UPDATE: Pope will send Cardinal Tagle as special envoy to National Eucharistic Congress in US

WASHINGTON (OSV News) — Pope Francis will send Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle as his special envoy to the U.S. Catholic Church’s 10th National Eucharistic Congress July 17-21 in Indianapolis, and the cardinal will celebrate the congress’s closing Mass.

Cardinal Tagle is pro-prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization’s Section for First Evangelization and New Particular Churches.

The appointment, announced May 18, is “a gift to the Eucharistic Congress,” said Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Cardinal Tagle’s “deep passion for apostolic mission rooted in the Eucharist is sure to have an inspirational impact for everyone attending the Congress,” the archbishop, head of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services, said in a statement released by the USCCB.

During a recent segment of his weekly television broadcast “The Word Exposed,” excerpts of which were posted to his Facebook page, Cardinal Tagle stressed the centrality of Christ and the Eucharist to the Catholic faith.

“The Eucharist is not a repetition of the sacrifice of Christ,” he said. “It is the eternal sacrifice of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary where he ascended, enabling us to celebrate it here on earth. Wow!”

Without Christ’s ascension — the solemnity for which was celebrated May 9 or, in some dioceses, May 12 — “we would not have our sacramental life that nourishes us,” said Cardinal Tagle in a clip posted to his Facebook page May 18.

The congress is the culmination of the three-year National Eucharistic Revival launched in 2022 by the U.S. bishops to renew and strengthen Catholics’ understanding of the Real Presence in the Eucharist. It will be held at Lucas Oil Stadium and the adjacent Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis and is expected to draw about 50,000 Catholics from around the U.S.

The event is the first such national congress in the U.S. in 83 years, and in 48 years since the 1976 International Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia.

Leading up to the congress is the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage, launching Pentecost weekend, May 18-19. The pilgrimage consists of four cross-country routes coming from four directions: the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Route (East), starting in New Haven, Connecticut; the St. Junipero Serra Route (West), starting in San Francisco; the St. Juan Diego Route (South), starting in Brownsville, Texas; and the Marian Route (North), starting in Northern Minnesota. 

Among those walking the routes will be perpetual pilgrims, seminarians and priest chaplains, accompanied by the Eucharist, often exposed in a monstrance. Each route has stops along the way for Mass, prayer and Eucharistic adoration at parishes, shrines, charities and other Catholic institutions. The routes will converge in Indianapolis for the July 17 start of the congress.

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