Eucharistic Congress Plans Coming Together
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
January 18, 2024
INDIANAPOLIS—Schedules and logistics are coming together for the Tenth National Eucharistic Congress, taking place in various locations in downtown Indianapolis July 17-21.
 
Tim Glemkowski, CEO of the congress, and Joel Stepanek, vice president of administration and programming for the event, held a webinar for the media on Jan. 11.
 
“We feel the skeleton of events is in place,” Glemkowski said, adding that “We’re ‘there’ in a lot of ways now.”
 
Diocesan Delegation
Has Seats Available
The Diocese of Rockford will be sending a delegation of about 50 pilgrims to the historic National Eucharistic Congress July 17-21. 
 
There are still a limited number of seats in this delegation with a cost of $990 per person, which includes the congress, transportation and lodging. If you are interested in becoming part of this delegation, please contact the Diocese of Rockford’s Life and Family Evangelization Office at life@rockforddiocese.org for details and to see if seats are still available.
 
If you are traveling on your own or with your family or with a parish or other group and have already purchased tickets for the Congress and made travel arrangements, the Diocese of Rockford would like to stay in touch with our parishioners who are traveling to Indianapolis. To help us stay in communication with you as a pilgrim to the Congress, text ROCKFORDNEC to 84576. You will be placed on a Flocknote email/text list to receive news.
 
If you have questions about your pilgrimage, we are happy to help. Contact the Diocese of Rockford’s Life and Family Evangelization Office at life@rockforddiocese.org or call the office at 815-399-4300.
 
 
Stepanek shared an overview of what to expect at the congress overall with some details. Its main theme comes from the Gospel of Luke, chapter 24, the Road to Emmaus, he said, briefly outlining each day’s events:
 
-- Wednesday will see the kickoff event and welcome to four pilgrim groups as they arrive at Lucas Oil Stadium. Those pilgrimages will each be made up of a small group of young adults who will walk full time from May until arriving at the July congress. Others are welcome to walk with them for part of the journey. The four routes begin at the headwaters of the Mississippi; in New Haven, Connecticut; in Brownsville, Texas; and the longest route (2,200 miles) will begin on the Pacific coast. Wednesday evening’s event (7-10 p.m.) at the stadium will include prayer and Eucharistic adoration, and speakers that include Bishop Andrew Cozzens, Cardinal Christophe Pierre, and several others.
 
-- Thursday and Friday will have similar schedules, beginning with Mass followed by a big gathering at Lucas Oil Stadium for an Encounter session, and smaller Empower sessions geared for targeted groups. The Empower sessions are for those wanting to experience a smaller setting, allowing for Q & A with speakers. Sessions/special tracks are set for ministry leaders, families, Spanish-speakers and youth. Breakout sessions both afternoons cover a variety of topics, many already listed on the website with more to come. An exposition hall with tables and displays from apostolates, ministries, religious orders, publishers, and makers of all types will be open in the afternoon. At 4 p.m., a second Mass will be offered both days at the Indiana Convention Center and nearby churches. 
 
-- Saturday will include morning Mass, impact sessions, expo hall, followed by a Eucharistic procession through downtown Indianapolis from 3-5 p.m.
 
Confessions will be available Thursday, Friday and Saturday from “a wonderful group of priests,” says Stepanek. Adoration “will look slightly different” each evening, he adds.
 
-- Sunday will have a closing session followed by Mass with a papal delegate with music from the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. A commissioning ceremony will wind up the congress.
 
“Everything is about encounter and mission,” says Glemkowski. “We need a spiritual movement of God in the Church. The bishops have prophetically invited everyone in the Church … we are hoping the gathering becomes a leaven back to parishes, (and it is) also a gathering of those standing ‘in the breach,’ inviting a new Pentecost.
 
“It’s not just a nice gathering of Catholics to help us feel good. It’s going to be a powerful work of God bringing renewal.”
 
Costs and Deals
 
An individual pass to the congress for all five days is $360; family passes are available as are group rates and youth group rates. In January and February, a 10% discount is available.
 
Day passes are now available; a weekend pass for Saturday and Sunday is an option.
 
The NEC also has a Solidarity Fund for about $1 million in scholarships; a portion 
of that will focus on youth scholarships.
 
“It’s not perfect, but we really try (to keep the cost down) as much as possible so people can encounter this moment,” organizers say.
 
Housing options include hotels near and farther away; camping; and alternative housing such as Airbnb and VBRO. The nearby hotels are expensive, Glemkowski says, but there is, at the moment, “a lot of available housing still in the metro area,” within about a 20-minute drive from the event. He notes one hotel by the airport that currently has rooms for $125 a night. Check the “Visit Indy” website for information.
 
More information: www.eucharisticcongress.org
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