by Joe Bollig
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Now is the time to make room on your calendar for three big events in May, June and July in 2024, that will be the capstone of the National Eucharistic Revival.
The three “big ones” are: a local eucharistic adoration event May 4; a National Eucharistic Pilgrimage passing through the archdiocese June 25-29; and the National Eucharistic Congress July 17-21 in Indianapolis.
It’s a “eucharistic extravaganza,” said Deacon Dana Nearmyer, archdiocesan director of evangelization and point man for Eucharistic Revival activities in the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.
The national revival was divided into three “years,” each beginning on the solemnity of Corpus Christi. The first was in June 2022.
“We had a Diocesan Year of Revival (June 2022 to June 2023) where we were telling people all the things they could do to enhance Eucharistic Revival in the archdiocese,” said Deacon Nearmyer.
“We’re in the middle of the Parish Year (June 2023 to June 2024) where we’re doing parish activities and really focusing on the celebration of the Mass and other ways people can fall in love deeper with the Eucharist. . . . And the following year (June 2024 to June 2025)is the Year of Mission.”
This Parish Year of Eucharistic Revival is important because it is through the parish where most Catholics experience the Eucharist.
“I am delighted by the eucharistic processions that took place in the different regions of the archdiocese,” said Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann.
“The parish is where the ordinary and the extraordinary moments of our Catholic faith life are celebrated and live,” he added. “I am hopeful this Parish Year of Eucharistic Revival will motivate more people to make Sunday the center of their week, and the Eucharist the center of Sunday.”
Activities during these three years offer tremendous opportunities for Catholics.
“All Catholics are invited to reflect on their relationship with Christ in the Eucharist,” said Emily Lopez, archdiocesan lead consultant for adult evangelization.
“We could not walk with Christ during his time on earth, but we are each called into a physical relationship with Christ in the Eucharist,” she continued. “Jesus’ sacrifice becomes the physical fulfillment of living in and through each of us when we believe in the power of his eucharistic grace in our lives.”
The first great local event, “Behold KC,” is tentatively scheduled from 4 to 9:30 p.m. on May 4. It will be held on the lawn in front of the “Great Frieze” at the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri.
“‘Behold KC’ will be another opportunity to join with thousands of other Catholics from Kansas and Missouri to worship our eucharistic Lord,” said Archbishop Naumann. “I believe that many will experience the depth of God’s love for them in a deeper, more profound way.”
“Behold KC,” a eucharistic adoration event jointly sponsored by the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, was inspired by a historic event: the first Eucharistic Congress in the history of the Greater Kansas City area, held at the Liberty Memorial on May 4, 1941.
“Around the beginning of the first year of the National Eucharistic Revival, a photo was discovered in our diocesan archives,” said Bishop James Vann Johnston Jr., head of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. “In the photo, hundreds of people are gathered at night on the north lawn of the Liberty Memorial, facing the frieze wall where a large altar and monstrance are lit by large spotlights.”
Inspired by this historic event, Bishop Johnston suggested to Archbishop Naumann that a similar event could be a unifying moment for Catholics in the whole region of their respective dioceses to gather and witness to their Catholic faith.
The Liberty Memorial has become a signature setting where people from the metropolitan area and beyond gather to celebrate great events.
“Our diocese and the archdiocese are planning to use the same venue to proclaim our love for the eucharistic Lord, Jesus Christ,” said Bishop Johnston. “Attendees can reinforce their faith in Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist leading back to Mass and the celebration of the Eucharist with the assembly of those who are members of Christ’s body in our parishes.”
The event will include a Mass, eucharistic adoration, the sacrament of reconciliation, praise and worship music, and parish choirs.
Details are still being ironed out, so watch for updates in The Leaven and on the event website (see below) for how to RSVP, where to park, what to bring, volunteer sign-up, hotel options and more.
National Eucharistic Pilgrimage
One of the largest eucharistic pilgrimages in history will be heading to the National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis — and part of it will pass through the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.
