Just What Does ‘Revival’ Mean Anyway?
Linda Oppelt

Just What Does ‘Revival’ Mean Anyway?

By Linda Oppelt

PHOTO: Students at St. Paul School view the “Eucharistic Miracles of the World” display at St. Paul Parish In October 2023. Parishes have been hosting the display as part of the Eucharistic Revival. (Photo courtesy of Dave Fitzgerald) 

COLORADO SPRINGS. What is the Eucharistic Revival, and why should we, the Catholic laity, care?

During a recent webinar sponsored by the National Eucharistic Revival for parish leaders, Dr. Mary Healy attempted to answer that question as she spoke about “what true Eucharistic Revival looks like.” Defining revival as different from both “renewal” and “reform,” she said, “revival suggests something that only God can do.” She compared it to what happens in Ezekiel 37: 1-14, where God brings dry bones to life. True revival is the bringing to life that which is dead, and it can only come from God, Healy said.

The bishops of the United States have discerned that God is calling for a Eucharistic Revival, “an effort to reinvigorate, renew, Catholics’ faith in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist,” said Healy.

She pointed to the recent Asbury Revival that occurred seemingly out of the blue in Kentucky almost one year ago — when the student-led prayer meeting continued for days on end, and more than 20,000 people came from all across the globe to experience it.

Healy called that event a prophetic sign to Catholics — that God is showing us what revival looks like. Revivals do not actually come out of the blue but are the answer to sincere and prevailing prayer. Although revival comes from God, it requires the cooperation of people to allow it to happen and grow.

Healy provided the definition of “Revival” by Bill Bright, founder of the Campus Crusade, as “a divine visitation, a sovereign work of God, in answer to sincere, prevailing prayer.”

Healy pointed out that revivals have been happening in the Catholic Church throughout its history, including the Franciscan revivals of the 13th Century.

According to Healy, within a revival, God will:

1. Grip people with sincere conviction, repentance, forgiveness and healing.

2. Fill people with the Holy Spirit that will reap fruit and graces.

3. Fill the Church and community with his presence and power.

4. Cause non-Christians to seek him.

5. Ignite people with passion to bring the lost to Christ both at home and abroad.

In the current Eucharistic Revival, “we are seeking the two greatest gifts from God: Jesus, his son, in the Eucharist, and his Holy Spirit — these are inextricably tied together,” Healy said.

Some fruits of a revival include healing — physical, emotional and spiritual. These healings are available to every person within the Mass and especially when receiving communion, which Healy compared to the woman who touches Jesus’ tassel. It was her faith that resulted in healing. Healy exhorted everyone to “raise our sights for what the Lord wants to do” with this revival.

Within the Holy Eucharist, the Mass, God is pouring out all his infinite life and power to us. But we must be intentionally seeking it, according to Healy. One goal of the Eucharistic Revival, then, is to help people understand more fully and to seek more intentionally all of the gifts that God wants to give us, in order to help bring about the Kingdom of God here on earth.

Within the Diocese of Colorado Springs, parishes have been addressing the Eucharistic Revival in various ways. (See www.diocs.org/Herald/parish-year-of-revival-takes-shape-around-diocese for details.)

In 2022, the diocese purchased the entire “Eucharistic Miracles of the World” exhibit, created by Blessed Carlo Acutis, an Italian teen who died in 2006. So far, ten parishes have hosted the exhibit, with two more currently signed up. Holy Apostles will have the display in Mary’s House the weekends of Feb. 10-11 and 17-18, as well as Ash Wednesday and possibly a few other times. In late May, Our Lady of the Pines Parish is scheduled to host the exhibit.

Recently St. Paul Parish hosted the exhibit and collected testimonials from those who spent time perusing the various eucharistic miracles. Here are just a few of those comments, categorized according to the age of the respondent:

“The thoughts that came to mind were those of wonder and awe. The sheer number of miracles was overwhelming.” (Age 41-60)

“The story that was cool was when the priest dropped the Eucharist and it fell in a river, but then the fish brought the Eucharist back to the palet. Another one was when a farmer found the host and some cows bowed to the Host.” (Age 15 and under)

“I enjoyed learning about the various miracles that have occurred throughout history. They reinforce the fact that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist and I now feel deeper in my faith because of them.” (Age 41-60)

“The display was illuminating for me personally and brought me to a closer understanding of the Eucharist I did not have previously.” (Over 60)

Several parishes have hosted a series on “Jesus and the Eucharist” from Augustine Institute, with others planning the series for Lent or springtime.

Divine Redeemer is hosting a four-day parish mission Jan. 22-25 on “The Holy Eucharist: Shadow and Fulfillment” with Father Ben Cameron, C.P.M. See page 14 for details.

Bishop Golka invites everyone in the diocese to participate in a eucharistic procession on June 2, the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, beginning at 2 p.m. at Acacia Park, and concluding with Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral at 3 p.m. The route will be similar to the Our Lady of Guadalupe processions that take place each December.

The National Eucharistic Revival began in 2022 and is taking place in three phases.

The first phase, which took place from June 2022 to June 2023, focused on the diocesan level. The second phase, which began in June 2023 and continues until June 2024, is focusing on revival within parishes. The third stage, which will take place from July 2024 and concluding on the Feast of Pentecost in 2025, is called “A Year of Going Out on Mission.”

In addition, a National Eucharistic Pilgrimage is taking place May 17-July 16, 2024, with four routes across the United States. The Serra Route travels from San Francisco, through the Rockies and plains to Indianapolis. Stops in and around Denver are planned for June 7–9.

The “Plan your own pilgrimage” webpage (www.eucharisticpilgrimage.org/plan-your-own-pilgrimage) encourages everyone to “make pilgrimage a part of your experience of revival by planning a self-led personal pilgrimage in the next couple of months.” The webpage includes a handy, one-page downloadable guide, in both English and Spanish, with an outline to create your own pilgrimage.

The National Eucharistic Pilgrimage will lead into the Tenth National Eucharistic Congress, the first National Eucharistic Congress in 83 years.

National Eucharistic Congress details:

July 17–21, 2024, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana, for all lay people, clergy, and religious.

Registration costs/type (children 12 and under are free):

Full Congress Five-Day Pass*: $360 Adults; Families: Parents: $299, Teens, ages 13–18: $250.

Group discounts: $349, 2-5 people; $325, 6-10 people; $299, 11-14 people.

Day passes are also now available as follows:

Wed., July 17: $49 for adults; $20 for teens.

Thurs., July 18, and Fri., July 19: $95/day for adults; $75/ day for teens.

Sat. July 20 and Sun. July 21: $125 for Adults; $80 for teens.

Visit www.eucharisticcongress.org/register to purchase passes.

Congress speakers will include Bishop Robert Barron, Father Mike Schmitz, Father Josh Johnson, Chris Stefanick, Dr. Mary Healy, and many more.

*Now through January 31, you can get 10% off your pass with code EMMANUEL at checkout.

(Linda Oppelt is administrative assistant for The Colorado Catholic Herald.)

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