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Throwback Thursday – 1926: 28th International Eucharistic Congress, Chicago, Illinois


The 28th International Eucharistic Congress in Chicago was the first international congress held in the United States.

With 60,000 children singing the Mass of the Angels before a gathering of more than 250,000 pilgrims in and around Soldiers Field Stadium, Bishop Thomas Louis Heylen, of Namur, Belgium, opened the formal service of the Eucharistic Congress. Due to the heavy turnout for the event, thousands were unable to enter the stadium, and had to participate from locations outside the facility.

The international congress was heavily covered by the media. Archbishop George Mundelein of Chicago used the latest technology to record the event. The more than 30,000 feet of raw film shot was edited into a film titled “The Pictorial Record of the XXVIII International Eucharistic Congress” using inter-titles, text, to narrate the silent action. The film was screened nationally.

The Knights of Columbus Supreme Council provided financial support to the Congress and encouraged Knights to attend if they possibly could.

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