50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012, Extends Invitation to Ireland’s Youth

27 Feb 2012

Caoimhe O'Reilly from Cavan, Cardinal Seán Brady, Eimear Brady from Cavan and François-David Freschi, Youth Officer for the 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012 at Crossroads 2012.

50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012, Extends Invitation to Ireland’s Youth

Young people from across Ireland are invited to celebrate their faith at this summer’s International Eucharistic Congress 2012 (IEC2012) in an event that is being described as one of the most ambitious youth ministry programmes ever presented in this country.

The programme called ‘Go! Be Church!’ will happen in an area known as the Chiara Luce Youth Space at IEC2012 in the RDS from 10-16 June.  Young people from 17 to 25 years of age will engage in a diverse range of activities that include workshops, dramas, interactive catechesis, celebrations, concerts, social activities, games, and art.

Around 2,500 young people are expected to participate in ‘Go! Be Church!’ this summer and, in preparation for the upcoming Congress, more than 350 young people from across the Dioceses of Ulster gathered in Tyrone on Sunday last, 26 February, to celebrate faith through music, workshops and prayer at an event called Crossroads 2012.

The significant role that youth play in the Church in Ireland was highlighted by the presence of Cardinal Seán Brady, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All-Ireland, who was the principal celebrant of the Eucharist at Crossroads 2012.

Other bishops concelebrating the Mass at St Ciaran’s College in Ballygawley included Bishop Liam MacDaid, Bishop of Clogher, and Bishop Donal McKeown, Auxiliary Bishop of Down and Connor. They were joined by IEC2012 Diocesan Delegates from the Northern dioceses.

Bishop McKeown emphasised the important role the youth programme will play in the upcoming Congress: “These are difficult years for everybody in modern Ireland – and, in a particular way, for young people. We are all paying the price for trying to live in the fast lane or coarsening our hearts with superficiality.

“The 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012 provides a once-in-a lifetime opportunity for the people of this island to pause and reflect on the deep human hunger; for meaning, love, God, healing and communion.  Adults may well need to see, hear and listen to young people much more than the youth need the adults!”

Bishop McKeown added: “The Congress is a God-given opportunity to reawaken our idealism through reflecting on the mystery of love, community and service.  It is a divine invitation to put communion at the heart of who we are as a people.”

Francois-David Freschi, IEC2012 Youth Officer, said: “We are hoping that every parish in Ireland will send at least one young person to represent them in the IEC2012 Chiara Luce Youth Space.  The Church in Ireland needs young people and the Congress is a fantastic opportunity for young adults to explore and celebrate their faith.”

Each diocese in Ireland is being invited by IEC2012 to bring groups of young people to the Congress, either for the entire week or a portion of it.  At the end of the week, young people will be missioned to go back to their parishes to begin local faith programmes.

The IEC2012 Youth Space is named after Chiara Badano, an ordinary young woman involved in the Focolare movement, who died in 1990 at the age of 18, after succumbing to bone cancer. Because of her qualities as a friend, and her deep sensitivity to the needs of others, especially the poor, she came to be known as ‘Chiara Luce’ (Claire ‘the Light’ in Italian). Chiara was beatified in 2010 and is the patron saint of the IEC2012 Youth Space.

To support the spiritual journey of young people before and after the Congress, groups of young people are invited to dip into the Pastoral Programme which is available on www.iec2012.ie. It invites us to walk in the footsteps of the disciples on the road to Emmaus.


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 here:
•    Previous Congresses took place in Quebec (2008) and Guadalajara (2004)
•    For more information: www.iec2012.ie
•    Registration for the Congress is now live.