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To: Priests, deacons, religious, principals, parish staff, and chancery staff
From: The Most Reverend Gregory John Hartmayer, OFM Conv.
Blessed Easter to all. Be assured of my prayers for a joyful Easter season. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed. Alleluia!
Sunday, June 6, is the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Corpus Christi). As you know, for the past 25 years, we have observed this solemnity in a special way with our Eucharistic Congress, which was cancelled last year and this year due to COVID-19. Our Eucharistic Congress emerged originally from a call for a Eucharistic Renewal in this Archdiocese.
The bishops of the United States are currently considering the next few years as a moment for the Church in the United States to enter an intentional period of Eucharistic renewal, and plans are underway. We know that ongoing conversion is inseparable from a deeper reliance upon our Eucharistic Lord, especially participation in Holy Mass and devotion to our Lord Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, Who helps us see His Face in all whom we encounter.
In this light, I have asked all pastors to commit to observing Corpus Christi in a special way this year, and I ask all in the archdiocese to pray for and support these efforts. It has been difficult for parishes this year to offer the usual opportunities for Eucharistic adoration, and even as COVID restrictions lessen, some parishes may still find some difficulties. However, within acceptable parameters, I ask that all our parishes observe the weekend of June 5-6 (or surrounding days) by offering, where possible:
- An extended period of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
- An outdoor procession of the Blessed Sacrament (see Roman Missal)
Resources will be shared soon to assist parishes as well as schools, families, and other communities. How each parish participates and adapts to circumstances is up to the discretion of the pastor. Pastors are invited to share their plans through a survey link available to them in the Communiqué.
As a way to prepare prayerfully for Corpus Christi and for this journey of continued Eucharistic renewal in this Archdiocese, the Chancery will be holding a livestreamed “Novena of Thursday Holy Hours” starting this Easter Thursday (April 8) at 11 a.m. (preceding each noon Mass on Thursdays until Corpus Christi). I invite parishes and others to promote as well as to participate in your own way. Please see the attached list of prayer intentions suggested for each holy hour in English and Spanish.
I pray that a deeper reliance on our Eucharistic Lord during these days and the coming months will help prepare us for a renewed missionary outreach to all those in need of the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Thank you all, and know of my gratitude for your service to the Gospel.