This is part 2 of a 3-part series. View Part 1 here.


We might be tempted to see the Eucharistic Revival in our country only as a doctrine-reinforcing initiative. Taking cues from many of the studies cited by its organizers, we could easily see this initiative as merely an attempt to strengthen Catholics’ devotion to the Eucharist. But this limited approach to the Revival would be just another fad of posters, adoration nights, pilgrimages, and video series. 


Instead, the stated end of the revival is to send Eucharistic missionaries.


The Church is in the midst of a needed paradigm shift (see From Christendom to Apostolic Mission from the University of Mary). The old paradigm thinks that we need many volunteer parishioners to put in their time for the institution. The institution will do the apostolic innovating, thinking, strategizing, and converting. Lay people simply need to help with the coordinating, set-up, smiling, food, and clean-up.


Simply stated, this paradigm sees the institution (the diocese or parish) as the engine of evangelization. The lay people are the fuel. Without their generous volunteering, the parish will sputter and the institutional initiatives will fall flat. This paradigm enables immature faith because it does not need robust formation and training of the laity. 


Joe, sitting in the pew with his family, can be mobilized to help with a parish program. He doesn’t need to be formed deeply in prayer and the pursuit of holiness. He just needs to have basic beliefs and do his part by showing up on a Thursday night to help. His part is to simply be fuel for the engine by setting up tables, handing out coffee, and spooning up noodles. Deep discipleship is not required of him. He continues to serve as fuel but slowly burns out.


Read our whitepaper Towards an Apostolic Church for more on this idea.


Ministry leaders need to keep the Eucharistic Revival anchored in the paradigm of apostolic mission. This is the reason behind the particularly strong call for Eucharistic Missionaries to complete the Revival.  This requires local leaders of Revival efforts to shift their ministry paradigm forever and cease treating Catholics in the pews as fuel. Rather, start equipping parishioners as engines for this new apostolic age that will burn with apostolic (Eucharistic) zeal and travel as far as necessary to reach the one who is lost on the peripheries. The parish was ordained to be the fuel, not the engine, for this new apostolic age. Its job is to form people to be nimble, creative missionaries in the world.


How can we use this Eucharistic Revival moment in our country to equip the aforementioned Joe to do more than set up tables for a parish event? Formation. Joe has strong faith, but no one has formed him to live it deeply. 


Find out what formation Joe needs in Part 3 of this series. View Part 1 here.


Jason Simon is the President of the Evangelical Catholic. The Evangelical Catholic’s mission is to equip Catholics to live out the Great Commission. Learn more.


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