FALL RIVER — Plans are being finalized for the Saturday, June 18th Mass and Procession that will launch the nationwide Eucharistic Revival project in the Diocese of Fall River. At 4 p.m. that afternoon, Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., will celebrate Mass for the Vigil of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ in the auditorium of Bishop Connolly High School in Fall River. The Mass will be followed by an outdoor Eucharistic Procession on the school grounds and then Adoration.
Bishop da Cunha has extended an invitation to all members of the Diocese to attend. Bishop Connolly High School is located at 373 Elsbree Street in Fall River.
Similar celebrations will take place in dioceses across the country on that weekend as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops opens a three-year grassroots initiative designed to inspire and to revive devotion and belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.
Bishop da Cunha said recently that he is looking forward to gathering with the faithful to inaugurate this National Eucharistic Revival in the diocese.
“It’s an important opportunity for us to re-kindle our love for the Eucharist, to recognize the presence of Jesus in the gift of the Eucharist, and to reconnect with Him, with the Church, and with our faith,” he said.
The bishop recalled, from the Gospel of St. John, the prayer of Jesus to his Father before his betrayal and crucifixion.
“I pray not only for them, but also for those who believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me” (Jn 17:20-21).
Bishop da Cunha explained that Jesus’ prayer is “that we may come to believe in him through the teaching and witness of the Apostles. We need not only to believe that he came, became one of us, died on the cross and rose to life again, but also to believe that He is present in the Eucharist.
“The Eucharist is the Sacrament of Unity. For peace, for unity among all God’s people, we must witness our faith in Jesus Present in the Eucharist. Through this witness, the world may also come to believe.”
Diocesan Secretary for the New Evangelization David Carvalho is leading a committee of clergy and lay members in planning Eucharistic Revival in the Diocese of Fall River. Carvalho said that, as a sign of the unity of the diocese, parishes have been encouraged to send a delegation to the June 18th inaugural Mass and Procession and that a number of apostolates in the diocese will also have representatives participating.
The Eucharistic Revival is envisioned as a movement, not a program, and aims to lead all Catholics to a renewed encounter with Jesus in the Eucharistic — the source and summit of the Catholic faith — and to be inspired to share that gift with others. It will include over the next few years diocesan, parish and individual phases and will culminate in a National Eucharistic Congress in 2024.
The decision of the bishops to launch the revival comes in response to urgencies of the times. “In the midst of these challenging times,” the bishops say on the Revival website, “we must increase our ability to provide to those inside the Church and to the world a credible witness of the difference Jesus Christ makes in the life of every individual. As the people of God, we must be reminded that the Eucharist truly is the living God, Jesus, with us, ‘always, until the end of the age.’” (Mt 28:20).