| Teresa Peterson

Local Catholics Prepare to Attend the National Eucharistic Congress, Along with 40,000 Others

This Eucharistic Congress is an invitation to experience profound personal revival so participants can be equipped to share Christ’s love with a world that so desperately needs it.

In addition to planning and packing, local pilgrims are praying as they prepare for this year’s much anticipated National Eucharistic Congress (NEC) that begins on Wednesday, July 17th in Indianapolis.

Bishop Gregory Parkes, 19 Pastoral Center staff members, and more than 100 local parish and school representatives, including ministry leaders, teachers, seminarians, priests, deacons, young adults, and families, will be participating in this five-day event.

The Congress is expected to draw more than 40,000 people for empowerment and impact sessions, liturgies, concerts, faith-filled experiences, and a Eucharistic Procession through downtown Indianapolis.

“I'm grateful for the opportunity to go to the National Eucharistic Congress. I have a deep love for the Eucharist, and I feel like there's something so powerful happening in our country right now,” said Gabriella Menkhaus, Executive Assistant to the Chancellor for Administration of the Diocese of St. Petersburg. “The NEC will be an awesome opportunity to encounter the Lord as the Body of Christ. It's easy to have our own relationship with Christ, but this is an opportunity to be one.”

Dr. Armando Chavarria, Executive Director of Missionary Discipleship, is leading a Diocesan pilgrimage of 90 participants.

“Bishop Gregory Parkes has been gracious enough to send several people from the pastoral center to the Congress, and we want to maximize our spiritual encounter with Jesus, with each other, and within our community. We hope that together as a community, we can go on this journey in a spiritual and fruitful way,” said Dr. Chavarria.

Pastoral Center Staff met on July 1

Over the past few weeks, Pastoral Center staff have been meeting to reflect on the biblical worldview of creation, and how that connects to God’s ultimate gift to His people, the Eucharist, the Lord Himself.

Pastoral Center staff prayed during a Holy Hour at the chapel of the Pastoral Center

On July 8th, staff members prayed during a Holy Hour in the chapel of the Pastoral Center. This included a reflection by Deacon Jim Grevenites, praise music by Renee Lemire, quiet time in prayer with Jesus, and a special blessing with the Blessed Sacrament, known as Benediction. During this blessing, Deacon Jim elevated the monstrance and made the Sign of the Cross while facing people who were on their knees adoring the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.

Deacon Jim

The purpose of the Congress is to pray for a renewal in the Church so that all Catholics can be united, healed, and formed in faith by an encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist, and then sent on mission.

For more information on the National Eucharistic Congress, visit www.eucharisticcongress.org. This Congress is the culmination of a three-year initiative developed by the U.S. bishops, known as the National Eucharistic Revival. To learn more about the Revival, visit, www.dosp.org/revival.

The Diocesan pilgrimage to the National Eucharistic Congress is made possible in part through gifts to the Catholic Ministry Appeal.