Eucharistic Congress Program and Bishop Talley Letter
Thank you for the excellent feedback from our recent Eucharistic Congress. In some of the initial feedback, many of you have asked about more photos, recordings and other information from the Holy Event. The photos and recordings will be available soon on our ECWebpage and CDOMFacebook. For now, please click the links below to view the keepsake Eucharistic Congress Program booklet that was shared at event. If interested in hard copies, please stop by the Catholic Center for the booklet. Also, please take time to read through the Bishop’s opening letter that was at the front of the booklet. It’s a beautiful and informative read. ¡Adelante! Going forward together, on mission…that all may be one (John 17:21)!
Eucharistic Congress Program Booklet
Bishop Talley’s Opening Letter
October 8-9, 2021
My Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
I give thanks to God daily for all of you! As we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of our Catholic Diocese of Memphis, I am grateful for the steadfast support and continued prayers you offer on behalf of the Church, locally and universally. You have embraced the unity that we signify whenever we join together at Mass and receive Christ in Holy Communion. Be assured that you are in my prayers daily and, especially during these challenging times, I regularly bring your intentions before the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.
As part of our Golden Jubilee celebration, I am delighted to welcome you to the first-ever Eucharistic Congress within in our Memphis Diocese. A Eucharistic Congress is a gathering of clergy, religious and community members to celebrate and glorify God in the Holy Eucharist and to share the graces our Lord offers in this great Mystery. Eucharistic Congresses are held in Dioceses throughout the world. In fact, the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress was recently held in Budapest, Hungary, which included a closing Mass with Pope Francis, marking the first Congress to be visited by a Pontiff in 21 years.
The theme of our Eucharistic Congress is That All May Be One (John 17:21). In his letter to the Church in Ephesus, St. Paul writes, There is one Body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one Hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all (Ephesus 4:4-6). I encourage everyone here, in the land between the rivers, with the same words. I call on us to remember that we are all members of the one Body in Christ through our Baptism and that we are blessed to be able to receive His Body and Blood whenever we receive Holy Communion.
This belief in the Real Presence of Christ under the auspices of bread and wine is a core tenet of our faith–this is not a symbol, it is God himself present with us and, ultimately, present in us. This is why the Church describes the Eucharist as the source and summit of our Christian faith. Let us rejoice in that gift, and give thanks! Remember, the word Eucharist is itself rooted in the Greek word meaning ‘thanksgiving.’
So what will transpire at our Eucharistic Congress? There will be faith-filled speakers and presentations as well as inspiring music. But, there are other things to nourish mind and body as well. One of the most powerful experiences of prayer is that of Adoration, sitting before the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and having a deep conversation with Him from the depths of your being. The opportunity to participate in Adoration will be a another fundamental part of the Congress.
There also will be the chance to confess your sins and make your relationship with God whole–this is the beauty of the Sacrament of Penance. There will be Priests available to hear your confession and absolve you of your sins through the power Christ gave his Church. And, at the heart of this inspiring and holy weekend in Memphis is the celebration of beautiful Masses, which will be offered at the opening and close of our Eucharistic Congress. This is a true joining of all of us as a family of faith as we stand together to receive the Body and Blood of our Lord in Holy Communion. There can be no greater sign of unity among those who profess the Catholic faith.
The closing Mass will involve thousands of us with a joyful Solemn Eucharistic Procession. We will all walk from the Convention Center to the always magnificent St. Peter Catholic Church where we will end the Procession with Benediction on the steps of the oldest Catholic Church in Memphis. This missionary “sending forth” of the graces of the Holy Sacrament of the Altar will be a living witness of love, unity, hope and forgiveness for our community. Additionally, a plenary indulgence will be offered to those who attend our first-ever Congress, go to Confession, receive Holy Communion and offer prayers for the Holy Father within a week of our Eucharistic Congress. All of it, will truly be something to see and experience.
I look forward to being here with you, our Clergy, Religious and the whole Church across West Tennessee, as we gather to deepen our faith in Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist. I will continue my unceasing prayers for all of you. I am yours
In the light and love of the Lord,
+David P. Talley, Sixth Bishop of Memphis