By Sarah Mac Donald - 23 September, 2015
The pastoral care of marriage and the family will be the key focus of the national congress this weekend.
The National Eucharistic Congress which takes place in Knock this weekend is about harvesting the fruits of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress (IEC2012) Bishop Kevin Doran of Elphin has said.
Writing in the Irish Times, Bishop Doran, who was Secretary General of IEC2012, said another reason for holding the congress is to prepare participants who will attend the next international congress which is taking place in Cebu in the Philippines next January.
Bishop Doran, who is the Irish Episcopal Conference’s national delegate for eucharistic congresses, explained the importance of a congress in his Irish Times article.
“At parish level, adult faith formation can be very intimate but it can also be challenging because of the relatively small numbers. When there is critical mass, as at IEC2012, there is an added energy and a richness of participation.”
He said that as the synod of bishops in Rome next month is on the vocation and mission of the family in the Church, the pastoral care of marriage and the family will also be the key focus of the national congress in Knock at the weekend. It will consist of more than forty workshops, talks and ceremonies.
“The Eucharist, understood as Jesus’s gift of self, is reflected in the sacrament of marriage. It also finds expression in consecrated life, in the way in which we live together on Earth which is our ‘common home’ (Pope Francis) and in the gift of mercy that we receive from God and extend to one another. These are some of the other themes in the national congress.”
On Saturday 26 September at 11am, Bishop Kevin Doran will speak about the Jubilee of Mercy in his talk ‘Mercy – Opening our Hearts to Hope’.
At 12.15pm, Professor Eamonn Conway will speak on ‘Laudato Si’: Christian Ecology – Hope for the Future’.
Bishop Colm O’Reilly will preside over the Anointing of the Sick in the basilica at 2.30pm while Archbishop Eamon Martin, Primate of All Ireland, will be the main celebrant at Mass at 3pm.
Afterwards, Archbishop Martin will speak at 5.30pm on ‘Handing on the Faith in the Home – 30 Years On’.
At 6.30pm, Evening Prayer in the basilica will be led by the Disciples of the Divine Master and Rise of the Roses; while at 8.30pm, a concert of Praise & Worship will take place in the basilica with Elation Ministries.
On Sunday 27 September, Dominican Fr John Harris OP will talk at 11am on ‘Ministry to Young Adults: Forming Young Disciples through the Eucharist’.
Afterwards, at 12.15pm Professor Eamonn Conway will again speak on Laudato Si in his talk ‘Christian Ecology – Hope for the Future’.
At 2.30pm, the Anointing of the Sick in the Basilica will be presided over by Bishop Raymond Field and this will be followed at 3pm by the Eucharist. The main celebrant will be Archbishop Michael Neary of Tuam and the homilist will be the papal nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown.
The International Eucharistic Congress will take place in Cebu from 24-31 January 2016.
The theme of the international congress is taken from St Paul, ‘Christ in You, Our Hope of Glory’. For more information on both the national and international eucharistic congresses please see nec2015.ie.