The Diocese of St. Cloud is hosting a Eucharistic Congress Sept. 7-9

Graphic design by Barbara Simon-Johnson

This three-day event kicks off Thursday, Sept. 7, the Feast of St. Cloud, and is meant to both strengthen the faithful and serve as an invitation to show and learn more about who we are as Catholics.

Here is the current lineup (subject to change):

Thursday, Sept. 7 — Clergy retreat 

This day is designed specifically to revive and inspire our diocesan clergy. It includes an address by Dr. Tim O’Malley, author of “Becoming Eucharistic People,” Mass, personal and communal reflection time, a shared meal and fellowship. This event is by invitation only. Please pray for our clergy on this day.

 Friday, Sept. 8 — All-diocese retreat

All are invited to Seven Dolors Church in Albany for a daylong retreat featuring Dr. Tim O’Malley, author of “Becoming Eucharistic People,” along with Mass, prayer, personal reflection time, small and large group discussions, a shared meal and fellowship. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. with the program from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., followed by Mass. A registration fee of $15 will help offset the cost of lunch and materials.

 Saturday, Sept. 9 — All-diocese family-friendly event

Join us for a day at the park at Lake George, located just blocks from St. Mary’s Cathedral in St. Cloud. The day begins with daily Mass at 8 a.m. followed by a eucharistic procession around the lake, eucharistic adoration and confession opportunities. Dr. Tim O’Malley will give several addresses throughout the day including mini sessions for families and young adults.
The band SONAR will provide music throughout the event.

Other activities include a “Eucharistic Miracles” display, Eucharistic Word and Art display, service-learning opportunities, kids’ activities, inflatables, food trucks and more. The day concludes with Benediction, the Divine Mercy Chaplet and a multicultural procession to St. Mary’s Cathedral with Mass at 4 p.m. followed by St. Mary’s annual block party.

This event is free. Guests should bring their own blankets or lawn chairs. Food will be available for sale from food trucks. (It is encouraged to support these local vendors, however, please feel welcome to bring a picnic lunch.) Those participating in the processions are invited to bring banners, sacred images, prayer cards, statues and/or other items that represent or inspire their faith.


For more information and to register for the Sept. 8 event, visit


Things to know about Eucharistic Congresses

What is a Eucharistic Congress?

“A Eucharistic Congress should be considered according to the Roman Ritual De comunione et de cultu mysterii eucaristici extra missam (1973) n. 109, as a gathering to which a local church invites the other churches of the same region or of the same nation or of the whole world.”

What is the purpose of this local Eucharistic Congress?

Like many Eucharistic Congresses, this event has the “scope of increasing understanding and participation in the Eucharistic Mystery in all its aspects: from the celebration to worship, so that its influence permeates the whole of personal and social living.”

It is the hope that people from parishes and ACCs far and wide will come together to celebrate all the beauty, truth and goodness of the local Church. By example, through sharing in the sacraments, prayers and devotions of our tradition, hearing messages about building eucharistic culture from Dr. O’Malley, listening to the stories of people falling in love with Jesus and sharing ways to love and serve our neighbors, it is the hope of this Congress to create unity while honoring diversity, bearing witness to the Real Presence of Jesus and how we live out our faith in many different ways.

What are the essential features that constitute the celebration of a Eucharistic Congress?

“The Roman Ritual points out in n. 112 that the center of every Eucharistic Congress is the celebration of the Eucharist, the source and summit of the whole Christian life. The celebration of the word of God and talks can contribute to examining the various aspects of the Eucharistic Mystery that are suggested by the theme of the Congress. The possibility of praying in common and of adoring the Blessed Sacrament in designated churches contributes to interiorizing these themes. Finally, Eucharistic processions can help to express a public and ritual dimension to the faith in the Eucharist, which is celebrated, reflected upon and reaffirmed during the Congress.”

Note: Quoted phrases are excerpted from the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses. 

Author: The Central Minnesota Catholic

The Central Minnesota Catholic is the magazine for the Diocese of St. Cloud.

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