News & Resources

News & Resources

Thirst for Jesus in the Eucharist

August 31, 2023

This year, the National Eucharistic Revival focuses on the Parish Year as a preparation for our task to be sent as missionaries during Year 3 – the Year of Mission. Although the Revival is an initiative directed at U.S. Catholics, the missionary call is for all members of the Universal Church. Through its document on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes, Vatican II proclaimed the need for the faith to be communicated to all people. In calling us to mission, Jesus calls us into relationship with Him through the Eucharist. In his encyclical Redemptorist Missio, Pope St John Paul 2 acknowledged that “our own times offer the Church new opportunities [and] the universal call to holiness is linked to the universal call to mission.” This link between Eucharist and mission or active love, is reiterated throughout the writings of Our Mother Foundress, Bl. Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd. Mother wrote, “[the Eucharist] opens us ever more deeply to other persons, and it calls us to an active love.” (Ratio, par. 66)


During his lengthy pontificate, St. John Paul II literally journeyed to the ends of the earth. He was able to do so through a profound relationship with our Eucharistic Lord. In his 2019 message for World Mission Sunday, Pope Francis reiterated the Christian call to mission, “I am a mission, always; you are a mission, always; every baptized man and woman is a mission . . . Each of us is a mission to the world, for each of us is the fruit of God’s love.” 


At the concluding Mass for WYD Lisbon last month, Pope Francis reminded the young people assembled that they are called to be “joyous missionaries.” In a world plagued with war, suffering, and emptiness, our Holy Father Francis encouraged the youth to build a peaceful future and become “beacons of hope in dark times.” If you were following the events on Catholic media, it was inspiring to see 1.5 million young people assembled with Pope Francis on the night of August 5 for the evening vigil and Eucharistic Adoration. Among today’s youth, there is an authentic thirst for Jesus in the Eucharist and a desire to form a relationship with Him.


As mentors, how can we encourage young people today? What opportunities or activities can we advocate to facilitate their encounter with Christ? When we gather as a family during the Eucharistic Celebration, we are witnesses of Christ among us. Can technology be beneficial in drawing young people into a close relationship with Jesus and a deeper understanding of their faith? A big attraction among youth is video games and esports. Saints were into video games also. 


In an earlier article, we briefly looked at the life of Bl. Carlo Acutis, the recently beatified 15-year-old “gamer.” How much of a "gamer" was he? It is known that he was an avid fan of PlayStation 2 and Pokémon. (Remember, he died in 2006, so he wasn’t familiar with current popular online games such as Fortnite.) However, Bl. Carlo knew the addictive nature of video games and limited his weekly “gaming” time. While Bl. Carlo loved video games, he is more well known for utilizing the power of the Internet to educate the world about all the known Eucharistic miracles.


As an instrument in aiding Catholic “gamers” in deepening their knowledge of the faith and as a tribute to Bl. Carlo, the Acutis Game™ recently was developed. The game uses state-of-the-art Fortnite technology. Participants will be able to join virtually Bl. Carlo on epic adventures, exploring the lives of Catholic saints, visiting incredible holy sites, and immersing themselves in Biblical stories. Some experiences highlighted in the demo include being with St. Maximilian Kolbe in his cell in Auschwitz and skiing on the slopes of Zakopane with Pope St. John Paul II. From my perspective, this is an important tool to help engage and instruct young people in their faith.


What opportunities are available for adult Catholics and “non-gamers” to participate in the Eucharistic Revival? Not everyone will be able to attend the National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis next July; however, the Eucharistic Revival website ( enumerates many possibilities for engagement. One way is the new Spark Series - nine short daily email reflections inviting you to pray for the renewal in the Church that God desires. How can you bring the Revival to your parish? If you want a greater level of involvement, your parish may still need a point persona volunteer who will work with their pastor in discerning how their parish will respond to the National Eucharistic Revival. Perhaps you might be called to provide prayerful visits with the gift of Holy Communion to the infirm, elderly members of your parish. You may desire to prepare young people for participating in Eucharistic Adoration. With many parishes offering the opportunity for more frequent adoration, why not consider making a Holy Hour as a family? If you are already doing something to promote the Eucharist, you are promoting the Revival!


Take time this month to discern how you are being called to participate in the Eucharistic Revival and how you can use your talents and abilities to further God’s Kingdom on earth. Then, let us put the fruits of our prayer into action. God bless you and your families as we strive to grow closer to our Eucharistic Lord.

Sister M. Marcella Louise Wallowicz, CSFN

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