| By The Most Reverend Robert D. Gruss

Eucharistic Revival Will Strengthen Families, Parishes and the Church

“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 6:51

As has been already shared, one of the priorities in 2022 and beyond for the Diocese of Saginaw is a movement of Eucharistic Revival. This national Revival is intended to be far more than a series of events. It aims to be a movement that renews the Church by enkindling a living relationship with Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. When the bishops of the United States began to plan the Eucharistic Revival, they envisioned a true revival to rediscover the source and summit of our faith through a deep commitment to prayer, pilgrimage and worship on part of the entire Church in the United States.

The mission of this three-year grassroots Revival is to renew the Church by enkindling a living relationship with the Lord through devotion and belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. The vision is to create a movement of Catholics across the United States, healed, converted, formed and unified by an encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist—and then sent out in mission “for the life of the world.”

As shepherd of the Diocese of Saginaw, I long to help others come to know and experience Jesus in a more personal and life-changing way, especially through the celebration of the Sunday Mass. The Eucharist, the Church’s greatest treasure, “is the source and summit of the Christian Life” (Lumen Gentium 11). Because it is the source and summit, the Eucharist is not a symbol or a representation of something. The Holy Eucharist is a person, Jesus Christ himself, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. The more Catholics come to realize and believe this reality, this renewed and/or deeper faith will build up the Body of Christ, the Church. This is why this Eucharistic Revival is so important for our diocese and the Church. It is designed to impact every level of the Church, from the home and parish to the national arena.

The Holy Eucharist brings us into communion with him, enabling us to live with him in the life of the Trinity, and to not only be transformed by this love, but, with him, to transform the world through our lives made holy by this union.

The five pillars of the Eucharistic Revival are:

  • Foster encounters with Jesus through kerygmatic proclamation and experiences of eucharistic devotion. [Kerygma refers to the heart of the Gospel message.]
  • Contemplate and proclaim the doctrine of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist through the truth of our teaching, beauty of our worship, and goodness of our accompaniment of persons in poverty and those who are vulnerable.
  • Empower grassroots creativity by partnering with movements, apostolates, parishes and educational institutions.
  • Reach the smallest units: parish small groups and families.
  • Embrace and learn from the various rich intercultural eucharistic traditions.

Throughout this next year there will be other events which bring an emphasis to the importance of Holy Eucharist in the life of all Catholics. Stay tuned for additional information.

This Revival also encourages parishes to increase opportunities or to begin opportunities for eucharistic adoration. Therefore, my vision is to include monthly opportunities for the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the form of Holy Hours in parishes across the Diocese, whereby I would personally attend and pray with your local parish communities. Realizing the great need for vocations, the focus for these Holy Hours would be for an increase of vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life within our Diocese, while at the same time deepening our own love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.

When this Holy Hour comes to your parish,

I can envision a great gathering of local disciples around our Lord Jesus who seeks to renew in each of us his divine love and mercy. This will lead to a beautiful conversion of our hearts and a deeper conversion of our diocese to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. What a wonderful gift the Lord desires to share with us!

In conclusion, I share with you the closing paragraphs of the recent document on the Eucharist from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: The Mystery of The Eucharist in the Life of the Church.

“Let us all ask the Lord to call us into a time of eucharistic renewal, a time of prayer and reflection, of acts of charity and sincere repentance. The Lord is with us in the Eucharistic Mystery celebrated in our parishes and missions, in our beautiful cathedrals and in our poorest chapels. He is present and he draws near to us, so that we can draw nearer to him. The Lord is generous to us with his grace; and so we, by his grace, should always humbly ask him to give us what we need. [#58]

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Risen Christ says to us, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give a gift from the spring of life-giving water (Rev 21:6). Brothers and sisters, let us thirst for the Lord who first suffered thirst for us (Jn 19:28). Let us adore Jesus who ever remains with us, on all the altars of the world, and lead others to share in our joy!” [#59]

Prayer for the Eucharistic Revival

My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You! I beg pardon for those who do not believe, nor adore, nor hope, nor love you.

Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore you profoundly. I offer you the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference by which he is offended. And, through the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of you the conversion of sinners.  - Our Lady of Fatima

The Most Rev. Robert D. Gruss is the seventh bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw.