- Download PDF Version available for use with email and print distribution.
From: The Most Reverend Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv.
Peace and all good!
As we approach the holiest days of the year, I want to draw your attention to an important initiative and request that will benefit from your prayer and discernment. Thank you in advance for your prayerful consideration and response.
Our archdiocese will join the Church in the United States in a three-year, grassroots revival of devotion and living faith in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Taking its theme from the Bread of Life discourse in John’s Gospel, “My flesh for the life of the world/Mi carne para la vida del mundo,” the National Eucharistic Revival is a call to every Catholic across the United States to rekindle the fire of love for the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus. It is an invitation for every Catholic family, parish, school, movement, apostolate and so forth, to renew and foster a Eucharistic culture. It is a movement of Catholics healed, converted, formed and unified by an encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist—and sent out in mission.
The launch of the national revival will be on the upcoming Solemnity of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi), with Eucharistic congresses and/or processions across the country, initiating a year of preparation and formation at diocesan levels (the Diocesan Year, June 2022 – June 2023). Parishes in every diocese will take the lead in 2023, with local processions, formation and devotions available to all the faithful (the Parish Year, June 2023 – July 2024). In July of 2024, there will be the first National Eucharistic Congress in the United States (Indianapolis) in almost fifty years. This will begin a missionary year going to Pentecost of 2025 and beyond.
Our Eucharistic Congress on June 17-18 is launching the revival here in the Archdiocese of Atlanta. In addition to the work of organizing the congress, a task force including members of the clergy and chancery staff has been helping me identify needs and brainstorm ideas for the Eucharistic Revival. At the outset, I wish to commission, during the closing Mass of the Eucharistic Congress, two representatives from each parish as eucharistic missionaries. The Office of Evangelization & Discipleship (OED) will be able to provide formation and accompaniment to the missionaries over the coming year, to equip them and have them ready to assist you in the parish year of the Eucharistic Revival and beyond. Monica Oppermann, OED lead for Evangelization Strategies, will be coordinating the formation and accompaniment.
At this point, I would like to request two things from you: the first is to accompany me at the Eucharistic Congress. I want to see all my priests there celebrating together our 25th Congress and the launching of this initiative. I also would like to ask you, brother pastors, to nominate two representatives of your parish to be commissioned as eucharistic missionaries. These nominees should ideally already be disciples at the service of the parish, be able to commit for a minimum of two years, have leadership qualities and, if possible, be able to communicate with all your parish members and cultural families represented. Andy Lichtenwalner, OED director (firstname.lastname@example.org), will contact you in the Easter season to gather the names of your candidates in order to initiate contact with them and coordinate their commissioning on June 18 during the closing vigil Mass at the Eucharistic Congress. If you already know of two candidates to nominate, you may submit names and contact information here.
There are many hopes for this Eucharistic Revival. These include a renewed encounter with the Lord Jesus in the Eucharist and an experience of the good news of the Gospel (kerygma), renewed eucharistic devotion and adoration throughout the archdiocese, and a revival of faithful celebration (the ars celebrandi) and participation in the liturgy. We also hope that families and friends will gather in small groups to learn and pray together, strengthening parishes and domestic Churches. Filled with the flame of charity from the reception of Jesus in the Eucharist, we anticipate missionary disciples going to the margins, recognizing the mystery of Jesus’ presence in the poor. With God’s help, our hope is to begin to reverse the trend shown in the 2019 Pew study about lack of belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, to foster the return of Catholics to Mass after the pandemic and to chart a renewed path of missionary discipleship.
I look forward to speaking to you in person about these plans and hopes and to hearing your feedback and ideas about the revival. Thank you for your prayerful consideration of my request. Please continue to pray for the Synod process and for the coming Eucharistic Revival. Know of my prayers and appreciation for all of you.