Eucharistic congress is a unique opportunity for US Catholics


Editor: Bishop Vásquez, the 10th National Eucharistic Congress will take place this July in Indianapolis. Will you give us some more information about this event?

Bishop Vásquez: The National Eucharistic Congress is an opportunity for Catholics across the U.S. to gather and pray with our Eucharistic Lord. The 10th National Eucharistic Congress will be held July 17–21 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. This is an invitation to all of us to experience personal revival so we can be sent out to share Christ’s love with a world that desperately needs Christ. There will be Masses, well-known Catholic speakers and formation opportunities throughout the event.

This national congress is a response to the U.S. bishops’ request for a three-year Eucharistic Revival in our country. The revival began in 2022 with Eucharistic processions, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and catechesis on the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Now we are well into the Eucharistic Revival and preparing for the national congress.

The Eucharist makes us one in Christ and sends us forth to bring Christ to others. I am looking forward to joining thousands of Catholics as we come together to celebrate Christ’s true presence in the Eucharist.

Editor: Will the Diocese of Austin be participating?

Bishop Vásquez: The Diocese of Austin will send about 200 people to the congress. I will be joined by priests, religious sisters, deacons, seminarians and pastoral staff members who are already signed up to go. We will also have young people, families, catechists and youth ministers from our diocese participating. Registrations are due very soon (April 17), please visit www.austindiocese.org/eucharistic-congress if you want to register.

Last year, Pope Francis said he hopes “the Eucharistic Congress will inspire Catholics throughout the country to discover anew the sense of wonder and awe at the Lord’s great gift of himself and to spend time with him in the celebration of the Holy Mass and in personal prayer and adoration before the Blessed Sacrament.” I too pray this congress will lead us to renewal and transformation.

Editor: The congress is said to be a pilgrimage of sorts. Can you explain what that means?

Bishop Vásquez: A pilgrimage is often referred to as a journey to a holy place. The congress organizers have created four different routes coming from the eastern U.S., the southern U.S., the western U.S. and the northern U.S., which will converge in Indianapolis. Along these routes there will be Masses and many opportunities to pray with the Blessed Sacrament. The four paths will begin the weekend of Pentecost (May 17-19) and come together on July 16 for the congress.

There are perpetual pilgrims and priests who will walk with Jesus in the Eucharist along each route, but all are invited to join one of these routes to pray and to walk with Jesus whether for a few minutes or hours. Those who are not able to physically join are invited to join the pilgrimage in prayer. This is a wonderful way to show our solidarity as Catholics and to bring Christ to areas across our nation.

Editor: The church in the U.S. is two years into the Eucharistic Revival. How have you seen hearts already transformed in our own diocese?

Bishop Vásquez: One of the things I have seen in the Diocese of Austin is the beauty of eucharistic processions. In June 2022, the diocese hosted a Eucharistic procession through the streets of downtown Austin, which was a beautiful experience. Many parishes have also taken Jesus into the streets to share his presence with the world and to spread his love for all humanity.

Many parishes have also offered more opportunities for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and it is a blessing to know more people are making adoration a part of their daily or weekly routines. I hope these expressions of devotion will lead more people to encounter Jesus in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Editor: What is your prayer for the Catholic Church in the U.S.?

Bishop Vásquez: May the love of Christ who gave himself for the life of the world move us to bring that life to the poor, sick, lonely and suffering. In doing so, may we find Christ present in our brothers and sisters. I pray at every celebration of the Eucharist we will be renewed in our love, devotion and commitment to following Christ. Amen.