The Subway to the Sacred: Brooklyn’s Breathtaking Eucharistic Revival

Canceled once, it overcame its challenges and knocked it out of the park, all to adore Christ.

Bishop Robert Brennan leads a Eucharistic procession inside a packed Louis Armstrong Stadium in Brooklyn, New York.
Bishop Robert Brennan leads a Eucharistic procession inside a packed Louis Armstrong Stadium in Brooklyn, New York. (photo: Jeffrey Bruno )

I’d never ridden the subway with a bishop before.

But then again, how many of us have? 

Bishop Robert Brennan from the Diocese of Brooklyn is not your typical bishop — and I mean that with the utmost respect for the men who hold the office. Each is unique, endowed with their own personalities, charisms and abilities. So perhaps don’t go telling your bishop he needs to start riding mass transit just yet.

He’s striking in the way he carries himself: You can sense a deep spirituality and humility within him. He’s genuinely kind and attentive — a true pastor.

If there were a contest for “Most Likely to Ride the Subway With His Flock,” I believe Bishop Brennan would win hands down.

Taking a ride on the subway with Bishop Robert Brennan, alongside other faithful heading to the Diocese of Brooklyn's Eucharistic Revival
Taking a ride on the subway with Bishop Robert Brennan, alongside other faithful heading to the Diocese of Brooklyn’s Eucharistic Revival(Photo: Jeffrey Bruno)

I first met him in 2021, upon his eventful reassignment to Brooklyn. He had barely settled into the Diocese of Columbus, Ohio, in 2019 — where the paint in his office was probably still drying — only to be moved, much to the sorrow of the Columbus flock.

On the bright side, he’s a Mets fan. Though their recent performance hasn’t been much of a consolation, maybe his prayers will give them a boost.

Bishop Brennan is greeted by one of New York’s Finest as he arrives at the Court Street Station.
Bishop Brennan is greeted by one of New York’s Finest as he arrives at the Court Street Station.(Photo: Jeffrey Bruno)

So, early on Saturday morning, in anticipation of the Eucharistic Revival at Louis Armstrong Stadium in Flushing Meadows, he boarded the 7 Train with members of his flock in tow. With each stop, more of the faithful joined, filling the carriages.

And they did exactly what you would expect a group of Catholics on a subway to do: They sang, they chanted, Viva Cristo Rey! and they laughed with a joy so palpable, it electrified the air.

By the time we rolled into Mets-Willets Point Station, it felt like a rolling celebration.

Bishop carries the Blessed Sacrament and monstrance during a Eucharistic procession at Louis Armstrong Stadium.
Bishop Brennan carries the Blessed Sacrament and monstrance during a Eucharistic procession at Louis Armstrong Stadium.(Photo: Jeffrey Bruno)

That would have been enough to fill our hearts, but it was just the warm-up.

The day unfolded with thousands traversing the borough to join a day-long celebration of the diocese’s Eucharistic Revival.

Thousands arriving at Louis Armstrong Stadium for the Eucharistic Revival and procession within the Diocese of Brooklyn, N.Y.
Thousands arrive at Louis Armstrong Stadium for the Eucharistic Revival and procession within the Diocese of Brooklyn.(Photo: Jeffrey Bruno)

I could speak volumes about the day, but there was one moment … a moment that shook me to the core.

It was during the Eucharistic Procession, a winding path around the stadium’s exterior, mostly out of sight — until the point of entrance.

Bishop carries the Blessed Sacrament and monstrance during a Eucharistic procession at Louis Armstrong Stadium.
Bishop Brennan carries the Blessed Sacrament during a Eucharistic procession at Louis Armstrong Stadium.(Photo: Jeffrey Bruno)

As Bishop Brennan, carrying Christ, became visible to the gathered crowd, applause erupted — not just any applause, but one of overwhelming joy.

It was the kind of spontaneous outpouring that occurs when words fall short, and emotions soar.

Crowds adore the Blessed Sacrament as the monstrance makes its way to the altar.
Crowds adore the Blessed Sacrament as the monstrance makes its way to the altar.(Photo: Jeffrey Bruno)

They were applauding for Christ.

The sound wrapped around the stadium, penetrating hearts and souls, as evidenced by the smiling, tear-streaked faces turning toward Him.

Bishop Brennan carries the thurible around the altar inside Louis Armstrong Stadium.
Bishop Brennan carries the thurible around the altar inside Louis Armstrong Stadium.(Photo: Jeffrey Bruno)

I’ll leave it at this: Something breathtaking happened in Queens that Saturday.

A young man in prayer during the Diocese of Brooklyn's Eucharistic Revival on April 20, 2024.
A young man prays during the Diocese of Brooklyn’s Eucharistic Revival on April 20.(Photo: Jeffrey Bruno)

And in mid-July, that same breathtaking event will unfold at the heart of the United States.

Priests who concelebrated Mass with Bishop Brennan during the Diocese of Brooklyn's Eucharistic Revival on April 20, 2024.
Priests who concelebrated Mass with Bishop Brennan(Photo: Jeffrey Bruno)

In three weeks, the Catholic faithful will kick off four historic and unprecedented pilgrimages, each originating from one of the four compass points of our great land.

Bishop Brennan celebrates Mass for thousands gathered on April 20, 2024.
Bishop Brennan celebrates Mass for thousands gathered on April 20.(Photo: Jeffrey Bruno)

Together, they will travel more than 6,500 miles, with more than 100,000 participants, converging on the 10th Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis July 17-21 — the first congress in 83 years.

A woman prays during Mass during the Diocese of Brooklyn's Eucharistic Revival on April 20, 2024.
A woman prays during Mass during the Diocese of Brooklyn’s Eucharistic Revival.(Photo: Jeffrey Bruno)

Proclaiming Christ the King, the Giver of all gifts, fully present in the Blessed Sacrament to the entire world.

What a beautiful time to be alive.

What an incredible gift to have faith.

What a breathtaking reality to know and love Jesus Christ.

But all of that pales in comparison to the truth that we are known and loved by Him.

Praise God.

Bishop Brennan celebrates Mass inside Louis Armstrong Stadium on April 20, 2024.
Bishop Brennan celebrates Mass inside Louis Armstrong Stadium on April 20.(Photo: Jeffrey Bruno)
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