IEC2012 explores Communion in Suffering and Healing

IEC2012 explores Communion in Suffering and Healing

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Saturday June 16, 2012

The 50th International Eucharistic Congress (IEC2012) celebrated the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus yesterday 15th June, when speakers and pilgrims explored the theme of “Communion in Suffering and in Healing.

At the Congress Prayer Space, Friday’s Morning Prayer was led by Bishop Derek Byrne, Bishop of Guiratinga, Brazil.

Patriarch Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem was the main celebrant at Mass in the RDS arena on the Feast of the Sacred Heart.

In his Homily he said: “Much has changed in the world after two thousand years. Yet the story is the same as it ever was. The Christians in Jerusalem at the beginning of the Church, were very few and found courage only in the presence of Christ.

“Today, we too, need to realise that Christ is with us, and find courage in His presence. Though are very few and diminishing in number, may we Christians in Jerusalem as well as all Christians remain faithful where the Lord has placed us!”

“Considering the political situation in the Middle East, it is human to be afraid, because we suffer and feel threatened in our existence. But fear is not an acceptable response for a follower of Christ…while we may feel alone; Christ is our hope, joy and freedom.”

The concelebrants at Mass were: Patriarch Fouad Twal, Jerusalem; Archbishop Bashar Warda, Chaldean Archbishop of Erbil, Iraq; Bishop Elias Bolanos Avelar, El Salvador; Bishop Pierre Tran Dinh Tu, Vietnam; Bishop Vittorino Girardi Stellin, MCCJ, Costa Rica; Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin; and Cardinal Seán Brady, Primate of All-Ireland.

Archbishop Bashar Warda, Chaldean Archbishop of Erbil, Iraq delivered his catechesis “Suffering as a means of communion”. In his address he spoke about how “The Iraqi people are extremely sensible and moved, when one of the family members passes away. They weep loud and bitterly, and for weeks. They gather and sit together recalling the deceased one, with the whole family, and the complete clan. At those moments, all differences and disputes are forgotten…At those moments of grieving, the family, and even the whole village become deeply united in their sorrow and pain.”

He then spoke of the impact of the persecution that exists for some members of the Christian Community in Iraq and how such intense moments of feeling, unite the church as a community.

Ms Rose Busingye of Meeting Point International, Uganda, spoke about her work with people with HIV/AIDS, orphans, poor and old, teachers in schools. She said: “The aim is not to leave them alone in front of sickness, suffering and death, but to discover together the meaning and the sense of their suffering even death. It’s something that provokes and awakens us to discover the full meaning and the dignity of the human life and love.”

The musical performers during the main arena events were Meath Diocesan Choir; Directed by Jim Walsh and accompanied by Ephrem Feeley, Colleen Gormley; Spiritual Singer, Elation Ministries, St Ultan’s Orchestra, and Ian Callanan and choir.