VATICAN CITY - The International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin will be characterized by humility, moderation and a renewed focus on the Eucharist as the source and nourishment of unity in the church, said the president of the Vatican committee charged with overseeing the gathering.

Archbishop Piero Marini, president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses, said the congress June 10-17 will reflect that this year is the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, but also that Catholics in the host country, Ireland, are still reeling from the clerical sex abuse scandal and are engaged in a process of repentance and reform.

Published in International

DUBLIN - Organizers are encouraging parishes and communities across Ireland to use the feast of St. Patrick -- March 17 -- to intensify preparation for the International Eucharistic Congress.

Their initiative, Ring for Renewal, "invites people to pause for a moment in their day to ring a bell on St. Patrick's Day and reflect on how they can be renewed as individuals and members of the church as they prepare for the congress," said Father Kevin Doran, congress secretary-general.

Published in Vatican

Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, left, stands with Cardinal Sean Brady as they announce plans for the 50th International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin. The congress will take place June 10-17 next year.DUBLIN - The 50th International Eucharistic Congress, to be held in Dublin next June, is being anticipated locally with the same optimism that was experienced when the congress came to Ireland in 1932. That event was a critical moment in modern Irish history, healing many wounds after the Civil War and drawing together in unity the Irish population, predominantly Catholic, under the umbrella of the Roman Church.

On that occasion a million people gathered for Mass, celebrated by the papal legate, in Phoenix Park and famous Irish tenor John McCormick sang Panis Angelicus. After years of dissent the people of Ireland were challenged to move forward in faith and solidarity.

Such a unifying occasion, one to promote hope, is again very much needed as the Church in Ireland faces tremendous troubles. Rocked by the extensive clerical abuse scandals and consequent decline in Church attendance it is an unprecedented time of turmoil.

Published in Guest Columns
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