Pope Francis sends his blessing to the National Eucharistic Congress of Ireland 

26 Sep 2015

Eucharistic Congress 2015 poster WEb Image

  • Bishop Kevin Doran to open the National Eucharistic Congress this morning in Knock, Co Mayo

Pope Francis has sent a special message – an Apostolic Blessing – to the faithful of Ireland on the occasion of the National Eucharistic Congress which opens this morning at 10.00am with a prayer service led by Bishop Kevin Doran at the Marian Shrine in Knock, Co Mayo.  Thousands of pilgrims are expected to attend this two-day celebration of faith which will conclude tomorrow evening.  Please see text of the Apostolic Blessing below.

The Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference is hosting the National Eucharistic Congress which comprises: prayer; daily celebration of the Eucharist at 3.00pm (Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, will be the chief celebrant today, and Archbishop Michael Neary, Archbishop of Tuam, will be the chief celebrant tomorrow and His Excellency Archbishop Charles Brown, Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland, will preach the homily) in the recently refurbished and beautiful Basilica of Our Lady of Knock; the opportunity to receive the sacraments; a youth and children’s programme; and, interesting and topical workshops and talks delivered by experts in their field.  Please see the full programme: http://nec2015.ie/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/NEC2015-programme-flier-Sept-04-Update.pdf

Bishop Kevin Doran, Bishop of Elphin, said, “The theme of our Congress ‘Christ Our Hope’, will continue to allow us to harvest the fruits from the 50th International Eucharistic Congress which took place in Dublin in 2012; serve as spiritual preparation for the 51st International Eucharistic Congress in Cebu in January; and it offers us as an opportunity to focus, in the light of our Eucharistic communion, on some of the important pastoral questions facing the life of the Church at the current time, especially regarding the need to support marriage and family, and to nurture vocations.  All are welcome.”

Text of the Apostolic Blessing by the Holy Father Pope Francis to the faithful of Ireland on the occasion of the National Eucharistic Congress 2015, received from Archbishop Charles J Brown Apostolic Nuncio in Ireland

“The Holy Father Francis is very pleased to convey cordial greetings to the organizers and all the participants in the National Eucharistic Congress of Ireland, which is focused on the theme of Christ Our Hope.

“His Holiness asks everyone gathered in these days at Our Lady’s Shrine in Knock to strive to intensify their life of prayer by making the Eucharist the true centre of Christian communities where praise and thanksgiving lead to a renewed commitment to evangelization and ecclesial communion.  May all the participants draw abundant graces from the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar and seek to build a world that is ever more just and reconciled, in accordance with the teachings of Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Church.

“With these sentiments, the Supreme Pontiff entrusts to the loving protection of Our Lady to the Bishops, priests, deacons, religious and faithful people of Ireland and, as a pledge of abundant divine gifts, imparts to them with affection his Apostolic Blessing.”


Notes for Editors

Media Centre

A wifi equipped media centre will be available for journalists attending the National Eucharistic Congress.  It will be located on the second floor of the Basilica.  Journalists can be accredited and receive identification at the media centre, where information on the Congress will also be available.  Martin Long of the Catholic Communications Office will be in attendance over both days to facilitate media queries and requests for interviews. Photographs

Opportunities for photographs will be available at Knock Shrine over both days.  Photographs of the National Eucharistic Congress, for use by media, can also be obtained by contacting photographer John McElroy on +353 (0) 872416985 and by email [email protected] . John will be in attendance on both days of the Congress.


A photocall will take place at midday on Sunday 27 September in front of the main marquee, which will be located behind the Basilica.  The photo will include: ‘Couples for Christ’ representatives from the Philippines, Irish pilgrims, Archbishop Charles Brown; Archbishop Michael Neary, and custodian of the Marian Shrine; and Congress organiser Bishop Kevin Doran.

For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678