Jun 10, 2012

Eucharistic Congress - reports from the RDS & Croke Park

The 50th

International Eucharistic Congress


June 10th-17th 2012. Dublin, Ireland


A Eucharistic Congress is an international gathering of people 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. The 50th IEC took place in Dublin this June.


Reports and pictures from Limerick pilgrims below. For Statio Orbis (Croke Park) click HERE

To see these pictures in a larger size, go to the Photo Gallery HERE

See the 'Limerick Leader' pictures of the Congress and the Perpetual Novena HERE


You can still find out more about the Congress on-line.

  • The International Eucharistic Congress 2012 has a website HERE
  • The IEC blog has lots of little stories and interviews from the RDS and can be read HERE
  • You can read the talks, testominies and homilies of the main speakers HERE
  • Congress week videos are HERE
  • RTE had a special page dedicated to the week with videos of talks, news, etc. HERE
  • You can watch the opening ceremony HERE on Salt & Light TV
  • You can watch the closing ceremony HERE on Salt & Light TV


News from Limerick pilgrims:

Sunday 10th June: Opening Ceremony


A group from Rathkeale parish were involved in Sundays Opening Liturgy.




Fr Phoncie and the  group carried their parish banner and were delighted to meet so many people and get another chance to ring the Congress Bell afterwards!



Monday 11th June: Communion in one Baptism


It was a sunny, positive, blessed day today in the RDS on Monday.

One Limerick pilgrim described it as such: "Very enjoyable day at the International Eucharistic Congress; good talks, met up with loads of people from around, and finished with an extremely prayerful and meditative evening prayer with the Brothers of Taize." (Shane)

The evening ended with a very beautiful, prayerful liturgy in the Youth Space.  "Just back from Taize prayer in the RDS. Peace and contentment and a message of solidarity across faiths, continents and mentalities." (Margaret)

Many were impressed with Br Alois, prior of Taize. You can hear his talk HERE.


Tuesday, 12th June: Communion in Marriage & Family

"I couldn't roll it into one sentence, it was such a brilliant day - I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was delighted: it was a very open, warm experience. The 'through the eyes of the apostles' exhibition really connected me to the place Capernaum. What struck me most was how alive our faith is. I met lots of young priests, nuns, families and it was really profound to observe them - in spite of what everyones saying, this faith isn't dying out any day soon." (Brid)

"I can't recommend a trip to the Eucharistic Congress highly enough. We went up yesterday and only got a snapshot of all that is happening there. Loads of people tell me that they plan to go up for the final Mass in Croke Park on Sunday but then they will miss out on all that is going on since Sunday last in the RDS. We could have travelled with Jesus through Capernaun only that you'd need to queue for 15 mins to book and it was in such demand that the tours were booked out until 7pm last night and we were leaving after the Mass which finished at 5.30pm and was held in the Main Arena. We met the Army in their tents in the Simmonscourt Pavilion, got to hear stories from Chad and the Lebanon, handled the cross made from shrapnel, met Fr. Seamus Madigan's collegues, saw a display of crafts from the Traveller exhibition beside the army. We attended a prayer service, talked to people from all over the world, listened to personal testomonials on life as a Catholic. It was just the best day and if you can go in the next few days then I can't encourage you enough." (Marian H, parishioner)


Our picture shows some of the Castleisland / Abbeyfeale group, waiting for their coach home after a busy day! Thanks to Jer K for the lovely photos, more to follow. This was just one of many groups from this part of the country in the RDS tooday.


Some of the many highlights mentioned by Limerick pilgrims:

  • Julie Kavanaughs workshop on liturgy was mentioned by some as a highlight of the day. Julie spoke of how Scripture, Ritual & Sacrament offer us the skeleton for liturgy and we enflesh this in our own time and place. So we don't need to re-invent the wheel, just to engage with what we have been given and make it accessible in this moment. She also noted that there is no room for an audience in liturgy - that anything that creates audience or distracts from the central message of Christ present is not helpful to good liturgy
  • Catherine Wiley from the Catholic Grandparents Association was also mentioned as an inspirational speaker. Click HERE for more about her and the Association.
  • Many people appreciated Breda O'Briens testimony. Its available to read HERE.


