Bishop John Fleming’s statement regarding the finances of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012
The audited financial statements of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012, for the year ended 31 December 2012, have been finalised and lodged with the Companies Office. Over the four years of operation, the Congress incurred expenditure of €9.5m. The accounts show a final surplus of €38,057 and as the monies received were given for the Eucharistic Congress, it has been decided that the surplus which accrued will be used for a future National Eucharistic Congress.
Funds for the Congress came from four national collections held in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. The sum collected came to €4,274,332. This amounted to 45% of the income received. A further 25% came from benefactors in Ireland and elsewhere, from religious orders and congregations and from Catholic Bishops’ Conferences worldwide. The remaining 30% came from operational income generated during the Congress.
Bishop Fleming said, “Irish bishops wish to express their deep gratitude to everyone who participated in the Congress and pray God’s continued blessing on them. We take this opportunity to acknowledge the kindness of all the support which the Congress received from various sources, especially during this time of severe economic hardship. We are particularly grateful to the people of every parish throughout the country who contributed so generously to the Congress over a four year period. Donations from individuals, organisations, and religious, as well as from Catholic Bishops’ Conferences worldwide, were an expression of solidarity which was both humbling and greatly appreciated. Seventeen hundred volunteers enriched the Congress with their faith and talents at a variety of levels; not least those who provided family-based accommodation, meals and transport for over 200 pilgrims who needed assistance. Thankfully, due to the generosity of everyone, monies have already been donated to the 51st International Eucharistic Congress, which is due to take place in Cebu in the Philippines in 2016, for the purpose of facilitating the participation of pilgrims with limited financial means.”
Bishop Fleming continued, “Bishops are particularly grateful to the Secretary General of the Congress, Father Kevin Doran, his committee and staff, the National Finance Committee, the Dublin Diocesan Organising Committee, the Directors of the Eucharistic Congress Company and the organising representatives from each of the twenty-six dioceses on the island of Ireland for their help and support. We reiterate the words of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI broadcast to the faithful on 17 June 2012 at the Statio Orbis (closing liturgy) in Croke Park in Dublin, “My dear brothers and sisters, I pray that the Congress will be for each of you a spiritually fruitful experience of communion with Christ and his Church.”
Notes to Editors
- Bishop John Fleming, Bishop of Killala, is the chairman of the Finance and General Purposes Fund of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference
- The theme for the 50th International Eucharistic Congress, which took place in the RDS and Croke Park in Dublin from 10 – 17 June 2012 was: ‘The Eucharistic: Communion with Christ and with one another’. The programme of liturgical and social events included: Prayer, Eucharist, workshops, discussions groups, cultural events, a youth space, tours, and exhibitions. An International Eucharistic Congress takes place every four years in a different country. A 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. The purpose of a Congress is also 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 Congress week.
- Daily attendances at the 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012 in the RDS, Dublin, amounted to between 10,000 and 16,000 pilgrims while 65,000 participated in the closing liturgy at Croke Park. Total attendance over the course of the week was approximately 150,000. 7,000 overseas pilgrims participated during Congress week, representing more than 114 different countries. (Source for attendance statistics: www.iec2012.ie).
For media contact: Catholic Communications Office, Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444