A parish process for Eucharistic Revival through Synodality • Perfect or Lent!
Lead your people to better understand and respond to the Eucharist! We have partnered with the Pentecost Vigil Project to offer you this dynamic four-session parish process modeled after synod listening sessions. Includes:
- Presentation slides and leader talking points
- Guides for small group discussion and note taker.
- Personal notes page, resource list, and tent cards for participants.
- Tools for facilitating the process.
- Promotional resources, including flyers, bulletin announcements, and graphics.
On Corpus Christi Sunday, 2022, the American Bishops called for a three year “National Eucharistic Revival” to help Catholics renew their faith priorities. The introduction to this revival proclaims that “Jesus Christ invites us to return to the source and summit of our Faith: his Real Presence in the Eucharist” (eucharisticrevival.org). In October 2021, Pope Francis announced Phase One of global preparations for a “Synod on Synodality” to be held in October 2023 and October 2024 (synod.va). This faith formation process is a marriage of the two: it provides an opportunity for Catholics to renew their encounter with Christ in the Eucharist and also provides hands-on experience with Pope Francis’ new model for prayerful listening, discernment, and decision-making.
- To provide a basic review of the Vatican II documents that have helped the Church recognize Christ’s Presence in the Eucharist and our role as The Body of Christ in the world.
- To provide a better intellectual and spiritual understanding of how Christ is Present in the Eucharist: in the Word, in the Sacred Species, in the assembly and in the priest/presider.
- To help Catholics better understand how we are called to take our experience of Eucharist “beyond the doors” of the church and into the world.
- To introduce Pope Francis’ synodal journey process as a new pathway for parish faith formation and spiritual renewal.
Four sessions: Although this process can be adapted in a variety of ways, it is designed as four, 90-minute sessions, intended as a gradual process, over a period of time (e.g., once a week, once a month). This program is ideal as a 4-week Parish Lenten Renewal but can be used any time of the year. You can offer multiple session times as well as virtual options. The themes for the four sessions are...
- Session One: The Priest & Assembly – God’s Church Made Visible
- Session Two: Liturgy of the Word – Our Story, God’s Story
- Session Three: Liturgy of the Eucharist – Giving Thanks
- Session Four: Beyond the Doors – God’s Church Sent Forth
90 minutes each session (minimum): The 90-minute time frame for each session is the minimum amount needed to allow the synodal-style small group process to take place. Listening to the Holy Spirit and to each other takes time and patience, but the fruits are well worth the effort. Pope Francis calls it “a way of being”, and not just a means to an end. The prayer and silence within the process can be counter-cultural for some American Catholics.
Small group / Large group format: Each session includes a large group PowerPoint presentation and small group discussions. A single prayer group or study group can also use this program in a smaller meeting space or in a home.
A process designed to encourage “faith sharing” and discourage “issue campaigning:” One truly unique aspect of this synodal-style small group process is that it creates a prayer-filled framework that encourages everyone to respectfully listen to each other’s experiences. It leaves very little room for debates or for individuals to impose any personal agendas on others.
Small group facilitators and note takers: Since the synodal-style small group process is new. It is important that each small group have a facilitator and note taker who have been trained prior to with the included training session.
Total parish participation opportunities: This program is designed to encourage everyone in the parish to participate, even if they cannot attend in-person, with various options.
Follow-up opportunities for ongoing parish growth and renewal: Each session concludes with “Synodal-style Discernment for Action.” Recommended Parish Action Steps that could help the parish journey more closely together as Church will be publicized and comment and reflection encouraged. Keep in mind that these are recommended action steps, and not a mandate for change (Pope Francis reminded everyone that synodality is NOT Parliament or Congress). These recommendations are then submitted to parish leadership for possible future planning and growth.
Each session consists of:
- A Pre-session Introduction/Invitation through bulletin announcements, email invitations, Mass announcements and social media promotions.
- A Welcome, Opening Prayer and Session Introduction
- Synodal-style Prayerful Listening
- The Church’s Story in Scripture and Church Teaching slide presentation.
- Synodal-style Reflection – Connecting Our Story to the Church’s Story: facilitated small group sharing.
- Synodal-style Discernment for Action: Facilitated small group process.
- Post session follow-up with the Parish
For each session:
- A PowerPoint presentation
- The Speaker’s notes / script for the PowerPoint presentation
- A Step-by-Step Small Group Guide for each participant
- A “Voices of Scripture & Tradition Resource Page” for each participant (provided in advance, if possible)
- A Table Tent Card for each table. This provides the overall format and the 4 questions.
- A Personal Notes Page for each participant. A guided format for recording thoughts
- A Small-Group Note Taker’s Guide: One copy for the table’s Note Taker. A guided format for the Note Taker to record the general conversation of the group and then a simple process for creating and submitting a short summary report.
For the general program:
- Promotional materials (editable)
- A Program Leader’s Guide
- A Recommended Program Time Table / Schedule
- A Session Leader’s Guide
- A Small Group Facilitator / Note Taker Training Session (45 minutes)
- FAQ: Synodality handout
This reproducible eResource is sold with a lifetime license for use within a parish, school, or diocesan office. You are allowed to make unlimited copies for use within your own community. You may also email these to members of your team or participants in your program. If you serve more than one parish or school, each should purchase its own license. You may not post our eResources to any web site without explicit permission to do so. Please contact us if you have any questions. Thank you for cooperating with our honor system regarding our product licenses.
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The Pastoral Center
Christ Present in the Eucharist: A Synodal Parish Process for Eucharistic Revival is a dynamic and powerful tool to help parishes appreciate the Eucharist more fully and listen to one another in synodal style. The esteemed authors of this easy-to-use process have wisely included both “prayerful listening” and “respectful dialogue.” What could be more critical in our current culture? Each session ends with the same invitation that Mass does: go beyond the doors of this building and bring the church to the world. Powerful. This resource—a complete tool kit—has the power to teach parishioners how to act like a synod—which is the church's future! I’d like to put it into the hands of every parish in the country.
Guided by the Holy Spirit, the Pentecost Vigil Project supports the call for Church renewal through Spirit-led synodality. They provide creative digital resources and professional consulting services that enable the laity and all Church leadership to better understand and embrace the synodal process.
The Pentecost Vigil Project models the original Pentecost Vigil, the 9 day Upper Room Novena that took place between Jesus’ Ascension and Pentecost. Women, men and young people, laborers, theologians and mothers… all Intentional Disciples of the Risen Jesus, gathered to share their faith experiences, listen, pray for inspiration and then act on it!
The team for this project is Mark Hoggard, Dr. Patricia Clement, Deborah Stollery, Loretta Beeman, Dennis Beeman, Dana Hlusko, and Dr. Robert McCarty.
Learn more at PentecostVigilProject.org.
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We piloted this program at Immaculate Conception in Hampton, Virginia, and it proved to be a great resource for our parish. The sessions are well-organized, and contain solid theology right from the documents of the Second Vatican Council. In addition, the synodal style of each session allows ample time for participants to "unpack" the content. and relate it to their own experience of the Eucharist.
Our parish conducted Christ Present in the Eucharist once a month over a four-=month period. It was the perfect bridge between our parish synodal listening sessions and the beginning of the Eucharistic Revival. Not only does it contain well-prepared, easy to use reflections, but gives participants an opportunity to "unpack" what it means in their individual lives -- and our life as a parish -- to say "Christ is truly present in the Mass." Like in our Synod listening sessions, parishioners really commented on how much they enjoy sharing their faith in small groups.