Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

Production of ‘Garden’ a part of the Eucharistic Revival

By JOEY MARTINECK | Published July 17, 2023

I’m 18 years old and my college roommate calls me over to watch a video clip: a dramatic skit entitled “Lifehouse Everything.” Immediately, I’m drawn in by the music and actors. As the scene progresses, I feel my heart do a flip inside my chest. Uttering an almost inaudible “thank you,” I leave my roommate, go into my room, and “muffle cry” for two hours. You know what I’m talking about? When you need to cry, but you don’t want the person in the room next to you to hear? 

Joey Martineck

I had been Catholic all my life. I had seen sculptures of the crucifix every Sunday and wore one around my neck. But in a matter of minutes, this skit taught me more about the Cross than I had ever known. It spoke to my heart. It showed me a lover fighting for his beloved, handing over his body to save her (see Eph 5:25). 

Has your heart ever been stirred by beauty? By a particular song or scene in a movie? Art has this amazing ability to reconnect us to our hearts. So often we are disconnected, numb to our deepest desires, hopes and fears. The danger is that if we aren’t in touch with our hearts, Christianity will have seemingly nothing to offer us. Worse: we may mistakenly approach the faith merely from a place of rigid legalism. The first words of Jesus in the Gospel of John are not a commandment, but instead, a question. “What are you looking for?” (Jn 1:38).  

An indispensable focus of Eucharistic Revival should of course be on the reality of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. But this is only the beginning. St. Pope John Paul II taught that “the Eucharist … is the Sacrament of the Bridegroom and of the Bride” (Mulieris Dignitatem, 26).  

Consider this: What if what happens on the altar every Sunday—the priest elevating the host with the words, “This is my body given for you”—is more special than we have dared to dream? What if this very act had something to do with the way spouses give their bodies (and whole selves) to each other on their wedding day and throughout their marriage? 

Rather than have us run away from the messiness of our bodily humanity, the Lord wants us to enter precisely into it. For the Good News is that he entered personally into our humanity. Reflecting on the words of Jesus, St. John Paul II realized that if we want to truly understand ourselves, we have to start with the story of our creation as male and female and the call for the two to become one flesh. In our hearts, there always remains an “echo” of this beginning before sin, and when we hear that echo in beautiful art, we recognize it as something already familiar to us, something we have known all along.   

This summer the Archdiocese of Atlanta is producing “Garden,” a full-stage retelling of the story of Adam and Eve, inspired by Pope St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body.  

This is an effort of the New Evangelization and part of our Eucharistic Revival. I wrote this play with my friends Greg and Lizzy Boudreaux and will be directing this summer’s production. After sellout crowds in Louisiana, “Gardenis premiering in Atlanta July 27-30 and August 3-6.  

A portion of the profits (10%) from the production will go to the Pregnancy Aid Clinic (PAC) to support ongoing efforts to walk with moms in need. Tickets and more information can be found at   

Joey Martineck is director of the Respect Life Ministry at the Archdiocese of Atlanta and a member of the Eucharistic Revival Task Force.