Eucharistic Congress 2012

THIS time last year Pope Benedict announced that the next International Eucharistic Congress will take place in Ireland in 2012. Many Irish people have heard their parents or grandparents talking about the 1932 Congress, but few know what a Eucharistic Congress actually is. This time last year, I didn’t really know either.The activities of the last Congress, in Quebec, included:

Daily celebration of the Eucharist;
Talks and workshops on the meaning of the Eucharist and its implications for Christian living;
A packed lunch shared by 13,000 participants;
Choral concerts and plays;
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament;
A gathering place for young people;
A Blessed Sacrament procession through the streets of Quebec;
Closing Mass with a telecast from Pope Benedict

The Eucharist is not simply about receiving the Body of Christ. We are also called to be the body of Christ and, like him, to be given for others. Preparing for the Congress will challenge us to deepen our own understanding of the Eucharist, to share our gifts and to offer our service. Only thus can we be ready to welcome the many people coming to celebrate the Congress with us. So, before it even happens, it can help to form us into one body.

Many Irish people had a similar experience during preparations for the Special Olympics.
To host the Congress will cost money. This is an investment in nourishing our faith for the long-term. In the present economic climate, an extravagant Congress would not be appropriate. It can be simple without being cheap. Most of the funding will come from modest contributions by “the ordinary man and woman.” Fundraising will begin on the Feast of Corpus Christi, with a special collection in all churches. Archbishop Diarmuid Martin recently appointed a planning committee and I was asked to take overall responsibility for organisation. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will guide us.In the coming months, a web-site will give all theinformation and opportunities for people to participate.With God’s help, we will do this well together.

taken from  Alive Magazine June 2009