The Eucharistic Revival and Encounter, and Mission Advancement Initiatives is one of 7 diocesan ministries that is instrumental in the formation of the faithful as “Missionary Disciples,” serving as living witnesses to Christ’s message and love and serving those most in need. Through the Catholic Ministry Appeal, this group of ministries will receive $2.3 million, or 26%, of the total $9 million appeal goal to carry out their good works.
“At first, when I came, I didn’t know if I wanted to come,” said Paul Nguyen, Holy Martyrs of Vietnam Parishioner. “But when I stepped in this environment, the Holy Spirit got me. It got me excited. After listening to the first song, I felt or encountered the Spirit coming to me. And then the first speaker was talking to us about Jesus wanting to be closer.”
Paul was one of nearly 700 people representing 65 churches from all five counties of our Diocese attended the Eucharistic Encounter on September 16, 2023, at the JW Marriott Hotel in downtown Tampa. And another 700 joined throughout the day via livestream to renew their devotion to Jesus in the Eucharist. Speakers at the event included Curtis Martin of FOCUS, Father Tim Anastos of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Sister Ana Chiara of the Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, John Bergsma of the St. Paul Center, and Mother Olga Yaqob of the Sacred Heart, founder of the Daughters of Mary of Nazareth.
“We have talked so much today about the Lord’s presence,” said Bishop Parkes in his Homily. “He will be truly present on this altar before us here this evening. How will this encounter today be transformational in your life?”
Upon leaving, our Deacon Ray Ferreris shared, “Today was so much more than I could have ever imagined.”
“I have a great love for the Eucharist, but today this is such a beautiful shot in the arm… thank you for bringing us here today and allowing us to participate in this. And I thank our diocese for hosting this – I hope to see more!”