The pilgrimage has four branches starting from four places in the continental United States: the Marian Route starting from the headwaters of the Mississippi River at Lake Itasca, Minnesota; the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Route starting from New Haven, Connecticut; the St. Juan Diego Route starting from Brownsville, Texas; and the St. Junipero Serra Route starting from San Francisco.
The four branches will cover a route 6,500 miles long and spend 60 days on the road. There will be about 48 “perpetual pilgrims” but possibly tens of thousands who will participate on a limited, local basis.
Parts of the pilgrimage will be undertaken in vans due to weather, safety and other practical considerations. Each branch will be led by priests carrying the Blessed Sacrament in a monstrance.
“We’re hosting a section of the St. Junipero Serra route of the national procession from June 25 to June 29,” said Deacon Nearmyer. “This is not our [archdiocesan] event. This is part of a national pilgrimage and the archdiocese has a chance to encourage these pilgrims along the way.”
Preliminary plans call for opportunities for some walking, Mass, eucharistic adoration, catechesis and prayer at certain points along the pilgrimage route, but those details are still being worked out.
Again, Catholics are urged to watch for future stories and visit the pilgrimage or Eucharistic Revival websites (see below) for opportunities to participate.
The pilgrimage will enter the archdiocese at Atchison on June 25 and go to Benedictine College. Next, it will travel to Most Pure Heart of Mary Parish in Topeka on June 26, then to St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Leawood on June 27. It will continue to the Church of the Nativity in Leawood on June 28, and then to the Cathedral of St. Peter in Kansas City, Kansas, on June 29. Next, the pilgrimage will move on to Kansas City, Missouri.
National Eucharistic Congress
For most Catholics, the opportunity to attend a National Eucharistic Congress is a rare opportunity.
The last one was held at Minneapolis-St. Paul in 1941. The next National Eucharistic Congress, the first in 83 years, will be July 17-21, 2024, at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. About 80,000 Catholics are expected to attend.
“The National Eucharistic Revival will be a beautiful opportunity for participants to grow in their love for the Eucharist as well as motivation to lead others to encounter the living Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament,” said Archbishop Naumann.
“To be gathered with tens of thousands of fellow Catholics to praise and worship our eucharistic Lord will be a powerful and grace-filled experience,” added the archbishop. “I am confident that participants in the congress will return to the archdiocese and their parishes with a deeper zeal to bring the love of Jesus to others and to bring others to experience the amazing presence of the living God in the Blessed Sacrament.”
Participants must purchase event passes to participate in the congress, said Deacon Nearmyer.
Passes may be purchased through the national website or the archdiocese, but it would be better to procure them through the archdiocese, he said, which has 200 tickets, and is offering them as a package deal. The national website offers only event passes and nothing more.
The archdiocesan package deal includes five-day event passes, accommodations for four nights and daily continental breakfasts. It does not include other travel insurance (recommended) meals, beverages or transportation — however, optional transportation options may be extended later.
For the archdiocesan package (for the first 200 to register), adult pricing is $879 for a triple/quad persons; $1,079 for a double; and $1,579 for a single. Family pricing is $100 off the adult prices for children ages 3 to 18, and free for “lap children” up to 2 years old when rooming with two paying adults in double occupancy.
The archdiocese has a three-step registration process for those who want to attend the congress. For registration information, payment schedule and other information, go to the relevant website (see below).
The National Eucharistic Revival may change your life — and the life of someone else.
“We live in a time when there is incredible power in personal witness,” said Lopez. “Please prayerfully consider how God might be calling you to witness during this revival movement.”
Where to go for information and registration
The National Eucharistic Revival (national website): www.eucharisticrevival.org
The National Eucharistic Pilgrimage (national website): www.eucharisticpilgrimage.org
National Eucharistic Congress (national website): www.eucharisticcongress.org
Behold KC (local eucharistic adoration event): www.beholdkc.org
Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas Eucharistic Revival (many links to events and resources including the archdiocesan package deal and registration for the National Eucharistic Congress): www.archkck.org/revival.