Pope Benedict XVI will receive the International Eucharistic Congress Bell in Rome this Wednesday, 14 March and it is anticipated that he will join a quarter of a million Irish pilgrims who have already rung the bell as part of preparations for the upcoming 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012 (IEC2012).
The Holy Father will receive the Bell, which is being presented by a delegation headed by the President of IEC2012, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, accompanied by Secretary General of IEC2012, Fr Kevin Doran, and members of IEC2012 staff during a papal audience.
The Pope will receive the delegation during a papal audience in St Peter’s Square at 10.30am on Wednesday, 14 March where it is hoped he will ring the Bell calling people from across the world to Dublin for the Congress, which takes place from 10-17 June.
The delegation will present Pope Benedict XVI with a bowl of Irish shamrock to celebrate St Patrick’s Day along with the first commemorative medal struck to mark this year’s 50th International Eucharistic Congress.
Following this, the Bell will be moved to St Peter’s Basilica where it will remain for Mass at 5pm celebrated by Archbishop Piero Marini, President of the Pontifical Committee for the International Eucharistic Congresses. The Bell will be rung at Masses throughout Wednesday as an invitation to the Congress.
Later in the week the Bell will travel to St Isidore’s Irish Franciscan College, where this year’s St Patrick’s Day Mass will be celebrated on Saturday 17 March. Also attending this Mass will be Deputy Pat Rabbitte, Irish Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources, as part of his visit to Italy for St Patrick’s Day celebrations. On Sunday 18 March, the Bell will be present at Mass in the Pontifical Irish College at 10am.
Speaking during the Bell Pilgrimage in Rome, Fr Kevin Doran, Secretary General of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012, said: “It seems somehow appropriate that the Bell, on its way to visit Pope Benedict, was delivered on Tuesday afternoon [13 March] to the very office beside St Peter’s Square where Pope Benedict himself worked for over 20 years.”
Fr Doran added: “We are truly delighted that with this visit the Bell has brought parishes, schools and hospitals all over Ireland into a closer Communion with the Pope as we enter the final phase of preparation for the Eucharistic Congress.”
Journeying with the Bell are the four Eucharistic Congress Icons which represent the four parts of the Mass, and correspond to each of the four stages of the pastoral preparation programme for the Congress. The Bell calls people to prayer and the Icons offer rich themes for reflection.
People across the world have the opportunity to ring the Eucharistic Congress Bell themselves by participating in the Ring for Renewal programme launched recently by IEC2012 to mark the final 100 days of preparation for the 50th International Eucharistic Congress. Ring for Renewal invites people to pause on the journey of life and reflect on how we can renew as people and as members of the Church as we prepare for IEC2012. Further information is available at www.iec2012.ie/ringforrenewal
Facts about the Bell
Tradition has it that St Patrick left a bell in each Church he consecrated as a way to call people to the Eucharist.
In parishes all over Ireland, the Eucharistic Congress Bell Pilgrimage is building on the tradition of St Patrick and the ringing of Bells.
Since commencing phase one of its pilgrimage on St Patrick’s Day (17 March) last year, the Bell has visited the 26 Dioceses of Ireland, over one thousand parishes, more than 100 schools, and a dozen hospitals and nursing homes, calling people to ‘Come to the Congress’.
In September 2011, the Bell travelled to Lourdes, France with the Dublin Diocesan group. The Bell has now entered phase two of its pilgrimage and is travelling abroad for the second time. This week the Bell has travelled to Rome for the first time.
Eucharistic Congress Medal
Pope Benedict XVI will be presented with a commemorative medal celebrating the 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012.
In 1932 Ireland hosted the 31st International Eucharistic Congress which coincided with the 1500th anniversary of St. Patrick’s arrival in Ireland. Commemorative medals and badges were issued to mark the event and many are still treasured to this day.
To mark the 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012, organisers have produced a commemorative medal designed by Martin Barlow, who also designed the IEC2012 logo. The medal is gold plated and enamelled. It is 50mm in diameter and carries the Congress logo in colour on the front and on the reverse a Celtic cross motif surrounded by the Congress theme: ‘The Eucharist: Communion with Christ and with One Another’. Each medal comes in a presentation case complete with an explanatory card available in the seven official languages of the Congress.
The company producing the medals for IEC2012 is Dublin based Lee Brothers, founded by John Lee. In an interesting connection with the 1932 medal, John Lee’s uncle, Kevin Lee, worked for the Jewellery and Metal Manufacturing Company of Ireland which produced the 1932 medals.
