Real Presence: College Kicks Off National Effort at Regional Eucharistic Procession

Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, is helping lead a National Eucharistic Revival headed by alumnus Bishop Andrew Cozzens through its mission of: Community, by sponsoring the National Eucharistic Congress and serving as a stopping place on the national Eucharistic Procession; Faith, by perpetual Eucharistic adoration and prayer aids; and Scholarship teaching about the Real Presence with a national Symposium and providing important Eucharistic theological books to all students.

Nothing is more important than the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.

That’s what Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, is saying, by participating in a Eucharistic Procession, sponsoring the National Eucharistic Congress, and through ongoing student outreach.

Archbishop Joseph Naumann has invited everyone to participate in the Atchison Region Eucharistic Procession & Adoration on Divine Mercy Sunday in Atchison, Kansas, April 16, 2023, from 1:30 to 3:00 pm. The procession will begin at St. Benedict’s Parish Church on the Benedictine College campus.

A dozen parishes and their priests from throughout the Atchison Region will take part in the Procession and the Benedictine College Knights of Columbus will carry the canopy.

The procession will cap off a day in which 10 members of the Benedictine College community are welcomed into the fullness of the Catholic faith by Archbishop Naumann — including nine students and one staff member who met the Catholic faith on campus.

President Stephen D. Minnis said the college wants to show in as many ways possible how key the Eucharist is to the future of the nation. “This is a crucial issue for our time, and all times,” President Minnis said. “Benedictine College traces its two decades of enrollment growth l to the establishment of perpetual Eucharistic adoration on our campus.”

The procession is just one of the events the college hopes will promote the Eucharist in the face of flagging faith in the Church’s doctrine that Jesus Christ is present in the Blessed Sacrament.

Other efforts the college has made include:

  • Sponsoring the 10th ever National Eucharistic Congress, to be held in the summer of 2024 in Indianapolis, the first such congress to be held in 83 years.
  • “Proclaiming the Real Presence: The Body of Christ in a Secular World,” at the Symposium for Transforming Culture in America, an event featuring international leaders speaking on the Eucharist.
  • Providing students with copies of The Church From the Eucharist by St. John Paul II, and Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist by Brant Pitre.

President Minnis listed the “Eucharistic connections” that have propelled Benedictine College to prominence:

  • Early in the 21st century, the college began perpetual Eucharistic adoration on campus, which powered 20 years of enrollment growth that followed.
  • The Eucharistic Revival underway in the Church in America is headed by Bishop Andrew Cozzens, the seventh 21st century bishop who is an alumnus of Benedictine College.
  • Benedictine College’s new plan to Transform Culture in America is the college’s response to what St. John Paul asked for in his document The Church in America, which says: “The Gospel will penetrate the hearts of the men and women of America and permeate their cultures, transforming them from within” especially through “the Eucharist as center of communion with God and with each other.”

“You will find Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament everywhere on campus,” Minnis said. “We have built five new chapels, featuring tabernacles in our Residence Halls. The Abbey tower, which is the highest point on campus, is a marker showing the way to the tabernacle there, visible for miles.”

St. Benedict’s Parish is heading up the Divine Mercy Eucharistic Procession and has invited all families to walk in the procession or join for Adoration at the Missouri riverfront. Second graders are welcomed to wear their First Communion outfits and will have a special role in the procession.

Benedictine College

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is honored to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, the best private college in Kansas by The Wall Street Journal, and one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. Benedictine College is dedicated to transforming culture in America through its mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.