International Eucharistic Congress at the Ploughing Championships

20 Sep 2011

80th anniversaries for the National Ploughing Championships and for the International Eucharistic Congress National in Ireland 

  • Find out about the International Eucharistic Congress 2012 at Stand 300, Block 4, Row K

The next International Eucharistic Congress takes place in Dublin between 10 – 17 June 2012.  As part of the preparations for this special liturgical event, IEC 2012 will be present during this year’s National Ploughing Championships in Athy, Co Kildare, from 20 – 22 September.  It will be located at the ‘Ecumenical Stand’ – a joint initiative between the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin, the Church of Ireland and the Methodist Church in Ireland.

Next year’s Eucharistic Congress in Ireland will be the largest international gathering hosted by the Catholic Church in 2012.  It aims to promote an awareness of the central place of the Eucharist in the life and mission of the Church, to help improve our understanding and celebration of the liturgy and to draw attention to the social dimension of the Eucharist.

In recent years the National Ploughing Championships has provided an opportunity for ecumenical collaboration between the Christian faiths.  For the 2011 Championships, the Catholic Church, the International Eucharistic Congress 2012, the Church of Ireland and the Methodist Church in Ireland will come together in a shared space and invite people to come together to pray.  Common prayer will be offered at regular intervals and a prayer wall will be available for people to post their prayer petitions.

The International Eucharistic Congress Bell will also be present during the Championships. The bell began its pilgrimage on St Patrick’s Day this year and has travelled around dioceses and parishes as a symbol of the call to prayer, to renewal and as an invitation to the Eucharistic Congress.  Most recently the bell was brought to Lourdes with the 2,000 pilgrims who made up the annual Archdiocese of Dublin diocesan pilgrimage to the French Marian shrine.

Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin Archbishop Michael Jackson will visit the ‘Ecumenical Stand’ at the National Ploughing Championships on Thursday.

Fr Kevin Doran, Secretary General of the International Eucharistic Congress 2012, said “The Congress is delighted to be represented at the 80th National Ploughing Championships in Athy, the biggest agricultural event of the year.  Another important 80th anniversary occurs next year when the International Eucharistic Congress takes place in Ireland, with 2012 marking the 80 years since the 1932 Congress was last held here.  Over the next few days I encourage all to visit us at Stand 300, Block 4 on Row K.”

Fr Doran continued “With nine months to go, there is a huge amount of work to be done to make it all possible.  I am confident, from the response we are receiving that there is a real enthusiasm for this Congress.  We are asking people to put flesh on that enthusiasm by volunteering now and becoming part of this great journey.”


Notes to Editors

  • Please contact Brenda Drumm 00 353 (0) 87 310 4444 with interview requests and to arrange International Eucharistic Congress photo opportunities during the National Ploughing Championships.  The IEC2012 Volunteer Manager will also be in attendance.
  • Visit the International Eucharistic Congress 2012 at the ‘Ecumenical Stand’ in the National Ploughing Championship.  It is located at Stand 300, Block 4, Row K.
  • The International Eucharistic Congress takes place every four years, the last being held in Quebec City, Canada, in 2008.   Next year 2012 the 50th International Eucharistic Congress will be hosted in Dublin.  The first International Eucharistic Congress was held in France in 1881 and gathered 300 people at the head of Eucharistic movements in European countries.  During the following 125 years, the format of Congresses strongly evolved and they now attract some 12,000 to 15,000 participants for a full week of celebrations, adoration, catechesis, cultural events, fraternal gatherings, and commitments to aid the poor. Ireland last hosted the International Eucharistic Congress in 1932.
  • Since 1881, the Pope had always been represented by a special Delegate at the celebration of Eucharistic Congresses. In 1964, Pope Paul VI took part in the last two days of the Congress held in Bombay, an initiative followed by his successor, John Paul II.
  • The International Eucharistic Congress 2012 Bell has its origins in the Dominican Convent in Portstewart in Co Derry. It was used most recently to ring in the Jubilee Year 2000 in Glendalough, Co Wicklow. The bell pilgrimage started on St Patrick’s Day in Dublin and Armagh.  The bell, a reminder of the tradition of St Patrick’s Bell, represents the call to faith, to prayer, to conversion and the vocation to service and to mission.

Further information

Catholic Communications Office 00 353 (0) 5053017 and Brenda Drumm at the National Ploughing Championships 00 353 (0) 87 310 4444