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The Catholic world has taken notice of the Eucharistic revival in Sydney

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The Catholic Church Down Under has caught the attention of the Catholic world as it experiences a powerful resurgence of faith.

In the Archdiocese of Sydney, Australia, a record number of 15,000 people filled the streets during the annual Corpus Christi Eucharistic procession, a number that has doubled over the last few years.

“I can see the spirit at work in the people in their response at a parish level. They are very keen to lift up the saints, to celebrate the Church,” said Bishop Richard Umbers, from the Archdiocese of Sydney.

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Bishop Umbers says the growth may be due to a number of things, including social media and improving logistics, like making buses available to parishioners. But more than a spike in attendance, he is also seeing a heightened desire among Australians to profess their faith publicly, especially following the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There’s a growing awareness or hunger for what was missing and the desire to be with the Lord, to know that he is with us. And also, the curtailing of our religious freedoms,” he said.

“This is now becoming more pronounced and you can see that there is a growing tension in terms of a Christian understanding of the human person and the world, as opposed to other ways of looking at our place in the universe.”

Their processions incorporate cultural elements from around the world, fitting for the metropolitan melting pot of Sydney. Bishop Umbers gathered some ideas from his time at World Youth Day in Portugal.

He took advantage of that trip to see candlelight processions in Fatima and travel to Seville, Spain for a procession for the Feast of the Assumption. And what stood out to him the most was how passionate the young people were.

“There is a genuine desire on the part of especially young people to lift a statue up on their shoulders and to live that fraternity. There’s a real sense of belonging,” he said.

Moving forward, the Archdiocese of Sydney hopes to employ someone full time to manage these processions. And they are confident that the numbers will only continue to grow as more and more young people get involved in the church.

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