The 50th International Eucharistic Congress (IEC2012) will feature the unveiling of a Healing Stone during the Opening Ceremony in the RDS on 10 June as a means of acknowledging the abuse of children.
The Healing Stone comprises a large, shaped piece of Wicklow granite which is engraved with a prayer composed by a survivor of clerical abuse. The prayer was originally featured in the Liturgy of Lament celebrated in Dublin’s Pro-Cathedral in 2011.
Work on the Healing Stone project began in early 2012. Following consultation with various people, including abuse survivors, it was agreed that the stone would be an appropriate symbol for the Congress.
Fr Kevin Doran, Secretary General of IEC2012, said: “Stone speaks of permanence. To say something is ‘carved in stone’ is to say that it is here to stay rather than just a passing thought. The stone represents the firm determination to work for healing and renewal.
“In our Christian tradition, the stone which covered the tomb of Jesus, symbolises both the end of His earthly existence and the fact of His Resurrection. We are conscious of the fact that, for many who have experienced abuse, either themselves or to a member of their family, the pain of abuse can sometimes be like a stone weighing heavily on them. It is a stone that, in some way or other needs to be rolled back so that they can be set free.”
Fr Doran added: “It is planned that after the Congress, the Stone will be given a more permanent home on an accessible site, where people can pause and pray, and so that there will be a permanent public reminder of our need never to take safeguarding for granted.”
- Aisling Harmey, Media Relations Manager, 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012, Tel: 00353 (01) 234 9903 Mob: 00353 (0) 87 137 2447
- Aoife Connors, Media Officer, 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012,
Tel: 00353 (01) 234 9940 Mob: 00353 (0) 87 628 0580
Notes for Editors:
- The 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012 will take place in Dublin from 10 – 17 June 2012 with up to 25,000 pilgrims expected to attend each day at the RDS, including 12,000 international pilgrims representing more than 99 different countries.
- IEC2012 will transform the RDS into a Eucharistic Village for an eight day festival of faith and culture. The Eucharist will be celebrated in the Liturgy and adored in the Prayer Space.
- The Congress is an international gathering of people, every four years somewhere in the world, which aims to promote an awareness of the central place of the Eucharist in the life and mission of the Catholic Church; to help improve our understanding and celebration of the liturgy and to draw attention to the social dimension of the Eucharist. These aims are achieved through a programme of pastoral preparation in the years leading up to the Congress and a programme of liturgical and cultural events, lectures and workshops over the course of one week. Previous Congresses took place in Quebec (2008) and Guadalajara (2004)
- The theme of the Congress is ‘The Eucharist: Communion with Christ and with one Another’ (Communion – like Solidarity – means a relationship of mutual love and self-giving).
- On 17 June, more than 80,000 people are expected to gather and celebrate Statio Orbis, the Final Mass, of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012 at Croke Park Stadium.
- There will be 18 keynote addresses by international speakers.
- 22 Keynote Speakers will deliver Catechesis (teaching), personal testimonies, homilies and addresses.
- 160 Workshops including talks, addresses, group reflections, meetings, concerts and plays
- 6 keynote speakers will lead a parallel programme for 18-25 years olds during the week
- The full programme is available at: http://www.iec2012.ie/programme
- For more information: www.iec2012.ie
- Registration for the Congress is now live on http://www.iec2012.ie/registration