Boston, Mass., Jul 21, 2023 / 12:52 pm (CNA).
The U.S. bishops’ National Eucharistic Revival has just announced 17 speakers to be featured at the National Eucharistic Congress at an NFL stadium next July.
The National Eucharistic Revival is the U.S. bishops’ three-year initiative to inspire belief in and reverence for the Eucharist. The decision to embark on the initiative followed a 2019 Pew Research study that suggested only about one-third of U.S. Catholics believe the Church’s teaching that the Eucharist is truly the body and blood of Jesus Christ.
As part of the revival, a National Eucharistic Congress will be held July 17–21, 2024, and is expected to draw 80,000 Catholics to Lucas Oil Stadium, home to the Indianapolis Colts.
“The whole Congress will be an experience of prayer: a liturgical act offering the Catholic Church — those in attendance in Indianapolis as well as across the country — to the Father, through the Son, and in the Holy Spirit,” the congress’ website says.
The congress will have three masters of ceremonies, including Montse Alvarado, president and chief operating officer of CNA’s parent company, EWTN News, Inc.; Sister Miriam James Heidland, host of the “Abiding Together” podcast; and Father Josh Johnson, host of the podcast “Ask Father Josh.”
The just-announced list of speakers includes Winona-Rochester Bishop Robert Barron; the Holy See’s current apostolic nuncio to the United States, Cardinal-elect Christophe Pierre; Crookston Bishop Andrew Cozzens, who heads the Eucharistic Revival; and the Archdiocese of New York’s Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Espaillat.
The speakers include the popular face of Ascension Presents and host of the hit “Bible in a Year” podcast, Father Mike Schmitz; host of EWTN programs “Icons” and “Clic con Corazon Puro,” Father Agustino Torres, CFR; and author and professor Father John Burns of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.
A number of women religious will be speaking as well, including an author and host of the “Hope Stories” podcast, Sister Josephine Garrett; Sister Bethany Madonna of the Sisters of Life, an order dedicated to pro-life ministry and eucharistic prayer; and Mother Adela Galindo, foundress of the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
Additionally, several leaders among the lay faithful will be speaking, including Chris Stefanick, founder of Real Life Catholic; Catholic author and commentator Gloria Purvis; speaker, author, and podcast host Katy Prejean McGrady; author and retreat leader Julianne Stanz; speaker and evangelist Damon Owens; Scripture professor Mary Healy; and evangelist Mari Pablo.
In June, Pope Francis met with members of the U.S. bishops’ committee for the National Eucharistic Congress and said that the congress “marks a significant moment in the life of the Church in the United States.”
The Holy Father praised the committee’s “efforts to contribute to a revival of faith in, and love for, the holy Eucharist,” which he called the “source and summit of the Christian life.”
He also blessed a monstrance, a vessel used to display the eucharistic host, that will be used at the congress.