May 22, 2012 Martin Mallon (Ireland) Martin's previous articles
INTERNATIONAL EUCHARISTIC CONGRESS, DUBLIN
fiftieth International Eucharistic Congress is being held in Dublin, June 10-17.
Parishes all around the country are preparing in different ways; my parish has
half an hours adoration on Mondays after ten o’clock Mass and recitation of
the official Eucharistic Congress prayer. Catholic newspapers and magazines are
all running articles about the Congress. It is certain to be an important and
meaningful event for the Irish Church
Eucharistic Congress is an international gathering of people which aims to
promote an awareness of the central place of the Eucharist in the life and
mission of the Catholic Church, help improve our understanding and celebration
of the liturgy
(the official, public worship of the Church) and draw attention to the social dimension of the Eucharist.
theme for this congress is “The Eucharist: Communion with Christ and with one
another” and is taken from paragraph 7 of the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen
Gentium. In this way the fiftieth International Eucharistic Congress
acknowledges the fiftieth anniversary of the Second Vatican Council.
Piero Marini, president of the Pontifical Committee for International
Eucharistic Congresses, stated, in his Meeting with the Episcopal Conference of
Ireland of 9 June 2009 on The Shape, Significance and Ecclesial Impact of
Eucharistic Congresses, that:
Congresses have had the scope of “making our Lord Jesus Christ in the Blessed
Sacrament of the Altar ever better known, loved and served… and of working to
extend his social reign in the world” (General Rules of 1887, art. 1).
Eucharistic Congress aims to stimulate the faith of Catholics in the “Real
Presence” and to increase devotion to the Eucharist outside of Mass. As a
result of the Second Vatican Council, “Eucharistic piety” was centred once
again on the celebration itself, and thus became the attitude of the faithful
who make the Eucharist – as the Paschal Sacrament of Christ sacrificed for the
life of the world – the centre of their lives and the source of ecclesial
Eucharistic celebration is now at the centre of the preparation and celebration
of the Congress, and all the expressions of worship that traditionally
characterise this international event (adoration outside of Mass,
processions…) must be related to it. To this end, Eucharistic Congresses have
the sensitive and decisive task of pioneering new forms and new ways of
embodying Eucharistic adoration, which is indisputably the proper symbol of
Eucharistic worship in the Catholic tradition.
last point cannot be stressed enough as many have little or no appreciation of
eucharistic adoration, including among the clergy. Eucharist adoration is often
seen as an extraordinary means of worship rather than, as it should be viewed,
an ordinary and common method of prayer. In addition, adoration fills us with
compassion which inspires evangelisation, the mission of the Church. I know of
no other means by which we can be transformed so radically to love and by which
we are so radically loved than through Jesus present in the Eucharist and
adoration is a continuation of the sacrament which is “the source and summit
of the Christian life” (Lumen Gentium, paragraph 11).
goes on to say:
social dimension of the sacrament is seen above all as:
the complete gift that sets it before the world as the “Body of Christ”, the “sacrament of salvation”.
this comes the call to bring about not only a moral and interior transformation,
but also a social and cultural one. It is thus correct to speak of a genuine
Eucharistic ethos. Through the action of the Holy Spirit, the holiness of the
Eucharistic gifts is nothing other than the epiphany of God’s holiness, the
holiness of the Church and the sanctity of Christians with regard to all worldly
fostering of the centrality and dignity of the human person.
Before the Lord of history and the future of the world, the suffering of the poor, the ever more numerous victims of injustice and all the forgotten people of the earth, cannot be alien to the celebration of the Eucharistic mystery, which commits baptised persons to work for justice and the transformation of the world in an active and conscious way (cf. Message of the Synod of Bishops to the People of God, 22 October 2005).
his address Marini then emphasises Vatican II:
impact of the Congress of Dublin will be all the greater, since it will be the
fiftieth IEC, coinciding with the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the
Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. This is therefore an occasion to remember an
ecclesial event that, in continuity with the tradition of the Church, was able
to welcome the positive aspects of modernity and to evaluate them in the light
of the Gospel, for the sake of proclaiming salvation to the women and men of our
the Congress of 2012, precisely because of its International character, can
become an important means of promoting an exemplary and fruitful celebration of
the conciliar Liturgy; a renewed catechesis concerning the Eucharistic mystery
and its social, ethical and cultural implications; and an ever more authentic
worship of the Mystery of Faith, the source and summit of ecclesial life.
II is confirming that the Eucharist is “the source and summit of ecclesial
life.” The Second Vatican Council’s document, Instruction on the Worship of
the Eucharistic Mystery, hammers home this point in paragraph 6:
Eucharist both perfectly signifies and wonderfully effects that sharing in God's
life and unity of God's People by which the Church exists. It is the summit of
both the action by which God sanctifies the world in Christ and the worship
which men offer to Christ and which through him they offer to the Father in the
Full details of the Congress program can be found at: http://www.iec2012.ie/