Catholics invited to encounter Christ at Eucharistic Congress

Next summer, up to 80,000 U.S. Catholics are expected to gather at Indianapolis’s Lucas Oil Stadium to encounter Jesus in the Eucharist. And local Catholics are invited to join in the July 17-21 Eucharistic Congress, part of the three-year National Eucharistic Revival.

“God is doing something amazing right now,” said Archbishop Shelton J. Fabre in a letter to church leaders about the event. “He has established this moment and movement to bring the hearts of the faithful back to Him. 

“Jesus says to us in Luke 12:49, and he says to us again here and now, ‘I have come to set the world on fire and how I wish it were already blazing.’ ” 

In the letter, Archbishop Fabre says he’d like the Archdiocese of Louisville to be “strongly represented” at the Congress. 

“The Congress is more than just a gathering,” he writes. “It is about encounter and mission, asking how we, as a Church, can go boldly on mission to invite the world to a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ. We do so by being ‘healed, formed, converted, and unified’ through a renewed encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist so we can be sent on mission ‘for the life of the world.’ ”

The July event is technically the 10th national Eucharistic Congress to be held in the United States, but the last one was held in 1941. Before that, they were held periodically, four to five or so years apart beginning in 1895.

“You’ll struggle to find people alive who experienced that in 1941. In Catholic memory, this is going to be a new thing,” said Dr. Karen Shadle, director of the archdiocese’s Office of Worship. “It is basically a once-in-a-lifetime event.”

Shadle also pointed out the advantages of its proximity to the archdiocese.  

“We don’t have to worry about airfare and that kind of thing. It is expensive, but hopefully the discount will help. I’m excited to see what this is like.”

The archdiocese has received a discounted rate for the Congress registration, reducing the cost from $375 per person to $299. The fee provides admittance to the five-day Congress, which will include catechetical sessions, keynote speakers and liturgies. The Congress will offer five tracks: 

  • Encounter, a general track for those interested in deepening their relationship with Christ.
  • Eucharistic Missionary, for those who feel called to evangelize and want practical tools for the journey.
  • Ministry, a track for those who work or volunteer in a parish, diocesan or other ministry role.
  • Youth, a track for 14-18-year-olds, who must register along with an adult, family or youth group.
  • Family, designed for families who will attend sessions with children age 13 or under. Older children may attend the youth or family track.

Among the speakers are Bishop Robert Barron of Word on Fire and Father Mike Schmitz of the Bible in a Year and Catechism in a Year podcasts.

It will begin, though, with a Eucharistic Procession, in which pilgrims who carried the Eucharist on foot from four corners of the United States will converge at the Congress July 17 in Lucas Oil Stadium. The procession concludes the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage that will begin 60 days ahead of the Congress. 

‘The Congress is more than just a gathering. It is about encounter and mission, asking how we, as a Church, can go boldly on mission to invite the world to a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ.’

Archbishop Shelton J. Fabre

The southern pilgrimage route will pass through the Archdiocese of Louisville on its way to Indianapolis in early July. More details about the pilgrimage will be shared as they become available.

Shadle said participants can expect a combination of large events in the stadium and smaller gatherings on the individual tracks.

“You can expect big liturgies to bring everyone together. That might be Mass, long periods of adoration,” she said. “I expect a lot of diversity — things that look very traditional, things that look more modern.”

Shadle said that hotel rooms near the stadium are filling up quickly and suggested people start making their plans now.

The registration discount for the Congress is available until Nov. 1. Additional discounts may be available for clergy, families and young people.

To access the discount, email or call Richard “Tink” Guthrie, vice chancellor of the archdiocese, at 585-3291 or

For more information, visit

Marnie McAllister
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Marnie McAllister
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