50th International Eucharistic Congress involves Alpha

11 Apr 2012

50th International Eucharistic Congress involves Alpha

The 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012 (IEC2012) is pleased to announce the involvement of Alpha, a parish tool for evangelisation, providing people with a practical introduction to the Christian faith, as part of the official Congress programme from 10 – 17 June 2012.

Alpha will participate during the eight-day Congress by contributing to the Host Church programme, the official Congress programme and the Chiara Luce Youth Space.

Alpha’s role in the Host Church programme will begin on Tuesday 12 June 2012 at Whitefriar Street Church, Aungier Street, Dublin 2.  Alpha International will be offering a mini-Alpha experience, giving Congress pilgrims and members of the public a taste of the Alpha course.

As part of this programme individuals will be invited to several daytime and evening sessions throughout the week, to listen to short talks from live speakers on a range of topics relating to the Christian faith, for example, ‘How and why should I pray?’ ‘How and why should I read the Bible?’ and ‘Telling others’.  Participants will then be divided into groups for refreshments and an open discussion about the talks.

On Thursday 14 June 2012, Alpha’s involvement continues with a talk by Nicky Gumbel, a Vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton, an Anglican church based in central London. Gumbel is a pioneer of the Alpha course, a 15-session introduction to the Christian faith, which is now running in 60,000 churches of different denominations including Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant churches.

Nicky’s talk will take place on the themed day of reconciliation (14 June) at the Congress, where he will discuss the theme of unity in a talk entitled ‘Communion in our Common Baptism’, focusing on Jesus’ prayer that those who believe in Him ‘may be one … so that the world may believe’ (John 17: 21).

Since 1993, more than 18 million people have completed an Alpha course. Currently Alpha is running in thousands of Catholic parishes in more than 65 countries and has received the support of many Catholic leaders across the world, including His Eminence Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Papal Legate for the 50th international Eucharistic Congress who said: “’Alpha brings people closer and helps them to find that power which unites. The Alpha experience is not only a means through which one finds true life, but also a way to share the good news of the Living Christ. It paves the way for reconciliation and is a symbol of hope for Christian unity.”

As the Chiara Luce Youth Space comes to a close towards the end of the Congress week, young people will be commissioned to go back to their parishes to begin a local faith programme.  On Saturday evening, 16 June, Alpha will be presenting the session ‘And tomorrow?!’ equipping and encouraging young people to spread the faith.

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]
Claire McKeever, Alpha in a Catholic Context Relationship Manager,
Tel: +44 (0)20 7052 0468   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 over 100 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.  Previous Congresses took place in Quebec (2008) and Guadalajara (2004)
•    The Papal Legate for the 50th International Eucharistic Congress is His Eminence Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and President of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. He was previously Archbishop of Quebec, Canada
•    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 Statio Orbis, 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: http://www.iec2012.ie/programme
•    For more information: www.iec2012.ie
•    Registration for the Congress is now live on http://www.iec2012.ie/registration