March 11March 11 Editorial: An invitation to draw closer to Christ and be a powerful witness of our faith (February 16, 2024)

February 16, 2024


An invitation to draw closer to Christ and be a powerful witness of our faith

We have planted seeds for several months now, and we will continue to share reminders that we pray will bear fruit in central and southern Indiana this summer and beyond.

We also hope and pray that fruit will grow across the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and the state of Indiana, throughout our nation and across the globe as Catholics focus on the greatest gift of our faith here in mid-July.

The 10th National Eucharistic Congress (NEC)—the first national congress in 83 years—is being held on July 17-21 in Indianapolis, and tens of thousands of Catholics from throughout the U.S. are expected to attend. As members of the 126 parishes that make up the Church in central and southern Indiana, each of you is invited. We believe it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that should span generations—children, teens, parents, single adults and our seniors—who make up our family of faith.

This summer’s congress is the culminating event of the National Eucharistic Revival, a three-year initiative that the U.S. bishops launched in 2022 to renew and strengthen Catholics’ understanding of, and love for, Jesus in the Eucharist. The revival’s first year focused on diocesan life and its second year on parish life; the final year focuses on missionary discipleship.

Bishop William D. Byrne of Springfield, Mass., spoke about the NEC at the 19th annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 8 in Washington.

He said St. Pius X, known as the “Pope of the Eucharist,” knew the sacrament is “a means of helping us, not a prize for those who are already there,” calling it an “error” that the sacrament is treated as a “reward rather than a remedy.”

Pope Francis has also said as much.

“When we receive the Eucharist, Jesus does the same with us: he knows us; he knows we are sinners; he knows we make many mistakes, but he does not give up on joining his life to ours,” the pope said in his homily during a Mass on June 6, 2021, to mark the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ.

“He knows that we need it, because the Eucharist is not the reward of saints, but the bread of sinners. This is why he exhorts us: ‘Do not be afraid! Take and eat.’ ”

Bishop Byrne, in his Feb. 8 address, added that, in order for there to be a eucharistic revival, there also must be a revival of the sacrament of reconciliation, exhorting change in parishes where confession is limited to brief timeframes that are largely inaccessible to most Catholics.

“My experience is like the Field of Dreams,” he said in reference to the 1989 film. “ ‘If you build it, they will come.’ ”

The revival also includes a National Eucharistic Pilgrimage, in which pilgrims will walk with the Eucharist across the country along four designated pilgrimage routes, which converge in Indianapolis for the congress.

Among the activities during the gathering will be a eucharistic procession on July 20 that will engulf the streets of downtown Indianapolis, offering a powerful witness of faith by the thousands who will take part. It will offer a chance for us to radiate Jesus to our neighbors of all faith traditions, allowing them to see firsthand how much we love Christ’s presence in the Eucharist.

As the host archdiocese, we have been provided with a discount code—Indy24—which reduces the cost of individual passes for the five-day

gathering from $375 to $274. This discount code will only work on individual passes purchased in the amount of 1-14. Each participant will receive credentials that provide admission to general sessions, but there is no assigned seating or group seating at the NEC. Passes are offered at the congress’ website, The website also includes the congress’ general daily schedule and speaker lineup.

There are also single-day passes available. A weekend pass (for Saturday and Sunday) is available for $125, or day passes are available for $49-$95. Kids ages 12 and younger are free.

Through the generosity of donors, organizers have also created a “Solidarity Fund” with almost $1 million of scholarship money available for those who would like to attend. More information is available at (case sensitive).

We encourage you to give prayerful consideration to being a part of this witness of faith and opportunity to grow in love of the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Whether for five days, a few days, or even a day, gather with us and help us shine a bright light in our community—the light of Christ which our world desperately needs.

—Mike Krokos

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