DENVER (OSV News) — The executive team of National Eucharistic Congress Inc. announced April 17 that several leading Catholic organizations are investing in the July 17-21, 2024, congress in Indianapolis as “mission partners.”
Relevant Radio, Augustine Institute, Franciscan University of Steubenville, EWTN, OSV (the parent company of the OSV News wire service and the weekly Our Sunday Visitor newspaper) and the Knights of Columbus have each made “a substantial financial commitment” and “pledged significant in-house resources toward the planning and promotion of the event itself,” according to the April 17 news release.
“One thing has been consistent with every partnership that has developed from these organizations — they all have rolled up their sleeves and asked, ‘How else can we help?'” Cande de Leon, chief advancement officer for National Eucharistic Congress Inc., said in a statement. “It gives me great joy to see the commitment of these organizations with regard to helping the Church and truly wanting to bring people to Jesus in the Eucharist.”
The Year of the National Eucharistic Congress and Missionary Sending 2024-25 is the third and final year of the U.S. bishops’ National Eucharistic Revival.
Launched last year, the National Eucharistic Revival is a three-year campaign by the U.S. bishops to increase the Catholic understanding of and devotion to Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist. Part of the impetus for the campaign was a Pew Research Center study in the fall of 2019 that showed more than three out of 10 Catholics understand and believe in Jesus’ Real Presence.
What will be the U.S. Catholic Church’s 10th National Eucharistic Congress — but the first in 83 years — is expected to draw more than 80,000 people, and organizers have compared the event to World Youth Day, with prayer and liturgies, catechesis for individuals and families, and a festival-like atmosphere.
OSV, the Huntington, Indiana-based Catholic publishing company, has been a supporter of the National Eucharistic Revival and Congress from the beginning because “we saw this movement as not just a vehicle for reviving Catholic belief in the Real Presence of Christ but for fulfilling the Great Commission,” said OSV Publisher Scott P. Richert.
“The church in the United States is facing unprecedented challenges that can only be solved by a return to the heart of Christianity, our encounter with Christ,” he said, adding that the hope of the congress is Catholics will encounter Christ in Indianapolis, discover Christ in everyone they meet, and invite others to encounter Christ in his church.
“When we learned about the Congress, we immediately knew this would be a great benefit to the church and to souls, since the holy Eucharist is Jesus Christ himself,” said Father Francis “Rocky” Hoffman, executive director and CEO of Relevant Radio.
“We encourage our listeners to attend and partner in prayer for a successful Congress,” he said. “All positive, sustainable, and transformative change in the Church is rooted in our love for and encounter with the Holy Eucharist.”
Founded in 2000 to bring Christ to the world through the media, Relevant Radio broadcasts on over 200 stations across America in all major markets, and globally through online streaming and a mobile app.
The mission of the Augustine Institute, based in the Denver suburb of Greenwood Village, “is to help Catholics understand, live and share their faith” through its Graduate School of Theology, academic and parish programs and multimedia resources, said Tim Gray, the institute’s president.
“Our hope is that the National Eucharistic Revival leads thousands upon thousands of Catholics to rediscover the love of God who draws close to us and gives himself up for us in the most holy Eucharist,” he said.
The Eucharist has always been the wellspring of Franciscan University of Steubenville’s spiritual life and at the heart of the school’s Steubenville conferences, according to the university’s president and Third Order Franciscan, Father Dave Pivonka.
“Year after year, we have seen the power of Jesus in the Eucharist heal, renew and unify our students, faculty, staff and conference guests, so we’re excited to help stir up a greater love for the holy Eucharist,” he said.
“We pray the Holy Spirit enkindles the fire of faith in the Real Presence in the hearts of our brothers and sisters across the country,” he added.
EWTN’s founder, Mother Angelica, a Poor Clare of Perpetual Adoration, “built the network around her community’s chapel where the Eucharist was adored 24 hours each day” at Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in rural Alabama, said Michael Warsaw, CEO of the EWTN Global Catholic Network.
“Devotion to Our Lord in the Eucharist still remains physically and spiritually at the heart of the EWTN apostolate. There is no undertaking in the church today more important than the program of Eucharistic Revival, and EWTN is happy to fully support this effort,” he said.
In August 2021, Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly, the CEO of the Knights of Columbus, announced the Catholic international fraternal order would be a major sponsor of the National Eucharistic Revival.
“The more we devote ourselves to the Eucharist, the more we will understand what it means to live a life of service and sacrifice for others — and to live a life of true unity, centered on the ‘source and summit of the Christian life,'” he said in a statement about the organization’s decision to be a mission partner for the 2024 congress.
NOTES: To register for the congress go to: https://www.eucharisticcongress.org/register
Photo: This is the logo for the U.S. bishops’ three-year National Eucharistic Revival. Registration opens Feb. 15, 2023, for the National Eucharistic Congress being held in Indianapolis in 2024. (OSV News photo/courtesy USCCB)