Irish eucharistic congress a time of communion

  • November 2, 2011

TORONTO - The 50th anniversary of the International Eucharistic Congress will be a time of communion, reflection and renewal of faith, says Fr. Kevin Doran, secretary general of the congress to be held next year in Dublin.

With the theme “The Eucharist: Communion with Christ and with one another,” the congress will be held June 10 to 17, 2011 in the Irish capital.

Doran was in Canada in October, visiting Ontario and Quebec dioceses to spread the word about the congress.

Organizers say focusing on the theme of communion pays homage to the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council when Council fathers also emphasized the centrality of communion between Christ, the Church and the world. 

The congress comes at a critical time for the Catholic Church in Ireland. It is experiencing the challenges of secularism and the fallout from the sex abuse scandal, Doran said.

“There is disappointment and anger,” he said. “Trust has been damaged. It needs to be rebuilt.”

Catholic pilgrims from around the world are invited to show their solidarity with the Irish Church, including the innocent priests who were not involved in the scandal, and pray for its rebuilding, he said.

Moreover, Canadian pilgrims are also invited to rediscover their Irish Catholic roots. Doran highlighted the strong historical ties between the Church in Ireland and Canada, noting the thousands of Irish who came to Canada to escape the famine in the 19th century, and who have continued crossing the Atlantic ever since.

“There have been a number of people in Canada who have contributed to the building up of the Church in Canada. It’s important to see where this came from,” he said.

An estimated 20,000 participants are expected at the Congress, with at least 700 Canadians registered to date. Pilgrims are also expected from the United States, Britain and Australia.

Quebec City hosted the last congress in 2008.

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