Oblate Shrines and the National Eucharistic Revival

From the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ (June 2022) until Pentecost of 2025, the Bishops of the United States have called all the Faithful to participate in a Eucharistic Revival of celebrating, honoring, participating in, and living the great gift of Jesus to His Church.

At their shrines in the United States, the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate are taking part in this revival. Through this effort, the Oblates are also fulfilling their own Constitution which states: “In gratitude for this great Eucharist gift, we will seek the Lord in his sacramental presence.”

Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto And Tepeyac de San Antonio
By Fr. Richard Hall, OMI, Director

Here at Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto and Tepeyac de San Antonio, I want to share with you how we as a Marian Shrine are inviting people to re-center their attention to the Most Holy Eucharist during this three-year National Eucharistic Revival. In my time here at the Grotto, I’ve noticed people yearning for a deeper and intimate connection with Christ through the Holy Eucharist in spiritual practices. Our Lady of Lourdes serves as a conduit to this beautiful and meaningful Sacrament.

It was Our Lady of Lourdes who brought St. Bernadette closer to God through Her messages and in the end, to her First Holy Communion. Bernadette arrived at this wonderful sacrament because of her relationship to Christ through Our Lady of Lourdes. Years after her first Holy Communion, Bernadette said, “I was nothing, and of this nothing God made something great. In Holy Communion I am heart to heart with Jesus. How sublime is my destiny.”

To bring this same revitalization of the Eucharist to the people of God, we here at the Grotto must truly Journey with the people and help them to understand this Holy Sacrament. We must Evangelize the faithful on the importance of the Eucharist. Like the message from Our Lady to Bernadette, we too must serve as those messengers to the faithful who visit us here.

How do we do this? First and foremost, The Word must be Effectively Proclaimed. Secondly, through Faithful Preaching, followed by allowing Access for the faithful to be invited seven days a week for Eucharistic Adoration, daily Mass, Our Lady of Lourdes Rosary Procession with Anointing of the Sick, First Friday Anointing of the Sick, and Eucharistic Processions.

These are but a few practices that can serve as a catalyst to teaching the faithful why this sacrament is so beneficial to our lives as Catholics. We cannot assume that the people of God are already catechized. And even if they are, many have lost their fundamental understanding of what the Eucharist means. I make it a point to preach on the healthy practices and understandings of this Blessed Sacrament. In these avenues, we bring people closer to Christ and therefor enrich their relationship with Christ.

Shrine of St. Joseph the Worker Lowell, Massachusetts
By Fr. Mike Amesse, OMI, Director

The Oblates of Mary Immaculate established in Lowell, Massachusetts, the first parish in that city to serve the spiritual needs of the French-speaking immigrants. Saint Joseph was selected as the patron. In 1956, the downtown church, with its rich tradition, was dedicated as a Shrine in honor of Saint Joseph the Worker.

In response to the call of the United States Bishops to celebrate a National Eucharistic Revival, there are several events planned to foster Eucharistic devotion among visitors to the Shrine.

The traditional devotion of “40 Hours” was held in May. Participants gathered in downtown Lowell for a procession of the Blessed Sacrament. Father Eugene Tremblay, OMI, preached at the procession which traveled from the Shrine to Immaculate Conception Parish where there was a Benediction.

The Shrine staff is encouraging young people to participate in a variety of activities. While there are very few youth who come to Mass at the Shrine, there are those who belong to families who have, for many years, attended Mass and celebrated the sacrament of Reconciliation at St. Joseph’s. Some of these youth come from immigrant families from Africa, Asia and Latin America.

These new immigrants face challenges similar to those faced by people who have resided in America for a long time. The culture offers them reasons to drift away from God. The Shrine has bought flags of every nation of those who come here. At the May 29 procession, the youth carried the flag of their nation of origin. We hope this practice will continue in future processions.

Other processions are planned for coming months. On July 4, in honor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, there will be a procession to St. Patrick’s Church. On August 15, the Feast of the Assumption, the procession will go to St. Rita’s Parish. And on Labor Day, September 4, it will go to St. Michael’s Parish.

The staff of the Shrine is entrusting this Revival to the intercession of Servant of God Fr. Victor Lelievre, OMI, who was the great “Apostle of the Sacred Heart” and did much to evangelize Quebec City in the first half of the 20th century.

National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows Belleville, Illinois
By Fr. Salvador Gonzalez, OMI, Director

The National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows is known in the St. Louis area as a place of Healing and Hope. The economic downtown has particularly struck people in our community; inflation has made it difficult for people to make ends meet and put food on the table. People in the area are experiencing economic poverty right alongside spiritual poverty.

Many people come to the Shrine looking for spiritual guidance, direction and just a listening ear while going to confession. The greatest poverty is not knowing where to turn in difficulties and troubles.

The Oblates at the Shrine began having Eucharistic Adoration every first Thursday of the month since the beginning of the Eucharistic Revival. Adoration starts right after the 11:30 a.m. Mass and concludes at 5:00 p.m. with Benediction. There are two added elements to our time of adoration at the Shrine.

First, the Spanish-speaking community gathers at 4:00 p.m. with Fr. Raul Salas, OMI, and Sr. Marichui Bringas, CCVI, to pray for vocations to religious life. At 5:00 p.m., the Oblates at the Shrine gather as a community with lay people to pray Vespers followed by Benediction. The Vespers service allows people to pray with the Oblates and find comfort before Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.

The Oblates also staff two parishes in the Diocese of Belleville, Holy Rosary in Fairmount City and St. Stephen in Caseyville. Both parishes are staffed by Fr. Harold Fisher, OMI, and Fr. Jim Fee, OMI.

Holy Rosary has Eucharistic Adoration every Monday evening, with a different parish group leading the Rosary and songs

for those in attendance. The Oblates are available for Reconciliation during the time of Eucharistic Adoration. St. Stephen’s parish has a weekly bilingual Holy Hour. Regarding the bilingual Holy Hour, Fr. Harold says: “Eucharistic Adoration has brought the two communities together; they gather and build bridges.”