50th International Eucharistic Congress commissions almost 2,000 volunteers

50th International Eucharistic Congress commissions almost 2,000 volunteers

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On Holy Thursday, 5 April this year, the 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012 (IEC2012) launches the programme for the ‘Day of Ministry in the Service of Communion’ with a special commissioning ceremony, at 6pm Mass in the Pro-Cathedral, Dublin, for all the IEC2012 volunteers who will be of service before, during and after the Congress.

During the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, which marks the Institution of the Eucharist, on the first Holy Thursday, Auxiliary Bishop Éamonn Walsh of Dublin will wash the feet of twelve IEC2012 volunteers representing the 2,000 helpers for the Congress.

Speaking prior to the Mass, Paul Rooney, IEC2012 Volunteer Services Manager, said: “We are thrilled with the response to our call for volunteers. The people that have come forward represent a diverse range of ages and backgrounds across Irish society.  Our volunteers will be integral to the efficient delivery of the International Eucharistic Congress and their generosity with their time is remarkable.”

The theme of ‘Priesthood and Ministry in the Service of Communion’, will also be the focus of the main programme of the Eucharistic Congress on Wednesday 13 June 2012, the feast day of St Anthony of Padua. The keynote address on this theme will be delivered by the Archbishop of Vancouver, Canada, Most Rev. J Michael Miller.  This will be followed by a personal testimony on ministry by Mrs Noreen Carroll, Foxrock parish, Dublin, and a personal testimony on religious life by Sr Conchita McDonnell, President of CORI.

As part of the week-long programme of workshops, talks and cultural events, on Wednesday 13 June, Dr Anne Codd and Ms Julieann Moran of the Council for Pastoral Renewal and Adult Faith Development, will deliver a group reflection entitled, ‘Communion and co-responsibility coming to life in pastoral practice’.

On Wednesday 13 June there will also be a talk entitled, ‘Catholics! Why we do what we do?’ will be delivered by Fr John Cusack, of the Archdiocese of Chicago, USA. A wide range of other workshops exploring various forms of ministry and service, lay and ordained, will be offered as part of the programme on Wednesday 13 June and Mass in the RDS main arena will be celebrated by Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodríguez-Maradiaga on this day.

The themed day of service on Wednesday 13 June will conclude with an historic Eucharistic Procession throughout the streets surrounding the RDS campus at 7.30pm. The procession will be led by the Papal Legate; Pope Benedict’s representative at the Eucharistic Congress.


Further information:

Aisling Harmey, Media Relations Manager, 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012, Tel: 00353 (01) 234 9903    Mob: 00353 (0) 87 137 2447   

Email: press@iec2012.ie

Aoife Connors, Media Officer, 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012,

Tel: 00353 (01) 234 9940    Mob: 00353 (0) 87 628 0580   

Email: pressofficer@iec2012.ie

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