“On the Move” the first Marian Youth Eucharistic Day (JEMJ)

Start with enthusiasm and hope

It all began when the results of a survey were made public stating that 70% of young Americans do not believe in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. As a result of that investigation and other data, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) launched a project called National Eucharistic Revival to intensify faith in the Eucharist through different activities.

If this research were carried out in Spain, the results would not be – in general terms – very different. But, faced with news like this, defeatist positions cannot be adopted. Quite the contrary, it is time to get up and act. Thus, the association “On going JEMJ” was born, determined to offer young people an experience of Christ alive in the Eucharist, at the hand of Mary, Our Mother. And plans began to organize the first Youth Marian Eucharistic Day (better known by its acronym: JEMJ, it is read jenjota): a tool at the service of the evangelization of young people.

Mons. D. Jesús Sanz, archbishop of Oviedo, welcomed the idea with great enthusiasm. In an interview, he recently explained that, upon hearing about the JEMJ, “I immediately accepted the proposal and considered it a gift from heaven.” Thanks to him, the first JEMJ will take place from July 5 to 7, 2024 in the emblematic Sanctuary of Covadonga (Asturias, Spain), aimed at young people between 14 and 30 years old. The music, the formation, the testimonies… will lead us to the great adoration on Saturday night, which will continue in shifts of candlelight in the Holy Cave of Santina, animated by the different ecclesial realities present. Bishop Sanz will be present throughout the weekend and will preside over the closing Holy Mass on July 7, 2024.

Mons. José Ignacio Munilla, bishop of Orihuela-Alicante (Spain), wanted to record a video inviting young people to participate in the JEMJ. Mons. Munilla is one of the most media-friendly bishops in Spain: on his personal YouTube channel alone – I trust you – he gathers 170,000 subscribers and millions of listeners listen to him from Ivoox and other platforms. His vision of what the JEMJ is going to be is exciting, it is a vision of faith. He states: “I encourage all young people to participate in this meeting. (The JEMJ) will be like entering the womb of Mary to, from her womb, like the gift of the Eucharist, offer ourselves for the evangelization of the new world, of this world that needs the reunion with Jesus Christ, needs to discover Jesus Christ as the light of the world”.

Mons. D. Antonio Prieto, bishop of Alcalá de Henares, will also be in Covadonga. He will be responsible for giving the 2,000 young participants of this meeting the Eucharistic formation talk on the morning of Saturday, July 6, 2024. Mons. D. Ginés García Beltrán, bishop of Getafe, at the question of “Why go to the JEMJ?”, responded: “To meet there with the Lord, with his Mother, with the Church. We are waiting for you!”

Registration for the JEMJ is free and can be done individually or in groups. Registration does not include meals or accommodation, so that each group can organize itself as it is easiest for them, but, when registering, there will be the possibility of reserving food (in picnic bags and at affordable prices) and simple accommodation in tents, schools and sports facilities (free of charge). The assignment of these free accommodation spaces is the responsibility of the JEMJ Registration Department, which can be contacted by email: [email protected]

The Registration Department invites all groups that are planning to participate in the JEMJ to write a message to the indicated email ([email protected]) as a pre-registration to reserve a minimum of places, even if they cannot yet specify the exact number. It is very important to attend to this invitation given that the number of places in Covadonga is limited and fewer and fewer places are available.

You can follow the news that is published about the JEMJ through our social networks (Instagram, WhatsApp and YouTube). They have the links on the official website: www.jemj.org

Faced with a society marked by the lack of meaning in life and in the face of ideologies that want to steal our hope, we shout the motto of the first JEMJ: “Lift your hearts”, because the spiritual rebirth we long for is beginning, but “it passes through the Eucharist” (EE 60).

Interview with Bishop Jesús Sanz