Buses travelled from Our Ladys Pastoral Area, Newcastlewest, & the Maigue Pastoral Area. Cars travelled from several other parishes and many Limerick pilgrims travelled by train to the RDS.   (Photos to follow)


Wednesday, 13th June: Exploring and Celebrating Ministry – Ordained and Lay.

Placing our gifts at the Service of Communion

Parishioners from across the city and county travelled to Dublin today, including a bus of young people from the Pastoral Centre, and a team from Corpus Christi.

A group of young people from Moyross (Corpus Christi parish), led morning prayer in the Youth Space as part of Get set Go!. Our picture shows Orla, Dean, Clara, David, Louise and Fr Tony enjoying the day after their mornings work!



"It was very special to be among Catholics who were all happy and positive. I felt proud to be there. I'll remember this for a long time!" (Mairead)


Two personal testominies from Irish women were really appreciated. Read more HERE




Thursday, 14th June: Reconciliation in our Communion


Another busy day in the RDS with many Limerick faces and voices adding to the celebration.  Heres Frs Noel, Frank and Austin queueing for one of the workshops. As Breda O'Brien wrote in last weeks Irish Times ... even Bishops had to queue!

Todays theme was Reconciliation and the testomony of Mr Richard Moore of Crossfire was much appreciated. Click HERE for the text.  For all the homilies and texts of the day, click HERE.

You could meet anyone just walking down the street at the   Congress ... one pilgrim was heard to say: 'its like being in Lourdes ... or at the Ploughing Championships'!!  :-)














Fr Damien Ryan and parishioners from  Our Lady of  Lourdes parish had a marvellous day at the Congress.Thanks to Fr Damien for many of  todays pictures. Below is Fr Damien, Fr Seamus Madigan (Limerick Diocese & Defence Forces Chaplaincy), and parishioners from our Lady of Lourdes parish at the Defence Forces  Chaplaincy Exhibition at Simmonscourt, R.D.S.







Pat H, Corbally, was a volunteer at the St Josephs Young Priests Society stand. Pat, and many other volunteers, gave freely of their time in Exhibition Hall 1, to promote various Catholic organisations.







Friday, 15th June 2012 - Communion in Suffering and Healing


"Through the eyes of the apostles" was one of several exhibitions on offer all week. This 3D exhibition, transported visitors to Capernaum, the village on the shores of the Sea of Galilee where Jesus liv

ed during His public ministry. The sensory rich reconstructed surroundings included the smell of the trees and the sound of the lapping of waters. It allowed the visitor to walk in the Apostles footsteps and experience what it must have been like for Jesus of Nazereth and his apostles to live in Galillee.

Fr Thomas Roscia spoke on the theme 'Is there a Catholic media' - see HERE


Saturday, 16th June 2012 - Communion in the Word through Mary


St Johns Parish Choir, performing on the stage of the Main Arena in the RDS on Saturday.  Fr Liam Enright, below.









Statio Orbis - Closing Mass in Croke Park




Over 1,000 Limerick parishioners booked 'parish tickets' and several hundred more travelled as families, with national movements or as volunteers.

A special train from Limerick (one of only three in Ireland) took Limerick pilgrims directly from Limerick to Connolly station.  Here are some pilgrims at Limerick train station on Sunday morning (thanks to Alan at Press22 for these pictures).




























Some pictures from inside Croke Park  - thanks to Fr Phoncie for these.














Pastoral Area of Íde Naofa travel to the Statio Orbis Mass in Croke Park.

(2 buses from the 4 parishes). Thanks to Abbeyfeale parish for these pictures.