Eucharistic Congress organizers hope to draw crowd

Auxiliary Bishop Eduardo A. Nevares celebrates Mass during the Dec. 8, 2012, Honor Your Mother event outside of St. Mary’s Basilica. The Eucharistic Congress next month will highlight the Blessed Sacrament as source and summit of the faith. (J.D. Long-Garcia/CATHOLIC SUN FILE PHOTO)
Auxiliary Bishop Eduardo A. Nevares celebrates Mass during the Dec. 8, 2012, Honor Your Mother event outside of St. Mary’s Basilica. The Eucharistic Congress next month will highlight the Blessed Sacrament as source and summit of the faith. (J.D. Long-Garcia/CATHOLIC SUN FILE PHOTO)

Featuring a slate of well-known speakers, 40-hours devotion, 24 hours of confession and a Vatican exhibit of eucharistic miracles, organizers are hoping the faithful will flock to this year’s Eucharistic Congress Nov. 18-22 at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral.

Last year’s congress opened the Year of Faith declared by Benedict XVI and this year’s event will close it. Theresa Serrano Keel, who helped organize the congress, said she hopes having the event at the cathedral will inspire other parishes.

“Our cathedral is the chair of the bishop so it has to be the leader,” Serrano-Keel said. “Hopefully other parishes will follow suit with missions or different things so that we all become much more eucharistic. And in doing so, the graces and blessings will flow and we’ll have more seminarians, more vocations.”

The congress begins with a bilingual Mass on Nov. 18 followed by a bilingual address by Fr. Sergio Fita, pastor of St. Anne in Gilbert.

Popular speaker, singer and best-selling author Vinny Flynn is the speaker following Mass Nov. 19. Flynn, who has written “Seven Secrets of the Eucharist” and “Seven Secrets of Confession,” is known as the man who sings the Divine Mercy Chaplet on EWTN.

Fr. Scott Courtney of the Diocese of Lincoln, a popular retreat leader and frequent guest on Catholic radio and television, will be the youth speaker on Tuesday and Thursday night and the homilist at Wednesday night’s Mass.

The 40 hours of eucharistic adoration begin following the Mass on Wednesday. Families, individuals and organizations have volunteered to lead a prayer at the start of each hour. The remainder of each hour will be silent prayer.

Confession will be available for 24 hours following the Wednesday Mass with priests staying around the clock. As at last year’s event, the Knights of Columbus will be present in both the church and parking lot to escort the faithful.

“We just wanted to have a priest available at any hour so people can go,” Serrano-Keel said. “Sometimes when you’re in line for confession…there’s a long line and there’s always temptations to step away, but with this, you could come at 3 a.m. and have time with the priest.”

Sr. Regina Maria Gorman, OCD, vicar general Carmelite for Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles and Chair of the National Conference of Major Superiors of Women Religious, will be the speaker Thursday night.

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted will preside at the Friday night Mass and close the congress.

Eucharistic Congress

When: Nov. 18-22

Where: Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral, 6351 N. 27th Ave., Phoenixz

Info: (602) 242-1300,
www.simonjude.net
www.friendsofthecathedral.org