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Celebrating the Paschal Mystery and National Eucharistic Revival With Sister Alicia Torres

As we continue our National Eucharistic Revival, Father Dave welcomes Sister Alicia Torres, F.E., who serves on the Revival’s executive team. She is also the managing editor of their weekly e-newsletter “Heart of the Revival,” which includes a new series for the Easter season called “Beautiful Light: A Paschal Mystagogy.”

In June of 2022, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops announced a 3-year Eucharistic Revival, starting with that year’s Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ and ending in 2025. They state that their mission is, “to renew the Church by enkindling a living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.”

LISTEN: Everything You Need To Know About the Eucharistic Revival

Sister Alicia adds, “The Bishops were really concerned, as were many Catholics, with the 2019 Pew study that indicated an overwhelming minority of Catholics either know or believe in the doctrine of real presence. That at Mass, through the power of the Holy Spirit and those words that the priest speaks in the person of Christ, the bread and wine become the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus. Every Mass we relive the Paschal mystery, and that’s mind blowing.”

“Because so few people know or believe that, that’s a crisis. Because [the real presence] is at the heart of what it means to be Catholic. So Jesus walked among us, he didn’t leave us behind, and he’s journeying with us to heaven. The bishops prayed and discerned, and we have this revival as the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit’s lead,” she continues.

We currently are in the National Eucharistic Revival’s first year, which focuses on those who serve the Church. On the Solemnity of Corpus Christi in June 2023, the Revival will move to the parish level and build toward the National Eucharistic Congress in July 2024.

Sister Alicia says, “It will be a watershed moment. Our director for the Congress, Tim Glemkowski, likes to say, ‘The movement needs a moment’ and that’s what the Eucharistic Congress is. It’s not meant to be the end, but the launch out to the margins [which] is essential and real. To bring that missionary spirit and that Eucharistic faith to the people who may not even know anything about Jesus.”

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The Eucharistic Revival’s executive team hopes their weekly e-newsletter, “The Heart of the Revival” can help accompany Catholics through these three years. “Every week, we offer content that’s inspirational, formational, and informational. So we want to lead with those stories of testimony, how other people have encountered Jesus, and [show] that this is not something for the ‘marble statue saints’ that we think are the saints,” Sister Alicia says. “The saints are ordinary people that were touched by God and did beautiful things, through his power working within them.”

The newsletter will feature a series for the Easter Season called “Beautiful Light: A Paschal Mystagogy,” where different authors dive into the mysteries of Christ. Sister Alicia explains, “Our entire faith is a mystery. But it’s not a ‘Sherlock Holmes’ kind of mystery…The mystery means that this is something that the Lord is going to constantly reveal to us more and more in a  deep way, not something he is holding back.” 

She continues, “It’s not a criticism but a fact that, for many of us, our faith formation ends with Confirmation, which for some is as young as eighth grade. There is so much more richness and beauty and depth that the Lord has for us. And something like a mystagogy experience can open our hearts to new realities for us in deepening our faith with Jesus and the Church.”