50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012 Launches Day on Social Justice

20 Feb 2012

50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012 Launches Day on Social Justice

To mark World Day of Social Justice on 20 February, the 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012 (IEC2012) is emphasising the essential connection between Communion and Social Solidarity by launching a themed programme of events and liturgies for Thursday 14 June 2012.

At the upcoming Congress in Dublin’s RDS a diverse programme of events will take place during the fifth day of the programme, 14 June, centering on the theme of the day: ‘Exploring the Challenge of Restoring Communion through Justice and Reconciliation’.

The penitential liturgy will be celebrated at the RDS Arena by Cardinal Peter Turkson, President, Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Rome. This celebration will be a timely acknowledgement of the fact that sinful personal actions and attitudes not only impact on our relationship of ‘Communion with Christ and with one another’ but also contribute to the creation of unjust social structures.

Reflecting on this Fr Kevin Doran, who has responsibility for the planning of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012, said: “In so far as we need to seek forgiveness, it is from God and from one another. It includes people close to us and even people whom we have never met. It includes the generations coming after us who will be affected by what has been done in our time. While we cannot re-write history, we can, with God’s help, be reconciled.”

Already, in advance of the Congress, an ‘Inclusive Parishes Programme’ has been developed to help parishioners all over the country to reflect on how parishes can be more welcoming and inviting to people who have experience of being excluded or left on the margins.

On 14 June, the Congress programme will include a wide range of workshops and talks, aimed at promoting reflection and discussion on the key issues regarding equity, reconciliation and social justice in Ireland and throughout our world today.

One of the keynote addresses in the RDS Arena on Thursday afternoon will be given by Richard Moore, founder of ‘Children in Crossfire’, who was blinded by a rubber bullet when he was a child but has since sought out and befriended the soldier who fired the shot.  In this way, his personal experience has motivated both reconciliation and action for justice.

Among the workshops, will be one entitled: ‘Globalisation and its impact on Human Society’ facilitated by Prof Vincent McBrierty, Trinity College, Dublin.  Also on Thursday, Sr Brigid Reynolds, Social Justice Ireland, will deliver a workshop on ‘Social Justice and Inclusion’ and Justin Kilcullen, Director of Trocaire, will give a presentation on ‘Communion and Solidarity in World Development’.

Fr Gary Donegan, Holy Cross Parish, Ardoyne, Belfast, will lead a workshop on ‘The Eucharist in Peace and Reconciliation’. Later in the evening, Mary Mangan (SHJM), Sheila O’Gorman (RSM) and Catherine Dunne (SSHM), representing Act to Prevent Trafficking (APT) will together deliver a workshop on ‘Broken Lives: the hidden crime…human trafficking’.

The Mass on Thursday afternoon at 4pm, in the RDS Arena, will also have a particular focus on reconciliation and will be celebrated as Gaeilge, (in our native Irish language) by Cardinal Sean Brady, Archbishop of Armagh.


Further information:

  • Aisling Harmey, Media Relations Manager, 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012,

Tel: 00353 (01) 234 9903        Mob: 00353 (0) 87 137 2447 Email: [email protected]

  • Aoife Connors, Media Officer, 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012,

Tel: 00353 (01) 234 9940        Mob: 00353 (0) 87 628 0580   Email: [email protected]

Notes for Editors:

  • The 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012 will take place in Dublin from 10 – 17 June 2012 with up to 25,000 pilgrims expected to attend each day at the RDS, including 12,000 international pilgrims representing 95 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, 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.
  • 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, more than 80,000 people are expected to gather and celebrate the Final Mass of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012 at Croke Park Stadium.
  • There will be 18 keynote addresses by international speakers.
  • The full programme is available at:
  • Previous Congresses took place in Quebec (2008) and Guadalajara (2004)

Registration for the Congress is now live on http://www.iec2012.ie/registration