About the Task Force for Eucharistic Education

Only about one in eight (12%) young adults today identifies as Catholic—even though Catholics comprise about 22% of all U.S. adults. That’s a drastic and tragic decline.

And no wonder! Most young Catholics don’t believe in the Eucharist, “source and summit of the Christian life.” A poll in 2021 found that 18-21 year-olds who were raised Catholic couldn’t agree with the statement, “I believe the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ”(see chart at left). And a 2019 survey found that only 26% of Catholics age 18-40 believe “bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Jesus.”[1]

While this may seem a crisis of dissent, it is more a crisis of education. About two-thirds (64%) of the unbelieving young adults admitted to being unsure or unaware of the Church’s teaching on the Real Presence. And 62% thought the Church teaches that Communion wine and bread are just symbols.

Gregory A. Smith, “Just One-Third of U.S. Catholics Agree with Their Church that Eucharist is Body, Blood of Christ” (August 5, 2019) at Pew Research Center, One-third of U.S. Catholics believe in transubstantiation

Renewal of Eucharistic Education

Photo provided courtesy of Regina Pacis Academy, Norwalk, Conn

At a Cardinal Newman Society meeting of Catholic educators, the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ three-year Eucharistic Revival urged them to help renew understanding and love of the Eucharist. We are taking up this charge by collaborating with faithful Catholic educators to advance the following objectives:

  • a revival of Eucharistic literacy, by teaching young people the truth of the Real Presence in the Eucharist;
  • a revival of Eucharistic liturgy, by improving music, prayer, and reverence in school and college liturgies;
  • a revival of Eucharistic devotion, by increasing prayer and adoration among young people; and
  • a revival of Eucharistic living, by helping students live according to the reality of Christ within them.

Task Force for Eucharistic Education

The Cardinal Newman Society is working to identify, solicit, and promote inspiring efforts by Catholic schools, colleges, homeschool programs, and individual educators and students that advance a revival of Eucharistic literacy, Eucharistic liturgy, Eucharistic devotion, and Eucharistic living among young people.

By use of an online application, we invite institutions and individuals to sign a statement of fidelity and provide detailed descriptions of projects that clearly and faithfully fulfill the objectives of the Task Force. Participants and their projects will be promoted to media and on a dedicated website. We hope for a wide variety of projects, including academic conferences, research, publications, formative student programs, liturgies, prayer, and more.

people standing in front of a cross

Steering Committee of the
Task Force for Eucharistic Education

The following leaders comprise the Steering Committee of the Task Force for Eucharistic Education:

  • Mary Pat Donoghue, Executive Director, USCCB Secretariat for Catholic Education

  • Deacon Keith Fournier, Dean, Catholic Online School

  • Charlie McKinney, President, Sophia Institute Press

  • Father David Pivonka, T.O.R., President, Franciscan University of Steubenville

  • Dr. Robert Royal, President, Faith and Reason Institute

  • Dr. Michael St. Pierre, Executive Director, Catholic Campus Ministry Association
  • Patrick Reilly, President, The Cardinal Newman Society

  • Monsignor James Shea, President, University of Mary

  • Lincoln Snyder, President, National Catholic Educational Association

  • Father Peter Stravinskas, President, Catholic Education Foundation

  • Sister Cecilia Anne Wanner, O.P., President, Aquinas College (Nashville)

Inaugural Institutional Members of the
Task Force for Eucharistic Education

Aquinas College (Nashville, Tenn.)

Ave Maria University (Ave Maria, Fla.)

Belmont Abbey College (Belmont, N.C.)

Benedictine College (Atchison, Kan.)

Christendom College (Front Royal, Va.)

Franciscan University of Steubenville (Steubenville, Ohio)

Holy Apostles College and Seminary (Cromwell, Conn.)

John Paul the Great Catholic University (Escondido, Calif.)

Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts (Warner, N.H.)

Thomas More College of Liberal Arts (Merrimack, N.H.)

University of Dallas (Irving, Tex.)

University of Mary (Bismarck, N.Dak.)

University of St. Thomas (Houston, Tex.)

Walsh University (North Canton, Ohio)

Wyoming Catholic College (Lander, Wyo.)

Academy of Our Lady (Marrero, La.)

Beckman Catholic High School (Dyersville, Iowa)

Father Gabriel Richard High School (Ann Arbor, Mich.)

Holy Child Catholic School (Tijeras, N.M.)

Holy Rosary Academy (Anchorage, Alaska)

Maur Hill-Mount Academy (Atchison, Kan.)

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School (Coraopolis, Pa.)

Regina Pacis Academy (Norwalk, Conn.)

Rhodora Donahue Academy of Ave Maria (Ave Maria, Fla.)

Seton School (Manassas, Va.)

St. John Vianney High School (St. Louis, Mo.)

St. Theresa Catholic School (Sugar Land, Tex.)