Ecumenism flourished at the 50th International Eucharistic Congress (IEC2012) yesterday (Monday 11th) with an extensive programme of events on the RDS campus and main arena focusing on the importance of Christian Unity.
The theme of the day was ‘Exploring and Celebrating Our Communion through Baptism’.
Thousands of international and Irish pilgrims attended morning Mass in their native languages at IEC2012’s 34 host churches located throughout Dublin City. Hundreds of Canadian pilgrims gathered in the RDS Congress Prayer Space for Mass at 9.30am.
The Congress Choir, Discovery Gospel Choir, soloist David MaGuire, and singer Owen Lynch and Choir provided music and song for events in the main arena at the RDS.
A catechesis on our common baptism: ‘Communion and Baptism: A Passion for the Unity of Christ’s Body’ was delivered in the main RDS arena by Br Alois Löser, Prior of the Taizé Community, France.
Dr Maria Voce, President of the International Focolare Movement, shared her personal testimony on ‘Word of Life’ before the Liturgy of Word and Water that was presided by Archbishop Michael Jackson.
The Liturgy of Word and Water was presided by Archbishop Michael Jackson; Anglican Archbishop of Dublin and Glendalough, Rev. Kenneth Lindsay; President of the Methodist Church, Bishop Brian Farrell; Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, Fr George Zavershinsky; Russian Orthodox Church Ireland, and Deacon Martin O’Connor; St Anne’s Church of Ireland, Dawson Street.
Speaking during the liturgy of Word and Water, Archbishop Jackson said: “The importance to me of this Eucharistic Congress is in its hope of an outworking of this principle. It speaks of the broader picture of the life of communion flowing from baptism. Once we accept that mission is, first and last, God’s mission, questions have to be asked about how we enable this gift of God to be the spiritual activity and the active spirituality of the church of today. And we need to be mindful always that God speaks through the world to the church, as also to the world through the church. Both need each other and both are enriched by the interchange of care and concern.”
He added that “Baptism enables distinct Christian communities to have not simply parallel lives but a shared life ‘conjoined in the missionary purpose of God’ (The Toronto Report). The ministry and mission of God in the church for the world is the responsibility of all God’s people.”
Earlier during the ecumenically themed day, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, IEC2012 President delivered an address at the RDS Concert Hall about ‘The Church in the Modern World’.
Archbishop Martin said: “The particular challenge in Ireland is to learn to know who Jesus is. Many nominal Catholics, including some who, notwithstanding regular attendance in church, have never reflected personally on the faith they have assimilated through societal and familial influence.”
He explained: “The Church has to find new ways of being present in a new Irish society. To do that the Church must re-discover its own sense of communion and sense of common purpose, overcoming its internal divisions in a spirit of love of the Church and in a dialogue of charity.”
“My hope is that this Congress may be a signpost as to how our Communion with Christ in the Eucharist can generate a new understanding of our communion with each other in a modern world which is today very different to that of the 1960s and in a future which will be even more different and challenging.”
- Aisling Harmey, Media Relations Manager, 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012,
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- Aoife Connors, Media Officer, 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012,
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Notes for Editors:
- The 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012 will take place in Dublin from 10 – 17 June 2012 with thousands of international pilgrims representing more than 120 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, held 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, 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 are a total of 223 speakers as part of the IEC2012 programme of events, which includes 38 speakers in the main arena delivering Catechesis (teaching), personal testimonies, homilies and addresses.
- There are 41 speakers delivering addresses at the Chiara Luce Youth Space for young people between 17 and 25 years old.
- A total of 160 workshops including talks, addresses, group reflections, meetings, concerts and plays
- The full programme is available at: http://www.iec2012.ie/programme
- For more information: www.iec2012.ie