Fourth National Collection for the 50th International Eucharistic Congress to be held next weekend 5 and 6 May 2012
• “As the celebration of the Congress draws near I thank you for your help to date and I encourage you to avail of the great opportunity which the Congress affords.” – Bishop Fleming
The Fourth National Collection for the 50th International Eucharistic Congress will take place in Irish dioceses next weekend, 5 and 6 May 2012. Ahead of the collection Bishop John Fleming, Chairman of the National Finance Committee established by the Bishops, has issued the following statement:
Since June 2009 we have held three National Collections for the Eucharistic Congress. Each of these has seen an excellent response from the people of Ireland. I am extremely grateful for this and would like to express my thanks and that of the Bishops for this great generosity.
Given the very difficult economic circumstances in which our country finds itself at present and despite the undoubted economic benefit which the Congress will bring to Irish tourism, the Bishops decided not to ask the Government for funding for the Congress. They made this decision because they did not want in any way to take from Government funding of crucial areas such as hospitals, schools, care of the elderly etc. As a result, the entire cost of the Congress will be borne by the Church in Ireland.
Donations to all Church related initiatives have suffered from the present economic climate, both in Ireland and world-wide. The task which faces the Church in Ireland in raising the funds for the Congress is considerable and I am appealing, therefore, for financial support for the Congress.
The 50th International Eucharistic Congress will mark an important milestone in the history of Catholicism in our country. Its success will, with God’s help, contribute greatly to the renewal of the Church in our time. As the celebration of the Congress draws near I thank you for your help to date and I encourage you to avail of the great opportunity which the Congress affords.
+ John Fleming
Bishop of Killala and Chairman, National Finance Committee
Notes to Editors:
• The Fourth National Collection will be held in most Irish dioceses on the weekend of 5 and 6 May. Resource material, as well as posters which have been specially prepared for this collection, have been made available at parish level.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• Details of the full programme, additional information and registration are all available at www.iec2012.ie
For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444