Bishop Tylka shares diocese’s early plans for the National Eucharistic Revival
Starting with eucharistic processions this weekend for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, also known as Corpus Christi, Catholics across the Diocese of Peoria and the United States are being invited to deepen their relationship with Jesus as part of the National Eucharistic Revival.
The U.S. bishops approved plans for the three-year revival in November. In addition to activities on the diocesan and regional level, it calls for a National Eucharistic Congress to be held in Indianapolis in July 2024.
“The eucharistic revival is obviously about the real presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, but it’s also about how that happens, which is the Mass,” said Bishop Louis Tylka. “So we want to develop some ways to deepen peoples’ appreciation of the Mass. You don’t get to adoration without celebrating Mass first.”
He said a diocesan steering committee, led by Phillip Lee as the director of the Office of Divine Worship, has been having conversations about parishes, schools and religious education programs offering teaching Masses for children and adults.
“When we speak of formation or catechesis, so often we’re talking about that for young people, which is very important. But if we call ourselves disciples of Jesus, it’s lifelong formation,” Bishop Tylka explained.
He said they are also asking parishes to appoint two leaders who will come together for a day of renewal in the fall. Bishop Tylka anticipates that participants will be given ideas, direction and encouragement to promote the eucharistic revival in their parishes and perhaps create their own local committee.
More than 2,000 students from all of the Catholic high schools in the diocese, including St. Bede Academy and Chesterton Academy, have been asked to set aside April 20, 2023, for a eucharistic congress at the Peoria Civic Center. The steering committee is also beginning to look at a similar day for the people of the diocese.
A special way that the National Eucharistic Revival will touch the people of central Illinois is through Holy Hours that will be held on Mondays and Thursdays. Bishop Tylka has commissioned a traveling monstrance that will crisscross the Diocese of Peoria for these evenings of prayer.
“It’s my hope, as my schedule permits, to make one of those Holy Hours each month and to make sure it varies,” the bishop said. “The life of our church is across all 26 counties and the eucharistic revival has to happen across all 26 counties.”
The monstrance is being made in Spain and tailored so it is representative of the Diocese of Peoria. For example, four gemstones are being replaced with enamel symbols of the diocesan crest, the Sacred Heart, the pierced heart of Mary and the lamb of sacrifice, all of which can be found in St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria.
Pastors will be asked to find families who can serve as custodians of the monstrance while it is in the area and take it to the next family.
Bishop Tylka said there is already a ritual in place for Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction, but the Office of Divine Worship will provide more details to make it easier on pastors and the parishioners who are going to plan and be present for it.
JESUS TRULY PRESENT
He knows how important that encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist is and wants to help people have the same experience.
“To know how much God loves us in gathering for the Mass, gathering for the Eucharist, to know that we are loved, that we are forgiven, that we are nourished is so important to the life of the church and to me as an individual.” — Bishop Tylka
“I have said many times in my years as a priest the most important thing we do as Catholics is to participate in the Mass, to go to Mass every Sunday. I still will say that because I believe it,” Bishop Tylka told The Post.
“And I believe that when we are gathered around the Lord’s table with the word and the sacrament that Jesus is truly present to us in a way that we don’t encounter outside that experience. But we carry that experience with us,” he said.
“To know how much God loves us in gathering for the Mass, gathering for the Eucharist, to know that we are loved, that we are forgiven, that we are nourished is so important to the life of the church and to me as an individual.”