Celebrating Faith: Insights from the Eucharistic Congress with Father Scott McCue

Recently, thousands of Catholics from across Eastern North Carolina gathered in Raleigh for the Diocese of Raleigh’s first-ever Eucharistic Congress. Very Rev. Scott E. McCue, V.F., Pastor of St. Thomas More in Chapel Hill and dean of the Piedmont Deanery, was the coordinator of this momentous event for the diocese, which celebrated our shared faith.

Father McCue reminisced about several profound moments that deeply resonated with him during the Eucharistic Congress. Among them was the Eucharistic procession led by Bishop Luis Rafael Zarama, which preceded morning prayer and adoration.

"The sight of devoted faces, the collective love for the divine, and the sense of unity among the diverse attendees filled the vast hall with a profound sense of reverence," shared Father McCue.

Reflecting on the significance of this assembly, Father McCue underscored how it united individuals from every corner of the diocese, transcending geographical boundaries as people came together to celebrate in their faith. The congress, with over 5,000 attendees, symbolized the vibrant growth and unity within the local Church over the years.

Empowering the Youth: A Cornerstone of the Eucharistic Congress

A pivotal element of the Diocese of Raleigh's Eucharistic Congress was the deliberate inclusion of members of youth programs in different parishes of the diocese. Father McCue emphasized the importance of crafting a dedicated space and program for the youth, acknowledging their pivotal role in shaping the Church's present and future.

“I never like it when people say well, ‘this is the future of the Catholic Church.’ They are not. It's the present of the Church, right?” commented Father McCue.

From its inception, the Congress prioritized an environment where the youth could converge, express their faith, and actively engage. Father McCue vividly recalled the exhilarating sight of diverse youth groups arriving, each proudly displaying vibrant flags and banners representing their parishes. The energy and enthusiasm of these young participants added an invigorating zeal to the congress.

Father McCue also found profound satisfaction in witnessing the active participation of the youth. He lauded their eagerness to engage in various sessions, workshops, and activities. The congress didn't merely involve the youth; it sought to empower them, recognizing their contribution to the church's vitality.

Reflecting on the impact of the youth's presence, Father McCue stressed the necessity of acknowledging their indispensable contributions to the Church's present narrative. He envisioned these young participants as catalysts for change, carrying the values instilled in them back to their parishes, schools, and communities.

Following the Eucharistic Congress, celebrations will extend throughout the year, culminating in the 100th-anniversary Mass next November. The primary objective remains to educate, honor the history, and foster unity within the Diocese of Raleigh.

While Father McCue is humbled and grateful for the pivotal role he was able to play in the success of the Eucharistic Congress, he hopes it is merely the beginning of a longer-term effort that transcends mere commemoration, and leads to a collective deeper understanding and appreciation of our rich Catholic heritage in Eastern North Carolina and its relevance in our contemporary society.