GARDEN GROVE, Calif. — The young adult ministry offices of four Southern California (arch)dioceses — Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and San Diego — are collaborating on a major event to foster greater devotion to the Eucharist.
“Ever Ancient, Ever New: A SoCal Young Adult Eucharistic Revival” will be held the weekend of May 6 and 7 on the Christ Cathedral campus in Garden Grove.
The event is being held as a regional contribution to the National Eucharistic Revival, launched last June by the U.S. Catholic bishops and scheduled to conclude on Pentecost of 2025. The revival itself came in response to the results of a shocking 2019 Pew Research Center survey revealing that only one-third of U.S. Catholics believed that the bread and wine are transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ at Mass.
Pastoral Juvenil, San Diego’s Spanish-speaking young adult ministry, has been preparing for “Ever Ancient, Ever New” with a series of monthly Eucharistic holy hours that began in September. The final one will be held from 6:30 to 9 p.m., Thursday, April 13, at St. Mary Church in Escondido.
“The big goal is to educate … our young adults, who maybe come to holy hours, but maybe do not understand; they go to Mass, (but) they don’t understand the Real Presence of Jesus at the altar,” said Maricruz Flores, director of the San Diego Diocese’s Office for Youth and Young Adult Ministry.
At the same time, she said, the event is “not a conference” or “another classroom experience,” but will be something much more engaging and inspiring.
For Brilema Perez, associate director of San Diego’s Office for Youth and Young Adult Ministry, it’s fitting that the Eucharistic Revival would include an event like this for the 18-39 demographic. She noted that it is among younger Catholics that one finds “the largest number of people leaving the Church.”
Perez said that young adult ministry directors from the four participating (arch)dioceses want the event to be “an experience that engages the mind, the heart, and the body.”
Doors will open at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 6. The opening keynote will speak to the “mind,” offering an intellectual presentation on what the Eucharist is. This will be followed by two rounds of breakout sessions; of the four workshops available, one will be presented in Spanish.
A second keynote talk on Saturday evening will speak to the “heart” about the Eucharist. This will lead into a period of Eucharistic adoration.
The first day will conclude with a social.
The second day, which will run from 9:15 a.m. to noon, will include the closing keynote, which will reflect on how the Eucharist engages the “body” and how it leads us out into the world on a mission to share the Gospel.
Perez said that organizers have “carved out time” in the schedule for participants “to pray … and process what they learned in the keynote or the (breakout) sessions.”
“If (local young adults are) willing to open their hearts to the Lord, He’s always knocking,” she said. “(‘Ever Ancient, Ever New’) is an opportunity to hear that call, to answer, and to let Him into our hearts and transform (us) in the way that only He can.”
The cost to attend will be $50 per person. Find more information, including registration details and hotel accommodations, are available at socalrevival.org, on Instagram @everancient.evernew, or at (858) 490-8260.