Up Front and Personal

The Eucharistic Revival: ‘It Was Transformative’

by Father Alonzo Cox

Just about a year ago, the Diocese of Brooklyn began conversations to plan an event that would allow the faithful to gather as a community, centered on Jesus present in the Most Blessed Sacrament. 

The vision was that this gathering would rejuvenate the faithful in their belief in the real presence. Unfortunately, due to the weather, the original date for this revival gathering was postponed. The new date would be April 20, taking place at the Louis Armstrong Stadium. With the same vision in mind, this event was intended to bring God’s holy people together to give witness to the faith, and to spend time in adoration before the Lord of heaven and earth. 

Our Diocesan Eucharistic Revival fulfilled that vision and so much more! Some 7,000 people came out to Flushing Meadows to show their love not just for the local Church here in Brooklyn and Queens, but to show their love for the Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament. The day officially began with our diocesan bishop bringing the Lord into the stadium. For me, it set the tone for what the day was going to be all about. It was going to be centered on Jesus, and that it was. People rose to their feet as they saw Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament come by. They raised their hands in worship. Some, even in their small tight spaces in their aisles, fell to their knees in adoration. You could literally feel and encounter the presence of the Lord in this space and it was transformative. 

One of the highlights for me was the celebration of the Eucharist. As the priests, deacons, and bishops processed to the altar, the power of the Holy Spirit was very much alive as we sang, “This Is the Day the Lord Has Made.” As I looked out into the rafters of this arena, the faithful were filled with the Holy Spirit. They had come to be fed with God’s holy word and ultimately to be fed with Jesus the Savior. 

As we were planning this Eucharistic Revival, I don’t think any of us thought it would be as extraordinary as it came out to be. Throughout the preparation of this gathering, we never took our eyes off the center of who we were doing this for, which was for Jesus. He is, as the Church points out, the source and summit of our faith. Our Eucharistic Revival was an opportunity to truly give witness to that and to show the world who Jesus is in our lives. 

It is my hope and prayer that the fruits of our revival will produce a stronger devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and vocations to the priesthood. My prayer is that Jesus touched and stirred the hearts of the faithful that they may be transformed by his love and mercy. May the heart of Jesus be praised, adored, and loved, with grateful affection, at every moment, in all the tabernacles of the world, even until the end of time, Amen.

Father Alonzo Cox is Pastor of St. Peter Claver Church in Bedford-Stuyvesant and Director of the Vicariate Office of Black Catholic Concerns.