November 21, 2023

Day, weekend passes now options for Eucharistic Congress

(OSV News)—Attendees of the National Eucharistic Congress on July 17-21, 2024, in Indianapolis now have the option of purchasing single-day and weekend passes in order to make attendance more affordable and flexible, the bishop overseeing the congress announced on Nov. 15.

Speaking at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) fall plenary assembly in Baltimore, Bishop Andrew H. Cozzens of Crookston, Minn., also said scholarship funds may help ease the costs for some attendees, via the bishops’ Solidarity Fund.

“We have heard well the concerns of some, that they find the length or the cost [of the congress] difficult, and we’ve worked hard over the last year to find ways to make it affordable and accessible, so that it can be a gathering of the whole Church, so that we can literally open wide the doors to Christ for people to come,” Bishop Cozzens, chairman of the National Eucharistic Congress Inc. (NEC) and chairman of the USCCB Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, told the assembly of bishops.

Standard passes for the five-day congress are $299-$375 for adults and $99 for children ages 2-18 traveling with their family. The cost covers admission for congress events at Lucas Oil Stadium, which include general sessions, breakout sessions, liturgies, the vendor hall and unique congress tracks. The cost does not include housing, transportation or meals related to the congress.

Registration is open for standard passes, which also include access to premium seating and digital access to congress content.

The single-day passes will range from $49-$95 depending on the day, and weekend passes will be $125. Registration for day and weekend passes will open in January. A limited number of discounted single-day passes will be available for early registrants.

The congress’ Solidarity Fund was created by the bishops this summer to provide scholarships covering the congress’ full registration cost for attendees who express financial need, and it now includes more than $750,000, contributed by dioceses, private donors and foundations. NEC’s executive team also is working to identify affordable housing in and around Indianapolis for attendees.

“The biggest challenge that we’ve had has been the availability of housing in Indianapolis,” Bishop Cozzens told the bishops. “A higher-than-anticipated early demand on hotels for the congress, coupled with a lower-than-expected inventory from the early estimates of the hotel community in Indianapolis have created a crunch on available housing for us.”

However, the challenge also is an opportunity, he said, because “one of the things we want to do is to allow the Church to welcome the Church, and to make the congress a true pilgrimage.”

The congress’ team members are working to identify accommodations at local college dormitories, parishes, schools and retreat centers, he said.

Organizers have said they expect the event to draw tens of thousands of Catholics to Indianapolis.

The National Eucharistic Congress is the pinnacle of the National Eucharistic Revival, a three-year initiative the USCCB 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 leadership. Its second year, now underway, focuses on parish life, with its final year focused on missionary discipleship. The revival’s website, eucharisticrevival.org, contains a number of multimedia resources that support the revival’s aims.

The revival includes a National Eucharistic Pilgrimage, which will include pilgrims walking across the country with the Eucharist along four designated pilgrimage routes, converging in Indianapolis for the congress. The pilgrimage routes begin in Brownsville, Texas; New Haven, Conn.; northern Minnesota; and San Francisco, on May 17-19, the weekend of Pentecost. Catholics are invited to join the routes’ “perpetual pilgrims”—young adult Catholics walking the entire route—for daily Mass and processions, or join the “Eucharistic caravans” for hours or days.

“We expect hundreds of thousands of people to join some portion of this pilgrimage, and we’re delighted to announce that the Apostolic Penitentiary will be issuing a decree granting a plenary indulgence to anyone who participates in one of the four legs of the pilgrimage, as well as those who participate in the National Eucharistic Congress,” Bishop Cozzens said.

The National Eucharistic Congress website, www.eucharisticcongress.org, also was updated on Nov. 15, with a complete schedule expected to be released in January. †

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