WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — The start of a journey towards progressed faith. That is what today is about for Catholics around the nation.

In this weekend of celebration, the Cathedral of St. Joseph is kicking off the opening of the National Eucharistic Revival – a three-year initiative happening across the United States – and people are lining up in front of the cathedral to start the procession happening in Downtown Wheeling. 

The National Eucharistic Revival is an initiative sponsored by the Bishops of the United States, seeking to bring together the People of God to move them into a mission of renewal of the Catholic Church. 

This Sunday is not any other Sunday. It holds significance in the Catholic faith, and Chad Cater, Chancellor of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, iterates the importance of beginning this nationwide initiative today. 

“So today in the Catholic Church we celebrate the solemnity of Corpus Christi Sunday – the most holy body and blood of Christ – and it’s been a long-standing part of Catholic tradition to have a Eucharistic procession outside of the church, through the neighborhoods on this feast day,” said Cater.

Over the next three years, the National Eucharistic Revival will play out in three phases.

This first phase is the ‘Year of Diocesan Revival’ which involves community celebrations like this one.

After participating in Mass, the procession exited the cathedral of St. Joseph, and walked to St. Alphonsus Church where a final benediction was held before lunch was served. 

Why a procession? Bishop Brennan of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston says its significance is symbolic to the Catholic faith. 

“We are a pilgrim people. We are on a journey of faith toward the promised land. For us, that’s heaven, but the Lord walks with us, and that is the beauty of this event – the Eucharistic procession. The Lord is walking with us on our journey of faith,” said Brennan.

2022 into 2023 is just the first year for this initiative, and it will be continuing for the next three years into 2025.