Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, Archibishop of Yangon (Myanmar) and papal legate for the event, introduces the 51st International Eucharistic Congress saying, “Asia is a confluence of major religions”, a part of the world that “has not embraced secularism as the West has done. And spiritual fervor witnessed at the community level is a way of evangelizing the others”. According to the first cardinal of the history of Burmese Church, the event will be an occasion to work in three directions. “Dialogue with religions, with culture, and poor”. “Asia remains a common task for the church – he said – so the challenge is to see what is God saying through these realities”.
The celebration of the Congress in the Philippines, the only predominantly Catholic country in Asia, is a major challenge to strengthen the missionary perspective. The theme revolves around the “hope” that joins the task of “the gift of God for young people” and “commitment to the ranks of the poor of the continent”.
Every four years, Catholic faithful from around the world are invited to gather together to reflect on and celebrate the great mystery of the Eucharist during the International Eucharistic Congress.
From Jan. 24-31, 2016, thousands of Catholic clergy and lay people will gather in Cebu, Philippines, for the 51st Congress, on the theme “Christ in you, our hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).
At a press conference Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle described the event as bigger than the World Cup, bigger than the Olympics. Tagle said it is Jesus who will make the gathering life-changing because He is the true reason for hope.
IEC is expected to draw 15,000 participants from all over the world.
(Source: AsiaNews, CBCP News)
The Gospel calls us to be close to the poor and forgotten, and to give them real hope.