International Eucharistic Congress launches Host a Pilgrim Programme

28 Feb 2012

The 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012 (IEC2012) is running a Host a Pilgrim Programme (HAPP) which offers hospitality in Dublin homes to pilgrims from economically challenged countries.

The generosity of Dublin people means that hundreds of foreign pilgrims, who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend this summer’s Congress, can make their way to Dublin to share in celebration of the Eucharist.

To participate in the programme, Dublin residents with a spare room and a desire to help out can apply to provide accommodation to people from countries such as Peru, Ecuador, the Philippines and Bangladesh for the duration of the event.

The HAPP programme will run from 9 – 18 June 2012, while the Congress runs from 10-17 of the same month.

All participating pilgrims have been approved from their home country and will be over 18 years old.  Most of the countries sending pilgrims as part of this programme are from countries that have a strong missionary connection with Ireland.

There are currently far more requests for accommodation than available rooms so IEC2012 would be delighted to accept further host homes that can provide a clean and secure environment for one or two pilgrims to stay.  Ideal candidates are places which have a direct train or bus route to the Congress venue at the RDS in Ballsbridge, but all Dublin areas will be considered.

Congress organisers hope that families will receive pilgrims into their homes between Saturday 9 June and Monday 18 June 2012, providing them with a simple clean bedroom and breakfast each day.   Homes with children or vulnerable adults will not be considered for the programme.

Prior to hosting a pilgrim, participants will receive a short home visit from a representative of the International Eucharist Congress 2012 to ensure their home is suitable for the programme.

Fr Kevin Doran, Secretary General of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012, acknowledged that hospitality of this nature is a central part of organising a Congress.  “Over the years, a tradition of hospitality has grown up around the Congress, and in the best spirit of Eucharist, there is a real desire to ensure that nobody is excluded because they can’t afford to be there.”

Anyone who would like to offer complimentary pilgrim accommodation and if you live in an area of Dublin with a direct public transport link to the RDS, Dublin 4, please contact 01-2349919 or email [email protected]. A home visit will be carried out following expressions of interest.


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)
  • For more information:
  • Registration for the Congress is now live on  Images are available on request.