As the parishes of the Archdiocese of Boston responded to the call to protect the public health by foregoing public gatherings this year, the events planned for Archdiocese’s observance of the Year of the Eucharist were necessarily postponed. Due to this circumstance Cardinal Seán has extended the Archdiocese’s Year of the Eucharist to June of 2022.
While respecting all health safety protocols, the Archdiocese has sponsored a number of virtual Eucharist centered events this year, including the following:
- During the final weeks of March Cardinal Seán led a Virtual Lenten Retreat, joined by thousands of people in the Archdiocese of Boston, throughout the United States and from around the world.
- On the Feast of Corpus Christi in June, the Cardinal presided at a virtual commissioning of more than 300 Archdiocesan Year of the Eucharist Missionaries who made the commitment to pray before the Blessed Sacrament and share their belief in the Eucharist. Since then 500 additional Missionaries have been commissioned.
- The Institute for the New Evangelization has begun a Year of the Eucharist Speaker Series, with Julianne Stanz drawing more than 150 online participants for her presentation on October 29. Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers will make a presentation on December 7, and Father Sebastian White, OP, on March 4, 2021. We encourage registration for these events at tinecatholic.com.
- The Secretariat for Evangelization and Discipleship organized a series of one-minute Year of the Eucharist videos highlighting people from all over the Archdiocese sharing their love of the Eucharist. These videos are featured on the Archdiocesan social media accounts. The Evangelization team has also created catechetical materials in a special 4-part series on the Eucharist as part of Project Nazareth.
- The Regional Bishops and Episcopal Vicars of the Archdiocese of Boston are meeting with Eucharistic Missionaries to discuss opportunities for sharing their faith with others.
Although the major Year of Eucharist activities will be rescheduled for the coming year and into 2022, the Archdiocese is already blessed with increasing embrace of Eucharistic faith. Parishes are providing more frequent access to prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, including Family Adoration and times of virtual Adoration. Teams of Eucharistic Missionaries are organizing witness talks and discussion groups. During the darkest days of the pandemic, many parishes placed the Blessed Sacrament in a window for people to come and pray in their cars or scheduled Adoration vigils outdoors. Cardinal Seán recently led several hundred people in an outdoor Eucharistic Procession for a parish anniversary celebration.
The Cardinal wants parishes to have even more opportunities to draw people together for prayer, shared reflections and witness as circumstances allow going forward. and looks forward to a major Archdiocesan gathering in the spring of 2022.
In this extended Year of the Eucharist, Cardinal Seán encourages the faithful to turn their gaze toward Jesus as He is truly present in the Eucharist, the source and summit of our faith, and His great gift to us, the gift of His very life. Please join us in prayer for this renewed effort and for the ongoing success of the Year of the Eucharist in the Archdiocese of Boston. God bless you.