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Empowering Families Through Faith: The Impact of the National Eucharistic Congress

Introduction: A Gathering of Faith and Family in Indianapolis

The upcoming National Eucharistic Congress, scheduled for July 17-21 in Indianapolis, promises to be a significant event for Catholic families from across the country. Gabriela Ross, the director of the Indianapolis Archdiocese’s Office of Marriage and Family Life, emphasizes the importance of family participation, describing the church as “a family of families.” This event, which integrates free admission for children under 12, aims to make it as accessible as possible for families to experience spiritual enrichment and community.

The Role of the Eucharist in Family Life

The Eucharist holds a central place in Catholic faith as the source and summit of spiritual life, a concept Gabriela Ross passionately shares. She highlights how the Eucharist supports the sacrament of marriage and, by extension, the family unit, transforming and purifying familial love. The congress will feature a variety of sessions aimed at fostering this understanding, with special family impact sessions during the morning that include speakers from various faith-based initiatives who will discuss the integration of faith into everyday life.

Priests walk in a Eucharistic procession Oct. 21, 2023, at the Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs in Auriesville, N.Y., during the New York State Eucharistic Congress Oct. 20-22. Participants in the National Eucharistic Congress and related National Eucharistic Pilgrimage will have opportunities to receive plenary indulgences, Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, announced April 9, 2024. (OSV News photo/Jeff Witherow, Catholic Courier)

Family Participation and Preparation for the Congress

Beyond the congress itself, Ross discusses ways families can prepare for and engage with the themes of the Eucharist through local and national activities, such as joining a Corpus Christi procession or participating in National Eucharistic Pilgrimage events. The National Eucharistic Revival website offers additional resources to deepen families’ understanding of the Eucharist, providing materials in both English and Spanish that include videos and activities designed to enrich the family’s spiritual journey.