Eucharistic Revival: 1,000 people, 1,000 acts of service
By Jennifer Miele
Chief Communications Officer
Managing Director of Evangelization
GREENSBURG – Nearly 1,000 people gathered at Christ Our Shepherd Center in Greensburg in March for a one-of-a-kind Eucharistic Revival event, KNOW HIM: The Last Supper and the Gift of the Eucharist. This experiential evangelization event was designed to help visitors walk the path of Jesus so they, in turn, can walk with those in need of God’s gifts.
In St. Joseph Chapel, Father Christopher J. Pujol, Episcopal Master of Ceremonies and Parochial Vicar of Blessed Sacrament Cathedral Parish, Greensburg, explained the significance of washing feet and how it represents service to others. Afterward, each participant made a commitment to serving others by pinning a flower on the cross and recording their act of kindness on a notecard as a symbol of intentional discipleship.
“This cross is the mark of our salvation, that we are marked with at our baptism. The cross we created was a wonderful witness and speaks of the impact that the Eucharistic Revival can have in a parish community and beyond,” said Dr. Thomas Octave, Director of Sacred Music for the Diocese and one of the organizers of KNOW HIM.
In another room, Monsignor Michael J. Begolly, Pastor of Mother of Sorrows Parish, Murrysville, used a pictorial display to describe his recent trip to the Holy Land and preparing to receive the Eucharist. Bishop Larry J. Kulick presented the Eucharist as the bread of life and offered samples of paska, Easter and other breads.
Monsignor Raymond E. Riffle, Diocesan Vicar General and Rector of Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, gave the keynote address about the gift of the Eucharist.
“The most powerful moment for me was putting the flower into the cross. Right then we made a commitment to serve God and our community,” said Karen Dvorsky, a parishioner of St. Barbara Parish, Harrison City, who attended the event with her best friend, Brenda Matthews, a parishioner of Blessed Sacrament Cathedral Parish.
“It pulled you in to make the experience that much more real – the bread, seeing where Jesus was in the Holy Land, the music, the washing of the feet. Every single presenter was wonderful,” Matthews said.
In another room, Renaissance music played as visitors gazed at a 16-foot mural of Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper.” Vatican Art Historian Dr. Elizabeth Lev recorded a captivating talk about the scriptural nuances of this historic piece of art and the institution of the Eucharist.
More than 200 of the attendees were under the age of 18, including sisters Anna and Katie Swerc, ages 12 and 9, parishioners of Blessed Sacrment Cathedral Parish.
“Our grandma has a Last Supper painting her dining room. The next time I’m there, I will be able to point out many things that I learned today,” said Anna.
“I learned so much about the Eucharist. I feel so happy that I was able to experience this,” said Katie.
The next step with experiential evangelization and Eucharistic Revival is to allow others to experience an event like this in their own community. The Last Supper display, including the vinyl mural, additional versions of the painting, Renaissance music and a 15-minute recorded talk by Lev, have become a “rentable” experience. Dozens of parishes will host the display throughout 2023.
All this is part of a national Eucharistic Revival effort, a project initiated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Our task is to invite the faithful to reflect upon the mystery and meaning of the sacrament of the Eucharist in our lives. Our goal is to become a more Eucharistic community.