Healing Stone will have permanent home at Lough Derg

15 Jun 2012

Healing Stone will have permanent home at Lough Derg after Congress finishes

The Healing Stone unveiled as part of the opening ceremony of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress will move to a permanent home at the ancient sanctuary of St Patrick’s Purgatory at Lough Derg in Co. Donegal.

Fr Kevin Doran, Secretary General of IEC2012 announced details of the Healing Stone’s permanent home at a press conference in Dublin today.

He said: “After considering various options Lough Derg seems to be particularly appropriate because of the penitential history of the location and because of the pilgrimage there of the Papal Legate, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, which binds the Congress very closely to Lough Derg.”

“We are very grateful to the Bishop of Clogher, Liam McDaid and the Prior of Lough Derg Fr Richard Mohan for their support.”

Lough Derg’s Station Island, the location of the Pilgrimage, is often referred to as Saint Patrick’s Purgatory. It is a special sanctuary of peace and personal challenge. This small lake-island, renowned in Irish Christian tradition since the time of St. Patrick, has been receiving pilgrims continuously for well over 1000 years.

The Healing Stone is a large piece of shaped Wicklow granite inscribed with the words of a prayer composed by a survivor of clerical abuse. The prayer was originally featured in the Liturgy of Lament celebrated in Dublin’s Pro-Cathedral in 2011.

Work on the Healing Stone project began in early 2012. Following consultation with various people, including abuse survivors, it was agreed that the stone would be an appropriate symbol for the Congress.

The Papal Legate was accompanied on his visit to lough Derg by the Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown and the Bishop of Clogher, Bishop Liam McDaid they stayed overnight on the island during which time they fasted and participated in other penitential exercises with the pilgrims on the island.


Further information:

•    Aisling Harmey, Media Relations Manager, 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012,   Mob: 00353 (0) 87 137 2447  Email: [email protected]
•    Aoife Connors, Media Officer, 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012,   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 thousands of international pilgrims representing more than 120 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, held 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 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 are a total of 223 speakers as part of the IEC2012 programme of events, which includes 38 speakers in the main arena delivering Catechesis (teaching), personal testimonies, homilies and addresses.
•    There are 41 speakers delivering addresses at the Chiara Luce Youth Space for young people between 17 and 25 years old.
•    A total of 160 workshops including talks, addresses, group reflections, meetings, concerts and plays
•    The full programme is available at: http://www.iec2012.ie/programme
•    For more information: www.iec2012.ie
•    Follow the Congress Week events live: http://www.rte.ie/news/congress2012/