More than 10,000 expected for New York Eucharistic Congress in October

 

Eucharistic adoration at the SLS18 conference in Chicago. / FOCUS.

Denver, Colo., Mar 27, 2023 / 16:23 pm (CNA).

A statewide New York Eucharistic Congress will take place Oct. 20-22 at the shrine that marks the martyrdom site of three North American martyrs and the birthplace of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, a Native American saint known for her devotion to eucharistic adoration.

“We look forward to welcoming upwards of 10,000 people to the Eucharistic Congress, who want to draw closer to Jesus and share in this historic three-day event,” Bishop Edward Scharfenberger of Albany said in a March 21 statement. “It will be a wonderful time to renew our faith in Jesus and share that faith with others,” he said.

The event, Scharfenberger said, will have several Masses as well as “great speakers, opportunities for prayer and adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, and time to socialize.”

The venue for the Eucharistic Congress is Our Lady of Martyrs Shrine in Auriesville, New York, about a half-hour’s drive north of Albany. Though located in the Albany Diocese, the shrine is financially independent and operated by a nonprofit. Its facilities include a 10,000-seat stadium.

The shrine, which overlooks the Mohawk River, is “one of the most sacred spots not just in the state of New York but in the United States,” the New York Eucharistic Congress website says.

It is the site of the 1649 martyrdom of the Jesuit missionaries Sts. Isaac Jogues, Rene Goupil, and Jean Lalande. Just years later, in 1656, St. Kateri Tekakwitha was born at the same place. She was an Algonquin-Mohawk convert to Catholic Christianity and the first Native American saint of what is now the United States.

The Eucharistic Congress’ website, https://nyseucharisticcongress.org, described the shrine as “one of the foremost eucharistic sites in the country,” given that three martyrs died there “trying to bring the Gospel and the eucharistic Lord” to the Mohawks of the region. It also cited Kateri Tekakwitha’s birth there, calling her “one of the greatest witnesses to eucharistic adoration.”

The Eucharistic Congress is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 20. On Saturday, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York will celebrate the principal Mass at 11 a.m. with a eucharistic procession to follow. The congress will end with an 11 a.m. Mass on Sunday.

There will be eucharistic adoration from 10 p.m. through 7 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.

The congress is part of New York Catholics’ response to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Eucharistic Revival, a nationwide effort to foster and reinvigorate devotion to the Eucharist. The eight Roman Catholic dioceses of New York and the Maronite Catholic Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn are backing the event.

The New York Eucharistic Congress website will provide regular updates. A complete schedule of events, speakers, and musicians is not yet finalized, though the website provides event registration and hotel information.

Individuals, families, groups, and parishes can register to attend and volunteer. They may also commit to a eucharistic adoration time slot. Registration is necessary to ensure enough room and provisions. Early registration is encouraged, as registrations will be cut off when event capacity is reached.

There is no cost to attend the event, but donations to defray the cost will be “gratefully accepted,” the website says. It also seeks financial sponsors.

On-site vendors will sell food and beverages, while attendees may also bring their own food.

Organizers are pursuing an internet livestream option for those who cannot attend in person.

The first National Eucharistic Congress in more than 80 years will take place in Indianapolis July 17-21, 2024. Organizers hope to draw more than 80,000 Catholics.


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