May 14, 2024

Pope will send Cardinal Tagle as special envoy to National Eucharistic Congress in US

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, then prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, speaks during a mission sending ceremony at the Maryknoll Society Center in Maryknoll, N.Y., June 3, 2022. Pope Francis announced May 18, 2024, that he will send Cardinal Tagle as his special envoy to the National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis July 17-21. (OSV News photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, then prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, speaks during a mission sending ceremony at the Maryknoll Society Center in Maryknoll, N.Y., June 3, 2022. Pope Francis announced May 18, 2024, that he will send Cardinal Tagle as his special envoy to the National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis July 17-21. (OSV News photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

WASHINGTON (OSV News) -- Pope Francis will send Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle as his special envoy to the U.S. Catholic Church's 10th National Eucharistic Congress July 17-21 in Indianapolis, and the cardinal will celebrate the congress's closing Mass.

Cardinal Tagle is pro-prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization's Section for First Evangelization and New Particular Churches.

The appointment, announced May 18, is "a gift to the Eucharistic Congress," said Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Cardinal Tagle's "deep passion for apostolic mission rooted in the Eucharist is sure to have an inspirational impact for everyone attending the Congress," the archbishop, head of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services, said in a statement released by the USCCB.

"We are tremendously grateful to the Holy Father in appointing Cardinal Tagle as his delegate to the United States' 10th National Eucharistic Congress," said Bishop Andrew H. Cozzens of Crookston, Minnesota, chairman of the National Eucharistic Congress Inc. "The appointment of Cardinal Tagle, with his missionary spirit and connection to the U.S., further unites our own efforts with the universal Church and uniquely evangelistic vision of Pope Francis."

"In his words to a delegation from the National Eucharistic Congress last June," Bishop Cozzens said in a statement to OSV News, "Pope Francis challenged us to ensure that the Congress bear lasting fruit as a moment of Encounter and Mission, reminding us all that, 'We become credible witnesses to the joy and transforming beauty of the Gospel only when we recognize that the love we celebrate in this sacrament cannot be kept to ourselves but demands to be shared with all.'"

During a recent segment of his weekly television broadcast "The Word Exposed," excerpts of which were posted to his Facebook page, Cardinal Tagle stressed the centrality of Christ and the Eucharist to the Catholic faith.

"The Eucharist is not a repetition of the sacrifice of Christ," he said. "It is the eternal sacrifice of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary where he ascended, enabling us to celebrate it here on earth. Wow!"

Without Christ's ascension -- the solemnity for which was celebrated May 9 or, in some dioceses, May 12 -- "we would not have our sacramental life that nourishes us," said Cardinal Tagle in a clip posted to his Facebook page May 18.

"We look forward with enthusiasm to welcoming Cardinal Tagle to the Congress, celebrating the closing liturgy with him, and hearing his words for the Church in the United States. Our deepest gratitude, again, goes to the Holy Father for this appointment," Bishop Cozzens added.

The congress is the culmination of the three-year National Eucharistic Revival launched in 2022 by the U.S. bishops to renew and strengthen Catholics' understanding of the Real Presence in the Eucharist. It will be held at Lucas Oil Stadium and the adjacent Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis and is expected to draw about 50,000 Catholics from around the U.S.

The event is the first such national congress in the U.S. in 83 years, and in 48 years since the 1976 International Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia.

Leading up to the congress is the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage, launching Pentecost weekend, May 18-19. The pilgrimage consists of four cross-country routes coming from four directions: the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Route (East), starting in New Haven, Connecticut; the St. Junipero Serra Route (West), starting in San Francisco; the St. Juan Diego Route (South), starting in Brownsville, Texas; and the Marian Route (North), starting in Northern Minnesota.

Among those walking the routes will be perpetual pilgrims, seminarians and priest chaplains, accompanied by the Eucharist, often exposed in a monstrance. Each route has stops along the way for Mass, prayer and Eucharistic adoration at parishes, shrines, charities and other Catholic institutions. The routes will converge in Indianapolis for the July 17 start of the congress.

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