The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown will join other dioceses in the United States in launching a Eucharistic Revival on June 19 – the Solemnity of the Corpus Christi – the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.
The Eucharistic Revival is a three year movement in the Catholic Church in America that aims to increase every Catholic’s understanding of and devotion to the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.
It comes at a time when, according to polling, most self-described Catholics say they do not believe that the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ during Mass. In other words, they do not believe that Jesus is truly present in the Sacrament of Holy Communion, and they consider the bread and wine as symbols.
The mission of the Eucharistic revival is to renew the Church by enkindling a living relationship with the Lord in the Eucharist.
The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown will mark the launch with special observances in Loretto on June 19. The faithful are invited to Eucharistic Adoration inside the Basilica of Saint Michael the Archangel from 3:00-6:30 p.m. During those hours, various priests will be available to hear Confessions. At 7:00 p.m., Bishop Mark Bartchak will celebrate a special outdoor Mass at the Our Lady of the Alleghenies Shrine, next to the Basilica. Those who attend the Mass are asked to bring their own lawn chair. After the Mass, a solemn Eucharistic procession will occur around the grounds of the Shrine. The faithful are invited to join in the procession if they are physically able.
The diocese is especially encouraging children who received their First Holy Communion earlier this spring and their families to attend this special celebration. The children may dress in their First Holy Communion attire.
From the launch on June 19 through June 11, 2023, the first phase of the movement will focus on diocesan revival. The second phase, from June 11, 2023, through July 17, 2024, will foster Eucharistic devotion at the parish level, strengthening liturgical life.
A national Eucharistic Congress will convene July 17-21, 2024, in Indianapolis. At this historic event, Catholics will gather to reconsecrate their hearts to the Source and Summit of the faith. At the conclusion of the Congress on July 21, 2024, through the Solemnity of Pentecost 2025, the year will be dedicated to going out in mission to share the gift of our Eucharistic Lord.