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Detroit Rising: Evangelizing through Jesus in the Eucharist

October 20, 2022

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“In the Holy Eucharist we reach the summit of our participation in the victory of Christ over sin and death—the triumph we proclaim in the new evangelization. In this Most Blessed Sacrament we have the source of our zeal and strength to unleash the Gospel.” —Unleash The Gospel Pastoral Letter, Marker 3.4

Inspired by the UTG Letter, Detroit Rising events are hosted in various venues throughout the city and designed to be a place for people to encounter Jesus in the Eucharist. The goal: to bring Jesus’s Eucharistic presence to unexpected places.


If I were to say like, prepare for Michael Jordan to speak at a conference I would want to make that the best experience for everyone because I care about Michael Jordan, even though he probably doesn’t care about me. So for the Eucharist and for Jesus, when we put people in front of the Eucharist, we need to prepare and be intentional about how we present the Eucharist to people because he’s the greatest, like he’s the King, right? And when a king walks in, everyone needs to know like Jesus is special and the effort and the way that you present that to people needs to be 100% good.

Hi. My name is Gerardo Butalid and I work for Detroit Catholic Campus Ministry. I’m here at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church and tonight we have an event for young adults and college students called Detroit Rising. So Detroit Rising is a night of worship, adoration, Confession and usually someone comes to speak. Lately we’ve been having it in unique locations. So, for example we had a night at Capitol Park in the middle of Detroit, which was an amazing night of worship. We had Detroit Rising at a coffee shop, which was also another cool event and it was just a moment where the Eucharist can bless this place, bless the people who come to this place, bless the baristas, you know… people who may have never had an experience with the Eucharist. When you walk by, without any context, you can see what is going on and you can see people kneeling before the Eucharist and they could say. “Hey, that must be important to them.”

I was born and raised Catholic but I never really had a relationship with Jesus especially in the sacraments and in the Eucharist specifically. So I was 19 years old and I was really struggling, in a way where I didn’t know what direction to go, how my beliefs and how my faith aligned with the Catholic Church. I ended up going to Australia for World Youth Day in 2008 and I remember this moment like it was yesterday. It was opening Mass and there was about 500,000 people there I remember during the ‘Lamb of God’ I saw priests from all over the world going up to the altar and my exact thought at this moment was, “Man there’s like 500,000 people here, there is no way that we’re going to receive, everyone here is going to receive Jesus. There’s no way.” But, one by one the priests started grabbing the ciborium, where Jesus was in, and they started coming down the altar and it became really real to me. Like wow, this is so important that like they’re willing to distribute this to 500,000 people and I was leaning against the railing. And I remember the song they were singing was “We are One Body,” and it’s a cheesy song, but I just remember crying within that moment I realized how much I’ve missed this and how much I’ve missed Jesus in the Eucharist.

We have this gift that no other denomination of Christianity can talk about, and it’s Jesus present in the Eucharist. And sometimes we keep that to ourselves and every time you drive past a Catholic Church no matter where it is, there is Jesus in a box and this is a way that, you know, we take Jesus out of this box, we take him to the city and we say, “Jesus is going to meet you here. And Jesus, Jesus is going to bless this place here.” So I think it’s important again because we need to be evangelists and you know you can sit there and you can show up on Sunday and just be happy with what’s around you or you can say no we need to do something about this.

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