May 13, 2022

Plan is expanded for opening of eucharistic revival; new date is June 19

Archbishop Charles C. Thompson elevates a chalice during the archdiocesan chrism Mass on April 12 at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis. The chalice belonged to the Servant of God Bishop Simon Bruté, the founding bishop of the Diocese of Vincennes, Ind., which later became the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. (File photo by Sean Gallagher)

Archbishop Charles C. Thompson elevates a chalice during the archdiocesan chrism Mass on April 12 at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis. The chalice belonged to the Servant of God Bishop Simon Bruté, the founding bishop of the Diocese of Vincennes, Ind., which later became the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. (File photo by Sean Gallagher)

By John Shaughnessy

Imagine a joyful procession that celebrates the Eucharist, weaving through the streets of downtown Indianapolis—a procession filled with youths, young adults, children who have recently made their first holy Communion, people who were received into the full communion of the Church this Easter, and everyone else who believes that Christ continues to offer his body and blood to the faithful in each Mass.

That’s the vision that archdiocesan leaders have for a celebration on June 19, Father’s Day—a celebration that will include two Masses, a eucharistic procession and a “Festival of Faith, Family and Service.”

(Related: Details of the opening of the eucharistic revival in the archdiocese)

The celebration will connect with ones in dioceses across the United States, coming on a weekend that marks the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, traditionally known as Corpus Christi.

It’s all part of a concerted effort by the bishops in the United States to call for “a three-year, grassroots revival of devotion and belief in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.”

The revival is a concrete extension of the bishops’ belief “that God wants to see a movement of Catholics across the United States, healed, converted, formed and unified by an encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist—and sent out in mission ‘for the life of the world.’ ”

The culmination of this three-year revival will take place in July of 2024 when the first National Eucharistic Congress in nearly 50 years is held in Indianapolis.

The archdiocese will start its three-year path to that once-in-a-lifetime gathering with its celebration of the Eucharist on June 19.

The celebration will include two Masses at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis, with one starting at 1 p.m. and the second beginning at 3 p.m. Archbishop Charles C. Thompson will be the principal celebrant at both Masses.

Following the 3 p.m. Mass, there will be a eucharistic procession through the streets of downtown Indianapolis, leading to St. John the Evangelist Church where a holy hour and Benediction will take place.

From 1-4 p.m. on that same day, there will also be a “Festival of Faith, Family and Service” on the grounds of the Archbishop Edward T. O’Meara Catholic Center at 14th and Meridian streets.

During the festival, there will be a Father’s Day lunch, starting at 1 p.m., that will be available for people who attend either Mass. There will also be a service project to help people in need, showing the connection of the Eucharist and the Church’s mission to serve God and others.

“The real crown jewel of this whole experience is really going to be the procession,” said Father Patrick Beidelman, executive director of the archdiocesan secretariat for Worship and Evangelization. “That’s the thing in which most people physically will be able to participate.”

He also noted that while the two Masses on Corpus Christi allow more people to be accommodated inside the Cathedral, they “also give us the opportunity to celebrate with some of the various cultures and language groups in the archdiocese.”

Archdiocesan leaders also envision the lunch of the “Festival of Faith, Family and Service” as a way to feed the people who attend either Mass.

“For those who go to the 3 p.m. Mass, they will be invited to come to the festival before Mass,” Father Beidelman said. “And since it’s Father’s Day, bring your dad, and we will have lunch provided. And there will be the opportunity for individuals and families to be hands-on with the service project.

“And those who come to the 1 p.m. Mass will be invited to do the same thing. They’ll come and have a bite to eat, participate in the service project, and then either line the route of the procession or join the procession.”

For the procession, Father Beidelman said that “a special invitation will be given to all young people making their first Communion this year to walk with the archbishop.” This group will also be encouraged to wear their first Communion attire and will need to be accompanied by a parent, teacher or catechist.

A special invitation to join the archbishop will also be extended to people received into the Church at Easter this year.

Father Beidelman also noted that the intercultural diversity of the archdiocese will be “powerfully represented” in the Masses and during the eucharistic procession. And the youths and young adults of the archdiocese will also be called upon to make their presence known.

“We also hope to bring in people who have a particular heart for service, such as the St. Vincent de Paul Society,” he said. “And we hope to call upon members of the Central Indiana Cursillo community and other people who can not only witness to the joy and the power of faith in their lives but also assist with hospitality, especially around the times of the Masses and the beginning of the procession.”

Father Beidelman also emphasized that “a significant amount of attention is being given to safety and security for all who will participate in the procession.”

These plans for the opening of the eucharistic revival have changed since an earlier announcement of the event, starting with moving it from Saturday, June 18, to Sunday, June 19. The new plan also is an expansion of the previous one.

The expanded approach to the June 19 event is a reflection of the reaction that archdiocesan leaders received to the original plan.

“The plan has been expanded because not only have our pastors hoped for more ways in which our people can participate, but we also get a sense this is a unique moment, and we’re sensing some energy from the people as well,” Father Beidelman said.

While the plan has grown, the hope for the June 19 event remains constant, archdiocesan leaders said.

“The Eucharist gives us life,” said Christopher Walsh, chancellor for the archdiocese. “I know the archbishop is focused on how the Eucharist impels us to take that life to others, particularly to the marginalized and the poor.”

Father Beidelman noted, “I hope that this will be a new springtime of faith, a time in which people who are away from the Church feel a call to come back and [feel] welcomed. For those who are regular in their practice, I hope it will be a deepening of their experience of Christ and will be given an expression in the form of service, care for one another and strengthening our local communities.” †

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