The below article is on the front page of The Commercial Appeal Oct. 12, about our Diocesan Year National Eucharistic Revival Adoration events that are taking place across our Diocese. The Adoration event the Appeal covered was at The Cathedral this past Saturday. All Glory to God! #eucharisticrevival
Memphis Catholics Join Nationwide Call to Revive Relationship, View of Holy Eucharist
Katherine Burgess
Memphis Commercial Appeal
MEMPHIS – For much of the morning, The Cathedral was silent, with just the sounds of people stirring in pews, children murmuring or the occasional cough.
Some bowed their heads, eyes closed as they knelt. Others at The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception fixed their gaze on the consecrated Eucharistic host, contained in a golden monstrance.
Then, the group sang about “the bread of life … flesh for the life of the world.”
Saturday, members of the Catholic Diocese of Memphis gathered in The Cathedral for a two-hour Eucharistic Revival Adoration service.
It was the third such event held in the Diocese, and three more will follow later this month and in November, aiming to “reinforce the importance of the Real Presence of the Lord in the Holy Eucharist.”
The events in Memphis come after the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in June called for a nationwide, three-year Eucharistic Revival. The Revival comes at a time when many Catholics don’t believe church teaching about the Eucharist, the shared meal of consecrated bread and wine that the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches has become the actual body, blood and soul of Jesus.
The Eucharist, taught Father Robert Szczechura, Pastor of The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, said Saturday, is central to “rediscover(ing) our relationship with Jesus Christ here and now.”
“God wanted all generations to experience a present reality, to experience Jesus Christ, to experience relationship with him who is alive here and now, not only 2,000 years ago,” Szczechura said. Through the Sacrament, “we can experience His Presence even now, not as a memorial of the past, but as present reality, as a relationship with us, people of the 21st century.”
• Revival held as Catholic views in transubstantiation differ
In 2019, a Pew Research Center survey found that most self-described Catholics don’t believe the Catholic Church’s teaching about the Eucharist, with 69% of Catholics saying they personally believe the Communion elements are “symbols of the body and blood of Jesus Christ.”
Just one-third, or 31%, of U.S. Catholics said they believe the church teaching of transubstantiation, that during Catholic Mass, the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Jesus.”
Among the most observant Catholics, those who attend Mass at least once a week, 63% believe the doctrine of transubstantiation while 37% do not, according to the survey.
And many Catholics do not know the church’s teaching at all (about 44%), Pew also found.
During the Eucharistic Revival Saturday, The Most Rev. David Talley, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Memphis, said many Christians who are not Catholic have never been taught about “this great gift.”
“We are recovering this relationship through this great Eucharistic Revival,” Talley said. “So many of our people have lost their relationship with God’s love.”
Talley said he would leave those in attendance with five words: “Become what you have received.”
“It is the will of God and through the power of his son Jesus … that we become what we receive,” Talley said. “We receive the living bread as nourishment. We become a living Christ and we are called by Christ to be the nourishment for others, to be the healing for others, to be life for others.”
• United States-wide revival to last for three years
This year, the first of the three in the Nationwide Eucharistic Revival, Diocesan staff, Bishops and Priests in the United States are called to hold Eucharistic Congresses and events, “uniting us once again around the source and summit of our faith—the Holy Eucharist.”
Memphis Catholics were invited to sit in silence or to go to confession, offered in English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Polish. They heard homilies from Fr. Szczechura and Bishop Talley and sang, in English, Spanish and Latin.
The three years will culminate in the Universal Church’s jubilee year in 2025.
Having a relationship with Christ is a little like falling in love, Talley said. First there’s the infatuation, then a “deep change” where a person wants to live for another.
“Relationship is all about that connection between the bread, giving myself to you, and the gift of His Spirit that allows us to have life in faith,” Talley said.
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