SCRANTON – This past weekend, the Church celebrated the Feast of Corpus Christi – a day that calls each of us to reflect upon the gift of God given to us in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.

It also marked the beginning of the second year of the National Eucharistic Revival, a year focused on parish renewal, which is expected to increase the Eucharist’s visibility in many communities through Eucharistic processions.

Parishioners of Saint Gregory Parish in Clarks Green take Christ to the streets of Lackawanna County during a Eucharistic Procession on Sunday, June 11, 2023.

The Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, celebrated an Opening Mass for the Parish Phase of the National Eucharistic Revival at the Cathedral of Saint Peter on Sunday, June 11, 2023.

“We have been given the opportunity to contemplate and proclaim with a deeper resolve the doctrine of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, a belief that has sustained countless numbers of Catholic Christians for two millennia,” Bishop Bambera said during his homily.

Recalling the words of Saint Augustine, the Bishop urged the faithful to “Become the mystery you celebrate.”

Bishop Bambera urged the faithful to not only “receive Christ” but to “become Christ” for one another.

The faithful of Saint Ann Basilica Parish in West Scranton hold a Eucharistic Procession on the grounds of the Monastery on Saturday, June 10, 2023.

“Become Christ for your husband or your wife. Become Christ for your mother, your father, your son or daughter. Become Christ for your neighbor and for the stranger,” Bishop Bambera said. “Become Christ for the unborn child. Become Christ for the hungry and poor. Become Christ for those whom we have relegated to the margins of our world because of our own self-righteousness. Become Christ for the immigrant. Become Christ for the forgotten. Become the Christ whom you adore and whom you worship.”

Following Communion, the faithful attending Mass participated in a Eucharistic Procession that left the Cathedral and proceeded down Wyoming Avenue to the steps of the Cathedral rectory where Eucharistic Benediction took place.

Just before the Eucharistic Blessing, Bishop Bambera prayed, “Lord our God, in this great sacrament we come into the presence of Jesus Christ, your Son, born of the Virgin Mary and crucified for our salvation. May we who declare our faith in this fountain of love and mercy drink from it the water of everlasting life.”

During the Eucharistic procession and Benediction, several people driving along Wyoming Avenue or walking on the sidewalk took notice of what was taking place outside the Cathedral.

“Processions have been a very public witness and display of faith,” Joel Stepanek, the National Eucharistic Revival’s chief mission officer, said.


Launched as an initiative of the U.S. Catholic bishops in June 2022, the National Eucharistic Revival is a three-year movement that aims to deepen Catholics’ love for Jesus through encountering him in the Eucharist. The revival’s second year leads up to a National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis.

Parishioners of Saint Ann Parish in Williamsport hold a Eucharistic Procession on the streets of Lycoming County following the 10 a.m. Mass on Sunday, June 11, 2023.

The revival’s first year was titled “The Year of Diocesan Revival,” and efforts focused on formation for diocesan leadership and diocesan-wide events. The revival’s second year, “The Year of Parish Revival,” aims to reach Catholics in their parishes through renewed attention to the “art” of the Mass, Eucharistic devotions, and small-group faith sharing and formation.

Eucharistic processions put together by parishes will also take place in the coming year.

Processions have been visible signs of the National Eucharistic Revival, organizers say, with dioceses introducing new events or expanding long-standing ones.

Among them was a two-hour Eucharistic procession in New York City, which on Pentecost May 28 brought more than 4,000 Catholics to Times Square and ended with Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

“Processions are a really unique opportunity for neighbors, for people who maybe don’t know anything about the faith to say, ‘Wow, what’s going on? Who is that passing by?’” David Spesia, executive director of the Committee for Evangelization and Catechesis at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said.

Eucharistic processions also will be a key part of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage, four routes pilgrims will travel with the Eucharist across the United States culminating in Indianapolis for the National Eucharistic Congress, July 17-21, 2024.

Organizers expect the Congress to draw 80,000 people.

More than 100 parishioners and liturgical ministers from Saint Maximilian Kolbe Parish in Pocono Pines held a Eucharistic Procession on the streets of Monroe County on Sunday, June 11, 2023.

In contrast to the magnitude of the national event, revival organizers are encouraging parishes to organize small groups for formation and faith sharing, and are preparing online study resources to aid them.

While organizers expect “getting people back into the pews” to be a “fruit” of the revival, “the goal is really this encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist, and to understand that, when he promised he was with us always, the most unique and precious way that happens is with the gift of the Eucharist and the celebration of the Mass,” Spesia said.

Devotions and acts of popular piety such as Eucharistic processions and Eucharistic adoration do not compete with the Mass, but rather continue its celebration, he added.

“We all know that the celebration of the Sunday Mass is the key experience of the church, worshipping the Father, with the Son, through the Holy Spirit,” he said.

“Those devotions – that time of adoration – is the continuation of that celebration, that presence that comes from the sacrifice of the Mass. The Eucharistic processions flow from the Mass, and they’re designed to lead people back to the Sunday liturgy.”