07/03/2011 Eucharistic Congress 2012 Launch

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Cardinal Brady and Archbishop Martin to launch the International
Eucharistic Congress in Ireland in 2012

PRESS RELEASE Monday March 7th Immediate

Call for volunteers and to prayer for the success of the Congress in Ireland
-Congress Bell to visit all 26 dioceses of Ireland
-3,000 volunteers needed to help organise the Eucharistic Congress in Ireland

In the RDS in Dublin today Cardinal Seán Brady and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin launched two major initiatives as part of the preparations for the 50th International Congress which takes place in Ireland in 2012: a major volunteer drive and the Congress Bell.

The theme of next year’s Congress is “The Eucharist: Communion with Christ and one another”.  The Eucharistic Congress is one of the largest liturgical events and opportunities for pilgrimage throughout the universal Catholic Church.  It is hosted by a different country every four years.

The main events of the Congress next year will take place in the RDS, Dublin, beginning with the opening ceremony on 10 June 2012.  Over the week 10 – 17 June a programme of liturgical and cultural events, workshops and daily celebration of the Eucharist will culminate in an open air Mass and closing ceremony in Croke Park.

Congress organisers have been developing partnerships with tourism representatives in Dublin as it is hoped the international visitors will give a significant boost to the city’s tourism industry.

Organisers are also keen to encourage volunteers to take part not only in the Eucharistic Congress itself but also in the lead up to the main events.  Volunteers are needed in a wide variety of roles including administration, hospitality, translation services and stewarding.  Details are available in seven different languages on www.iec2012.ie

Next week, on Saint Patrick’s Day, a pilgrimage of the Congress Bell will begin from St Mary’s Pro Cathedral, Dublin, going to St Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh and it will visit all 26 dioceses of Ireland.  The bell is a symbolic invite to Irish Catholics, and for Christians of other traditions, to join in the call to faith, prayer, reconciliation and mission that is at the heart of the Church’s preparation for the Congress over the next year and a half.

The Secretary General for the Eucharistic Congress Fr Kevin Doran said at today’s launch “Core to the mission of the Congress is the view that it is a pilgrim journey involving spiritual and pastoral preparation.  Each diocese in Ireland has its own organising committee to promote a deepening of understanding for Catholics of the central place of the Eucharist in the life and mission of the Church, a richer celebration of the Eucharistic liturgy and an awareness of the social responsibility that comes with the communion and self-gift of Jesus which we celebrate.” ENDS


  • The Congress Bell has its origins in the Dominican Convent in Portstewart in Co Antrim and will be brought on foot from diocese to diocese by teams of volunteers.  It is hoped that the Congress Bell will be a focal point for the prayer in parishes and at places of pilgrimage all over Ireland between now and June 2012.


  • The first International Eucharistic Congress, held in France in 1881,gathered 300 people at the head of Eucharistic movements in European countries. During the following 125 years, the format of Congresses strongly evolved and they now attract some 12,000 to 15,000 participants for a full week of celebrations, adoration, catechesis, cultural events, fraternal gatherings, and commitments to aid the poor.  Ireland last hosted the International Eucharistic Congress in 1932.


  • Since 1881, the Pope had always been represented by a special Delegate at the celebration of Eucharistic Congresses. In 1964, Pope Paul VI took part in the last two days of the Congress held in Bombay, an initiative followed by his successor, John Paul II.

Further information:
Fr Kevin Doran, Secretary General of the Congress 00353 (0) 87 244 7358
Ms Anne Griffin, General Manager of the Congress 00 353 (0) 87 244 9985
Martin Long, Catholic Communications Office, Maynooth 00353 (0) 86 172 7678