National preparation for the 2012 Eucharistic Congress

21 Feb 2011

5oth Eucharistic Congress June 2012

The 50th International Eucharistic Congress in Ireland takes place in Dublin from 10 to 17 June 2012.

The formal launch of the Eucharistic Congress 2012 took place on Monday 7 March 2011. Cardinal Seán Brady, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin were present at the launch which took place in the RDS, Dublin, where most of the events of the 2012 Congress will be held.

Pastoral Preparation Programme

The Pastoral Preparation Programme which will take place between now and June 2012, is presented as an itinerary for the journey towards the great gathering for the Eucharistic Congress.

This journey has been mapped out in four stages, each with its own theme.

Each of these reflects on an aspect of the celebration of the Eucharist and the lifestyle it inspires, in the light of the overall Congress theme – The Eucharist: Communion with Christ and with one another.

Each stage corresponds to one of the rites of the celebration of Eucharist:

  • STAGE 1 (Autumn/Winter 2010)
    Christ gathers us a Eucharistic Community, focuses on the Introductory Rite
  • STAGE 2 (Spring/Summer 2011)
    Christ gathers us to listen, to hear, to be nourished and to be formed into community by God’s Wordwhich places the emphasis on the how the Liturgy of the Word nourishes our Communion
  • STAGE 3 (Autumn/Winter 2011)
    Christ gathers us to be nourished by the Bread of Life reflects on the Liturgy of the Eucharist, sometimes referred to in the Scriptures as the “Breaking of Bread”
  • STAGE 4 (Spring/Summer 2012)
    Christ gathers and strengthens us for Mission by the Word and the Bread of Life explores the Concluding Rite with its focus on mission and the challenge to become what we have received, the living Body of Christ, given for others in our daily lives.

The Eucharistic Congress Bell – visiting all dioceses

Click on link to download Eucharistic Congress Bell Pilgrimage Itinerary to all dioceses

The Eucharistic Congress Bell is a key symbol of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress. From its origins in the Dominican Convent of Portstewart, Co. Derry the Bell was more recently used to ring in the Jubilee Year 2000 in Glendalough, Co. Wicklow.

The Bell will reflect the invitation to faith, to prayer, to reconciliation and to mission which has always been important in our Christian tradition and is no less so today. The pilgrimage of the Bell throughout the Dioceses of Ireland, and beyond, will be a vehicle to:

  • Invite people to deepen their communion with Christ and with one another
  • Promote the pastoral aims of the Congress
  • Invite all Christians to join in giving a common witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in an increasingly secular society
  • Animate the people of your Diocese to become involved with the Eucharistic Congress both locally and nationally
  • Invite people to come to the Congress from June 10th to 17th 2012

There is a strong emphasis on the inclusion of young people in the Eucharistic Congress Bell Pilgrimage however it is not exclusively a youth project. The pilgrimage should include the infirm, senior members of the community, and an outreach to the families and of the children preparing for sacraments (Baptism, Confirmation, and Communion).

Diocesan Preparation for the Eucharistic Congress

Each diocese in Ireland has appointed a local representative for the Congress. The National Eucharistic Committee has been meeting now for over a year and local steering groups are being set up in each diocese. Many dioceses across the country have already begun their preparations and we are pleased to be able to present a flavour of what has been happening:

Diocese of Derry

On the Feast of Corpus Christi in June 2010, approximately 500 people took part in the first Derry City Eucharistic Procession for many years. The procession went from the Long Tower Church to the Cathedral through the bogside. The Derry Diocesan Committee has designed and manufactured some attractive Congress banners, which will hang in the Cathedral until the Congress.

Diocese of Meath

The Meath Diocesan Congress Committee mailed out all resources available for Congress in March and April. All 69 parishes and the 108 Adoration Centres in the diocese received the materials. Two major follow-up meetings involving the priests and lay representatives of each parish as well as one lay person from each Adoration Centre in the diocese took place in Navan and Mullingar in late Spring. The meetings were very well attended, 57 of the 69 parishes were well represented.

Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnois

The diocese has launched the preparation for the International Eucharistic Congress following an information meeting in Longford with Fr Kevin Doran.

Diocese of Cloyne

On the 29th May a Day of Renewal and Prayer was held in Mallow for all involved in Eucharistic Adoration in the diocese. Approximately 100 people took part in the day. The theme for the day was, The Eucharist, Communion with Christ. The day began with Mass. Fr Winkle directed the first half of the day on how the Eucharist draws us into Communion with Christ. Fr Kevin Doran came and gave an overview of the Eucharistic Congress and spent some time reflecting on the Emmaus Story from the Gospel of Luke, with particular reference to ‘Gathering’.

Parish-based Pastoral Preparation

Parish Pastoral Councils that wish to commence preparation for the Congress can begin by taking the following steps:

  • Contact your local diocesan representative and see if there is already a pastoral plan for the 50th International Eucharistic Congress in your diocese. List of Diocesan Representatives …
  • Parish Pastoral Councils are invited to put the Congress on their regular agenda – to ensure that Pastoral Preparation happens locally.
  • Parishes are invited to place a link to the Congress on their parish website. For a web-button contact [email protected]