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Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

More than 40,000 Catholics to flock to Indy

By meerna Jul12,2024
More than 40,000 Catholics to flock to Indy

Indianapolis will host the upcoming National Eucharistic Congress, a gathering of Catholics focusing on the sacrament of Holy Communion, called the Lord’s Supper by some Christian groups.

More than 40,000 participants from across the United States will spend July 17-21 listening to lectures, engaging in acts of service and charity, worshiping God through song, and receiving Jesus in the sacrament of the Eucharist.

Only 10% of Indianapolis residents identify as Catholic, but the National Eucharistic Congress welcomes all. The significance of this massive religious gathering will undoubtedly benefit the broader Indianapolis community.

Although the Catholic Church has had its share of (in many cases) well-deserved negative publicity, it remains a tremendous force for good in our world. Every day, all over the world, the Church feeds, clothes, shelters, educates, and provides medical care to vast numbers of people. And while none of these good deeds make the misdeeds of Catholics morally acceptable, they do remind us that we are all, in a sense, wounded healers. We are a mix—as individuals and collectively. So there is something to feel good about about this historic event, the first National Eucharistic Congress in over 80 years.

From May to July, groups of young adults will take part in a pilgrimage, walking with Jesus across parts of the United States. Four groups, each starting in a different part of the country, will stop at different religious sites over a 60-day period before reaching the Circle City. You, too, can share in part of their journey by walking with them or giving back through acts of service.

It is the grace of the Eucharist that moves Catholics to acts of mercy, to works of charity. A cynic once asked the principal of a downtown Catholic school why she worked so hard to educate children, “most of whom are not even Catholic.”

“We don’t do it because they’re Catholic,” she replied. “We do it because was Catholic.”

If you are an Indianapolis resident, this five-day event will be hard to miss. Events will take place at the Indiana Convention Center, Lucas Oil Stadium, and many churches located throughout the city. It won’t just be the summer heat that will set us ablaze. The coming together of Catholics, people of all faiths, and curious locals under the Lord’s presence will set hearts and minds ablaze.

So you may have a problem with one or more doctrinal or moral teachings of the Catholic Church. You may know someone who has been deeply hurt by a Catholic—perhaps even a Church leader. Despite these wounds and imperfections, let us acknowledge the powerful engine of good within the Catholic Church. Let us celebrate the religious freedom of our nation that allows for celebrations like the National Eucharistic Congress. (Let us be grateful for the economic benefits that this religious gathering has spawned.)

Let us welcome over 40,000 guests who will come to our city for the 10th National Eucharistic Congress.

Ken Ogorek has served as a Catholic diocesan leader for over 25 years. In his current role as the Secretariat for Evangelization and Catechesis for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, he implements the Archbishop’s vision for faith formation through the coordination of several offices and ministries, including Communications, Pastoral Care, Fatima Retreat House, Parish Leadership, and Worship.

By meerna

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