Diocese, parishes prepare to ‘help others to encounter the real presence of Christ’ [Photo Gallery]

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Knights of Columbus members, front from left, Grand Knight Brian Kennedy and Knight Ralph Juergens, and back, from left, Knights Mark Cygler and Stephen Watson, hold the canopy as Father Jean Baptiste Kyabuta, pastor of St. Joseph Church in Madison, walks with the exposed Eucharist in the monstrance around the campus of St. Joseph Church and School on Sunday, June 11, after the 8:30 a.m. Mass. Photos by Katie Peterson

With the celebration of the Feast of Corpus Christi on Sunday, June 11, the many Eucharistic Processions held at churches throughout the Diocese of Nashville, became the signaling benchmark for the launch of year two of the U.S. Conference of Catholics Bishop’s three-year Eucharistic Revival – The Year of Parish Revival.

“The Year of the Parish is a time for pastors and the lay faithful to further Eucharistic devotion and strengthen the Eucharistic culture in their community,” said Dr. Brad Peper, director of faith formation for the diocese. “Through local initiatives fitting to the life of the parish, the goal is to create a renewed sense of mission and help others to encounter the real presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.”

The Year of the Parish follows the Year of Diocesan Revival, during which the Office of Faith Formation hosted the first in a series of Eucharistic conferences, helped prepare parish priests and lay leaders for this important year by helping them establish point persons for the revival, and launched the official diocesan Eucharistic Revival website, dioceseofnashville.com/eucharistic.

The website provides information about the Eucharistic Revival’s purpose, links to the National Eucharistic Revival website, eucharisticrevival.org, as well as resources to support parish efforts.

“This year promises to be the most impactful phase of this multi-year response to the Holy Spirit,” Bishop Andrew Cozzens, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis wrote in a letter to parish leaders. “For the Eucharistic Revival to be successful, parishes must fulfill their key role in boldly proclaiming the Gospel.

“With Pope Francis, we must understand that ‘the parish is not an outdated institution; precisely because it possesses great flexibility, it can assume quite different contours depending on the openness and missionary creativity of the pastor and the community,’” he added, quoting the Holy Father’s apostolic exhortation, “Evangelii Gaudium” (“The Joy of the Gospel”).

Throughout the Year of Parish Revival, which is June 2023 through July 2024, pastors and ministry leaders are encouraged to implement the four pillars of the Eucharistic revival – reinvigorating worship, creating moments of personal encounter, engaging in robust faith formation, and sending Catholics forth as missionaries.

Father Kyabuta shows the Body of Christ.

Many parishes already have plans set aside for the year from educational opportunities to more access to Christ in adoration to special events.

Some notable upcoming events include:

• Immaculate Conception in Clarksville will host the 156-poster Blessed Carlos Acutis International Exhibition of Eucharistic Miracles, which explains every Eucharistic miracle ever documented, on display July 7-8 in the Family Life Center.

“We want to have events that help people to experience a little bit more of the Eucharist, not just at Mass, so that they can build that personal relationship with Christ,” said Deacon Juan Garza, director of faith formation and special projects at Immaculate Conception. “The Eucharist is the embodiment of Jesus’ body and blood, and we’re trying to open the eyes of the people that the Blessed Sacrament is always with us, even outside of Mass.”

• The Young Adult Ministry at St. Rose of Lima Church in Murfreesboro will host a Eucharistic Pilgrimage to the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama, on Saturday Aug. 19. The day will include the opportunity to attend Mass, confession, spiritual talks, and a healing service.

“This is my body, which is given up for you.”

The Office of Faith Formation is also sponsoring more events this year.

They include:

• The second year of the Eucharistic Conference is set for Saturday, Nov. 11, at the Catholic Pastoral Center. The three-year initiative takes a deep dive into John 6:51: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” John 6:51b, “whoever eats this bread will live forever,” will be the focus of the day. For more information, visit www.dioceseofnashville.com.

• A large part of the year at the diocesan level will be focused on preparing for the national Eucharistic pilgrimage that will come through the Diocese of Nashville June 25-30, 2024, and the faithful will be able to join the procession at several points throughout the procession. The main event will be after the 11 a.m. Mass at the Cathedral of the Incarnation on Sunday, June 30, 2024, when a three-mile Eucharistic solemn procession will take place.

• Just prior to the national Eucharistic pilgrimage, Dr. Peper said, the diocese will also reconsecrate itself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary in conjunction with the Feast of the Sacred Heart, which is June 7, 2024. It will be the 10-year mark since the last consecration made by the diocese on June 26, 2014, led by the late Bishop David Choby. 

Information about the pilgrimage and the Eucharistic Revival in the diocese will be available through the year at dioceseofnashville.com/eucharistic. More resources are available from the National Eucharistic Revival at eucharisticrevival.org.

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