In 2019, a study by the Pew Research Center reported that only a third of Catholics believe the Eucharist is really the Body and Blood of Christ. In response to that startling report, the U.S. Conference of Catholic has established a National Eucharistic Revival. “The bishops of the United States have discerned an incredibly exciting and, I think, spot-on response to the crisis of faith that we see at this time,” said Sister Alicia Torres, a Franciscan of the Eucharist of Chicago who is part of the national revival’s organizing committee. The National Eucharistic Revival began June 19, the feast of Corpus Christi, and culminates with the National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis in 2024. Along the way, there will be parish, diocesan and regional events to increase Catholics’ understanding of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. The first year includes diocesan-level with initiatives such as eucharistic adoration and processions, the development of parish teams of revival leaders and conferences on the Eucharist. The following year, there will be parish revival events leading to the eucharistic congress in Indianapolis in 2024, the first to be held since one took place in 1976 in Philadelphia. It is expected to draw at least 80,000 participants from across the country. The U.S. bishops approved plans for the revival and the congress last November during their fall general assembly in Baltimore. Both are being spearheaded by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, chaired by Bishop Andrew H. Cozzens of Crookston, Minnesota. On a local level, archdiocesan staff members are gathering a team of priests, deacons, religious women and men and laypeople who will prioritize proposals for engaging the revival throughout the upcoming two years. The archdiocese kicked off the revival with Mass at Holy Name Cathedral on June 18 followed by an outdoor eucharistic procession. “The desire is not to have an event, not to have a program, rather to inspire a movement from the grassroots supported by the institutional church, that we would literally have a living movement of Catholics that have been healed, transformed, converted and sent out to bring this message that Jesus is alive among us and for our life, for the life of the world,” Sister Alicia said. (Watch our podcast interview with Sister Alicia about the revival.) After dioceses form diocesan and parish leaders during the first year, those leaders will support parish efforts in year two. What that looks like in each diocese will be different based on demographics and other factors, she said. “But some of the things we dream and hope dioceses will embrace include hosting a local eucharistic congress or assembly and having days formation or days of reflection for diocesan leadership,” she said. “If you think about it, even before the Gospels were put to paper, the Eucharist was being celebrated. So the Eucharist has always been the heart of the proclamation of what Jesus has done for us.” At the crux of any revival is the presence and work of the Holy Spirit. You can’t force it to happen, Sister Alicia said. “What’s been most hopeful for me, having been on the team since July 2021, when we started formally meeting and assisting, is just how excited people get when you share with them about this,” she said. “You know, there’s always been this idea in the Catholic Church of the ‘sense of the faithful,’ and my experience of the sense of the faithful when I share about the revival is joy, excitement, hope and seeing an opportunity.” To learn more about the National Eucharistic Revival, visit eucharisticrevival.org.