also revealed a high correlation between belief in the Eucharist and weekly or even monthly Mass attendance. 

The 2022 survey of self-identified Catholics published Sept. 26 and titled “Eucharist Beliefs: A National Survey of Adult Catholics” found 64% of respondents provided responses that indicate they believe in the real presence. 

This study came after a 2019 Pew Research Center survey found only one-third of U.S. Catholics agree with the Church that the Eucharist is the body and blood of Christ. 

According to the CARA study, 49% of respondents correctly identified that the Church teaches that “Jesus Christ is truly present under the appearance of bread and wine.” 

The other 51% incorrectly identified the Church’s teaching as “bread and wine are symbols of Jesus’ actions at the Last Supper, meaning that Jesus is only symbolically present in the consecrated bread and wine.” 

“Results of this question indicate that there is substantial confusion about what the Church teaches about the Eucharist with slightly more adult Catholics not knowing this correctly than those correctly identifying the teachings,” the report stated. 

Those results and the Pew survey are the reason for the National Eucharistic Revival. The USCCB identified this misconception of doctrine as a call to better understand the Church’s teachings. 

The new CARA study is welcome news that the three-year National Eucharistic Revival is working. More people are gaining the knowledge of this basic tenet of the faith. 

The local event at Maimonides, with thousands gathering in a sold-out stadium, shows that here in the Diocese of Brooklyn, more and more people are coming to a full realization of this truth and are able to appreciate the faith even more.