There are two versions of the commemorative medal available: A medal for general issue and a limited edition Irish language version, of which only 1,000 will be produced.
The medal will be available online at www.thecollector.ie/iec2012medal. The medal is priced at €29.95 + p&p
Details of the team accompanying the Eucharistic Bell Pilgrimage in Rome
Most Rev. Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin and President of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012: A Dublin native, Archbishop Martin was ordained a priest in May 1969 and a bishop by Pope John Paul II in 1999. In 2001 he was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to the UN Institutions in Geneva before returning to Dublin as co-adjutor Archbishop in 2003 and succeeded Cardinal Desmond Connell as Archbishop of Dublin in April 2004. Archbishop Martin is currently Vice-President of the Irish Episcopal Conference, Chairman of the Department of Social Issues and International Affairs and Chairman of the Bishops’ Commission on Europe.
Fr Kevin Doran, Secretary General 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012: A priest of the Archdiocese of Dublin, Fr Doran has been working on the preparation of the Eucharistic Congress for almost four years. He worked for five years as Spiritual Director at the Pontifical Irish College in Rome. Ordained in 1977, Fr Doran has a particular interest in Catholic social teaching and in the ethics of healthcare. He is currently a Consultor of the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education, in the section dealing with Vocations. He assists in St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Marino.
Colette Furlong, IEC2012 Pastoral Services Manager: Colette has a spent a number of years working in the area of faith development. Colette regularly lectures at St Patrick’s College, Carlow and All Hallows College, Dublin and she is also a guest lecturer at the National Centre for Liturgy, Maynooth. She joined the 50th International Eucharistic Congress team in 2010 with responsibility for developing and supporting a four stage pastoral preparation programme. Colette lives in Dunboyne, Co Meath.
Tommy Burns, Bell Pilgrimage Coordinator: A native of Drogheda, Tommy has been working with the International Eucharistic Congress for the past two years as the IEC2012 Diocesan Delegate for the Archdiocese of Armagh. As Bell Pilgrimage Coordinator he has also been involved with the pilgrimage of the Congress Bell since it began its journey on St. Patrick’s Day 2011. Tommy is Chairman of the St. Oliver Plunkett national campaign for Peace and Reconciliation. He has written extensively on the life and times of St. Oliver and recently created the St. Oliver Plunkett website.
Sheena Darcy, IEC2012 Office Manager: Hailing from Dublin, Sheena joined the IEC2012 team in June 2010 as Office Manager. Prior to this, Sheena spent a year studying in Rome and previously managed the National Office of Youth 2000 Ireland for four years. Sheena holds a diploma in Human Resources Management. At IEC2012, Sheena’s role is to ensure the smooth running of the office for the 40 staff preparing and planning this international event. Her role for the week of the Congress will be to oversee the running of the Main Operations Centre in the RDS.
Aisling Harmey, Media Relations Manager, 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012,
Tel: 00353 (01) 234 9903 Mob: 00353 (0) 87 137 2447 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Aoife Connors, Media Officer, 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012,
Tel: 00353 (01) 234 9940 Mob: 00353 (0) 87 628 0580 Email: email@example.com
Notes for Editors:
- The 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012 will take place in Dublin from 10 – 17 June 2012 with up to 25,000 pilgrims expected to attend each day at the RDS, including 12,000 international pilgrims representing 99 different countries.
- IEC2012 will transform the RDS into a Eucharistic Village for an eight day festival of faith and culture. The Eucharist will be celebrated in the Liturgy and adored in the Prayer Space.
- The Congress is an international gathering of people, every four years somewhere in the world, which aims to promote an awareness of the central place of the Eucharist in the life and mission of the Catholic Church; to help improve our understanding and celebration of the liturgy and to draw attention to the social dimension of the Eucharist. These aims are achieved through a programme of pastoral preparation in the years leading up to the Congress and a programme of liturgical and cultural events, lectures and workshops over the course of one week. Previous Congresses took place in Quebec (2008) and Guadalajara (2004)
- The theme of the Congress is ‘The Eucharist: Communion with Christ and with one Another’ (Communion – like Solidarity – means a relationship of mutual love and self-giving).
- On 17 June, more than 80,000 people are expected to gather and celebrate Statio Orbis, the Final Mass, of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012 at Croke Park Stadium.
- There will be 18 keynote addresses by international speakers.
- The full programme is available at: http://www.iec2012.ie/programme
- For more information: www.iec2012.ie
- Registration for the Congress is now live on http://www.iec2012.ie/registration