Year of the Eucharist start postponed to Corpus Christi

BRAINTREE -- The Archdiocese of Boston's Year of the Eucharist, which was scheduled to begin on Holy Thursday, April 9, has been postponed until the feast of Corpus Christi in June.

The decision was made in light of the suspension of Masses to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

In an April 3 letter to parishes, Vicar General Bishop Peter Uglietto said, "God often works in paradoxes," acknowledging that the coronavirus pandemic began just as the archdiocese was preparing to begin the Year of the Eucharist.

The suspension of Masses went into effect on March 14. Bishop Uglietto said it is "one of the most painful dimensions of this pandemic" for him and his brother priests.

"Often, though, we don't know what it is we have until it is taken away. Or, sometimes, when something is taken away from us, we yearn for it all the more. Not that God causes things like pandemics, but He can use them for good. This is the paradox: God can, and will, use this time of absence to increase our hunger for Him in the Eucharist. And He can, and will, use this time to help us better understand and truly believe that the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ," Bishop Uglietto said.

Father Paul Soper, the archdiocese's secretary for evangelization and discipleship, said the Year of the Eucharist's first archdiocese-wide event, Walking with Mary, which was scheduled for April 18, has also been postponed to an undetermined date.

Inaugurated in 2016 to mark the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy declared by Pope Francis, Walking with Mary is a day-long celebration of prayer culminating in a procession honoring different ethnic communities' devotions to the Blessed Mother.

Speaking to The Pilot on April 6, Father Soper said they have not yet made definite plans for how the Year of the Eucharist will begin because "we want to have a better sense about what's going to be possible to do by the time we get to Corpus Christi."