The campaign allows parishes as well as individuals to get involved and coincides with the National Eucharistic Revival.
The transforming power of the encounter with Jesus Christ in the Eucharist is a phenomenon that is often difficult to fully understand. To help those seeking the presence of Jesus, the Archdiocese of Detroit and Hallow app is launching the “I Am Here” campaign.
The campaign allows parishes as well as individuals to get involved. Through the teachings of the National Eucharistic Revival, a grassroots effort led by U.S. bishops to inspire and teach the Eucharist, the campaign aims to promote true devotion to Real Presence.
The campaign launched on June 14. The campaign includes a website, social media and testimonies from real people whose lives have been changed by the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. The Hallow app is also helping the organization with a series of free audio prayer meditations to help listeners pray.
“Something that I think is really unique about the way we do evangelism and mission is direct communication in the Archdiocese of Detroit. We have always highlighted and seen the power of personal testimonies and personal stories,” Emily Mentock, associate director of strategy for the Archdiocese of Detroit, told CNA.
The National Eucharistic Revival and “I Am Here” come in response to the small percentage of Catholics who believe in the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. A 2019 Pew Research Center survey found that 69% of Catholics view bread and wine as symbolic, while only 31% view bread and wine as the Body and Blood of Jesus.
Because of that stat, Mentock told CNA he wanted to focus on the 31% who believe it and have them share their stories. She tells everyone, “Open your heart and your mind to what might be possible.”
“We hope to see our parishes transformed by people who grow in the love of Jesus Christ and in their zeal to communicate that love to others,” said Edmundo Reyes, director of communications for the Archdiocese of Detroit.
The website features powerful photo essays of transformative encounters with real people, resources for intentional prayer through Hallow, and inspirational messages urging their audiences to seek out the real presence of Jesus.
“You are never alone. In your brokenness, sorrows and frustrations. Jesus wants to say to you, ‘Here I am,’ says the main message on the webpage.
Thanks to a burgeoning social media presence on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, the campaign will feature personal testimonies of Eucharistic encounters. The campaign press release also says campaign organizers, in partnership with parishes, will collect stories from parishioners to help encourage others to find Jesus in the Eucharist themselves. Parishes wishing to get involved can contact [email protected]
The stories on the website feature people from all walks of life. From teenagers to seniors, everyone has a unique experience to share. The variety of testimonies are meant to show the audience that there is no need to find the Real Presence, only that you “sit in its presence and open yourself to its voice.”
“Mass is an obligation, you know, whether you believe in the real presence or not. But worship only makes sense, really, when you go and look and stand in front of that Host if you think Jesus is present there: Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity,” Mentock told CNA.
“So we really want people to see the ‘I’m here’ message. What underlies all of this is that it is not just about devotion. It is truly Jesus who is here with us and who goes through the brokenness of our world to meet us and transform us in the gift that is the Eucharist.