Ongoing Eucharistic Revival at Holy Family Home
Sound the alarm! Pew Polls show 69% of Catholics in our country do not believe in Jesus’ Real Presence in the Eucharist! The National Eucharistic Revival to the rescue! This passionate movement to restore understanding and devotion to this great mystery in the United States, launched on the Feast of Corpus Christi, June, 2022 and extended to June, 2023, as the “Year of Diocesan Revival,” laying the foundations at the parish level. Here at Holy Family Home, we began last year by encouraging all our engaged Catholics to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist. We gently reminded Residents of Daily Mass, Bi-weekly Holy Hours and First-Friday Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. With them, we Little Sisters took a “Biblical Walk through the Mass,” guided by Dr. Edward Sri’s 5-part video series. All agreed that, even though the teaching was familiar, we needed to intensify our love for Jesus in the Eucharist — “This should be but the beginning of a real revival!” all chimed in.
June 2023 through June 2024 is the “Year of Parish Revival.” Here at Holy Family Home, we prayed for our Parish as we engaged in our own grassroots efforts to reinvigorate worship in our little, temporary chapel. Our building project couldn’t stop us! In fact, the former kitchen storeroom was amazingly transformed by painting, renewed heating & cooling systems, carpeting, the installation of altar and ambo, and the erection of the Stations of the Cross. Though crowded, we came to appreciate our new worship space.
During this “Year of Parish Revival,” we were able to open temporary doors to a few neighbors from St Francis DeSales Parish who wanted to join us for Mass every Saturday. As for bringing to our Home the “Invite One Back Campaign” proposed by the U.S. Bishops, we spoke with a couple of our Catholic Residents who never came to Sunday Mass. What a joy to have them both respond and become, once again, “good practicing Catholics” with a little “shepherding!”
Finally, for this second year of the Eucharistic Revival, we decided to invite the Residents to view, each week, a segment of free resources provided on the USSCB Eucharistic Revival Website and to share in a short discussion. Following the first get-together, Resident Mary Lou reflected on how, being a convert to Catholicism, she has grown, over the years, in her devotion to the Eucharist, especially since living at Holy Family Home. Mary Lou savors her daily visits with Jesus present in the tabernacle of the Oratory created on the Apartment Floor for adoration during the renovation of our former Chapel. Resident Dorothy said, “I was well indoctrinated into Eucharistic piety as a child, but now I need this help getting my grans to receive and love Holy Communion like we were taught.” After the sharing, one Resident mentioned privately that he thought the first presentation was a bit too elemental for our committed Catholic Residents. He said he would like to learn more from the Fathers of the Church. The two Little Sisters who participated liked going back to basics because each time we review the rudiments of our faith; we’re in a different place and can discover new depths of meaning.
During the third year of the Revival, June 2024–June 2024, our nation will process with our Eucharistic Lord from the north, south, east, and west edges of our country in the first-ever National Eucharistic Pilgrimage. Just as crowds followed Christ throughout his earthly ministry, we will have the opportunity for encounter and healing as Jesus comes to meet us on his way to the National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis. Pilgrims traveling in the “Eucharistic caravans” on all four routes will begin their journeys with Pentecost weekend celebrations, leaving on May 19, 2024. They will all converge on Indianapolis on July 16, 2024, the day before the five-day Congress opens. As the pilgrimage passes downtown Philly, Residents and Little Sisters will join in prayer and evangelization. These pivotal moments of the Eucharistic Revival will bring us into the Year of Mission, sending us on our little mission at Holy Family Home, so that we will continue to spread the Revival movement throughout the Church’s 2025 Jubilee Year and beyond.