Word on the ground, in the trenches, is that the bishops’ “Eucharistic Revival” is stalled in neutral – largely, I believe, because nothing practical has surfaced to address the deplorable lack of Eucharistic faith. Repeating the doctrine is good and important. Processions and adoration hours are laudatory, as are pious hymn contests. However, none of those will change attitudes, ultimately, because the root causes of the unbelief and the “hot-button” issues are being scrupulously avoided. CWR readers will recall my reflections on the problem in “Gutting the Mystery out of the Mystery.”
We are now in the parish phase of the bishops’ program (begun on June 23 of this year and continuing through July of 2024). With that in mind, I am launching something much more “grass-roots” – a contest focused on the next generation of priests, who are not wedded to failed liturgical practices. To wit: Any seminarian (at any level of study) is invited to produce a 3-5 page homily (double-spaced) geared to a Sunday Mass congregation. The text should begin with a short, comprehensible re-statement of the Catholic doctrine of the Holy Eucharist, followed by suggested “best practices” for the faithful to adopt personally, that is, what they can do to reinforce and highlight for themselves and, by example, for others, the full truth of the Church’s immemorial teaching on the Real Presence. The text should be accompanied by a video delivery of the homily.
This endeavor is being co-sponsored by the Catholic Education Foundation and The Catholic Response magazine. First-prize award will be $1000; second, $500; third, $100. Winners will also receive a full scholarship to CEF’s annual summer workshop on the role of the priest in today’s Catholic school. All participants will receive a complimentary three-year subscription to The Catholic Response.
Submissions must be received no later than May 1, 2024. Questions should be directed to: email@example.com.