Next Friday evening and throughout the day on Saturday (March 29 and 30), the Diocese of St. Augustine will hold its annual Eucharistic Congress at the Prime Osborne Convention Center in Jacksonville. A Eucharistic Congress is the celebration of the Church around the centrality of the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist. As your pastor, I want to encourage your attendance.
A lot happens in the course of the Eucharistic Congress. Some of the highlights include Living Stations of the Cross put on by Community Cenacolo on Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. which is followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. On Saturday, the keynote address for this year’s Congress will be given on Saturday at 9:00 a.m. by the Most Rev. Terrence Pendergast, Archbishop of Ottawa in Canada. That will be followed by the Solemn celebration of Mass for the Eucharistic Congress. A plenary indulgence is offered by the Church (per the Church’s usual conditions) for all who participate in the Mass of a Eucharistic Congress. The Sacrament of Penance will be available both days and vendors as well as various diocesan agencies are available for you to peruse throughout the Congress.
The Bishops at Vatican II reminded us that the celebration of the Eucharist is at the heart of our identity as members of the Church. A Eucharistic Congress is a unique way for us to be reminded of this and to grow in our understanding of the Most Blessed Sacrament. I hope you will be able to attend all or part of this year’s Congress.