Diocesan plans for eucharistic revival foster unity, encounters with Christ

Bishop Louis Tylka elevates the Blessed Sacrament and the chalice he bought during a recent trip to Rome at a Mass with the priests of the Diocese of Peoria at St. Mary's Cathedral in Peoria on Oct. 19. The chalice, along with a paten and ciborium, will be used by all the priests over the next two years as part of the diocesan observance of the National Eucharistic Revival. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

The National Eucharistic Revival will occupy the hearts and minds of Catholics around the United States for the next three years, but leaders in the Diocese of Peoria hope that what is beginning will continue for years to come, according to Phillip Lee, director of the diocesan Office of Divine Worship.

Bishop Louis Tylka holds the chalice, paten and ciborium he bought in Rome and consecrated at a Mass with the priests of the Diocese of Peoria on Oct. 19. He said he hopes that by using these special vessels in the parishes will “united us in the sacrament of renewal.” (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

Activities in support of the revival begin in earnest with an encounter for parish representatives on Saturday, Oct. 29, and the inaugural Holy Hour with a traveling monstrance commissioned by Bishop Louis Tylka on Monday, Nov. 7, at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria. The bishop also purchased a chalice, paten and ciborium in Rome that were blessed and used for the first time at a Mass with the priests of the diocese during their annual Assembly Days Oct. 18-19.

Both the monstrance and the chalice will visit each church in the Diocese of Peoria over the next three years.

In addition, a high school eucharistic congress is planned for April 20, 2023, at the Peoria Civic Center. “We expect the high schools to be empty on that day so the students and teachers will be able to come to this conference,” Lee said.

There will be adoration with time for confessions, and Mass.

Keynote speakers include Father Connor Danstrom, chaplain and director of the St. John Paul II Newman Center at the University of Illinois Chicago and one of 58 National Eucharistic Preachers, and Sister Stephanie Baliga, a member of the Franciscans of the Eucharist of Chicago. Luke Spehar, who has performed at the local Abide in Me eucharistic retreats, will offer reflections and music at the April conference.

ROUTE FOR MONSTRANCE

The traveling monstrance, made in Spain and now on its way to central Illinois, is meant to unify the Diocese of Peoria in prayer through a series of Holy Hours. They will be held on Mondays and Thursdays, starting at 6:30 p.m. and ending no later than 8 p.m.

An opening prayer in English and Spanish has been written specifically for the Holy Hours. The format also includes exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, an opening song (“O Salutaris”), an optional Scripture reading and homily or reflection, silent prayer, Benediction, the Divine Praises, reposition of the Blessed Sacrament, and a closing song.

“Bishop Lou wants it to get to all the churches — he is not counting clusters as one church,” Lee said.

After St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria on Nov. 7, the monstrance will travel to Sacred Heart in Peoria on Nov. 10; Holy Family in Peoria on Nov. 14; St. Joseph in Pekin on Nov. 17; St. Mary in Canton on Nov. 21; and St. Paul in Macomb on Nov. 28. No Holy Hour with the monstrance is planned for Nov. 24, which is Thanksgiving.

“We are a eucharistic people. So the revival invites us to pause and take some time in this particular moment to think about how important it is to have that relationship with the Lord, that the Lord gave us the gift of himself — his body, his blood in the Eucharist.” — Bishop Louis Tylka

A parish family or individual will be responsible for taking the monstrance to the next church.

“We really see all of this as an opportunity to bring people together and to engage not only their own parishes but neighboring parishes, to do events together, and to continue that throughout these next few years,” Lee said.

“We are a eucharistic people. So the revival invites us to pause and take some time in this particular moment to think about how important it is to have that relationship with the Lord, that the Lord gave us the gift of himself — his body, his blood in the Eucharist,” Bishop Tylka told The Catholic Post after the Emmaus Procession through the Quad Cities on Oct. 8.

He also noted that the eucharistic revival will provide many opportunities for people to recognize the ways we are called together to pray, to celebrate Mass, and to deepen our awareness that the Lord is with us.

“We’re not going to click this off in a couple months and say, ‘We’re done.’ This is about who we are as a people,” he said.

EDITOR’S NOTE: For more on diocesan plans for the National Eucharistic Revival, visit cdop.org/eucharisticrevival. In addition, The Catholic Post will list the locations for the traveling monstrance each month.

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