April 8, 2022

Eucharistic revival to be launched with June 18 Mass, procession and holy hour

By Sean Gallagher

A three-year eucharistic revival in the archdiocese will begin with a 4 p.m. Mass on June 18 at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis, followed by a eucharistic procession through downtown streets and a holy hour and Benediction at historic St. John the Evangelist Church.

Catholics in other dioceses across the country will begin the revival on the same weekend on which this year is celebrated the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, traditionally known by its Latin title, Corpus Christi.

Father Patrick Beidelman, executive director of the archdiocesan secretariat for worship and evangelization, said that the revival, approved last fall by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, is happening at an important time in the life of the Church in this country.

“I get the sense that there’s a real hunger and need for us as a Church, given what we’ve been through these last two years and in what’s going on in the world today, to ponder the mystery of God’s presence in the Eucharist,” he said. “To really rejoice in his closeness to us through the Eucharist will be for people a great source of comfort, consolation and encouragement.”

Archbishop Charles C. Thompson will be the principal celebrant at the Mass at the cathedral that will begin the revival. Afterward, a eucharistic procession from the cathedral to St. John is planned to take place once the necessary permits have been obtained.

The launch of the revival in the archdiocese will then conclude with a holy hour and Benediction at St. John.

All events will be livestreamed. And Catholics across the archdiocese are invited to take part in as many events of the day as they wish.

“That’s the beauty of this plan,” Father Beidelman said. “There are things of varying types, duration and ways of praying that people will be able to plug themselves into. People may choose to do one or more of those things.”

Overflow seating for both the cathedral and St. John are expected to be available. Shuttles between the cathedral and St. John are also being planned.

Father Dustin Boehm, pastor of St. Gabriel Parish in Connersville and St. Bridget of Ireland Parish in Liberty, is a member of the planning team of archdiocesan leaders helping to organize the events on June 18.

He looks forward to the eucharistic procession in the heart of downtown Indianapolis in which representatives of many cultures present in the archdiocese and children who recently received their first Communion will take part.

“The Lord, his very body, blood, soul and divinity, will lead this procession,” said Father Boehm. “And look behind. It’ll be his body. It’s the faithful walking in unison behind it in prayer and devotion. It’ll be awesome to process our Lord through the streets of downtown Indianapolis.”

Father Boehm also expressed his hope for the moments of evangelization that may take place for the many people in downtown Indianapolis on that Saturday evening who might witness it.

The power of those moments, though, depends on how much the Catholics taking part in it show their devotion to others around them.

“It’s up to us to make the Eucharist believable,” Father Boehm said. “Through our witness and invitation, it becomes a much more believable thing. It allows others to enter into it.

“People are going to trust us in that invitation because of how we treat it and act around it. They’ll see that there’s someone here present in it who’s worthy of our veneration and devotion.”

Tracey Jansen, principal of St. Mary-of-the-Knobs School in Floyd County, is also a member of the planning team.

Like Father Boehm, she is excited about the eucharistic procession on June 18.

“This occasion will be a bolder way to not only honor our Lord, but also make it public,” Jansen said. “It’s a unique and physical way to display our faith, hope, and love in Jesus Christ.”

The procession, which is expected to take place rain or shine, will take about 45 minutes to complete. The holy hour at St. John is expected to end by 7 p.m.

In addition to walking in the procession, archdiocesan Catholics are also encouraged to line the procession route, which is expected to largely follow Illinois Street south to a block from

St. John.

Those helping to organize the revival in the archdiocese are emphasizing their hope that it will become a movement in which more Catholics place the Eucharist at the center of their lives.

“The experience of receiving Christ through the Eucharist is one that we can share through the patterns of our lives,” said Christopher Walsh, archdiocesan chancellor. “Our faith and devotion to the Eucharist can be made manifest in the Christian witness we provide within our communities, to each person that we encounter.

“Our presence to and reflection of the transformational power of the Eucharist provides an opportunity to bring people to the truth of the real presence of Jesus Christ in our world, in our time.”

“I hope that this will be a new springtime of faith, a time in which people who are away from the Church feel a call to come back and [feel] welcomed,” said Father Beidelman. “For those who are regular in their practice, I hope it will be a deepening of their experience of Christ and will be given an expression in the form of service, care for one another and strengthening our local communities.” †

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