February 18, 2015
Circular 2015-4:International Eucharistic Congress
My dear people of God:
The 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) will be held in Cebu from January 24 to 31, 2016. The IEC normally takes place every four years. It originated in Lille, France in 1881. The 33rd IEC was Manila in 1937.
A Eucharistic Congress which is an international gathering of people aims to: (1) promote awareness of the central place of the Eucharist in the life and mission of the Catholic Church; (2) help improve our understanding of the liturgy; and, (3) draw attention to the social dimension of the Eucharist.
“Christ In You, Our Hope and Glory” (Col 1:27) is the theme of the Congress in order to express the nature of the Eucharist as mystery and mission. For the Philippines and Asia, the Eucharist is a mystery to be revealed, lived and proclaimed. In the context of the New Evangelization and within the nine-year program for the 500th anniversary of the coming of the Christian faith to the Phiilippines in 1521, the theme points to the Eucharist as the mystery or sacrament of the presence of Christ Jesus and of His saving mystery in the Church – People of God and Body of Christ.
In line with the preparation of our entire country for the celebration of the International Eucharistic Congress, we would like to organize our own Archdiocesan team in order to foster the objectives of the Eucharistic Congress. I would like to invite all parishes to send one of their priests and two lay leaders or lead catechists, and all Catholic Schools to send one religious instruction coordinator to compose our Archdiocesan Committee for IEC 2016. They will have an initial meeting on February 28, 2015 (Saturday) at 2:00 PM with Fr. Mario Dominic C. Sanchez, our Archdiocesan Coordinator, at the Limon Hall, Mary Help of Christians College Seminary, Bonuan Gueset, Dagupan City. These are their objectives:
(1) Giving of the Catechesis on the Eucharist prepared by the CBCP Permanent Council of the International Eucharistic Congress in all our Parish Churches and Chaplaincies from Easter Sunday to Corpus Christi Sunday, and in all Catholic Catholic Schools from July to December 2015.
(2) Forming Catechists/Lecturers on the Eucharist from March 23-25, 2015 at the Limon Hall of MHCCS.
(3) Holding of Vicariate Eucharistic Congresses in our five vicariates from June 8 to 13, 2015.
(4) Promoting Eucharistic Adoration and Devotion in all our Parishes and Catholic Schools, and eventual recommendation of the delegates to IEC 2016 from our Archdiocese.
(5) Supporting the IEC in Cebu by actively campaigning of the Piso Para Sa Misa ng Mundo, and sending the donations on a regular basis.
The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life. The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate are bound up with the Eucharist and bound with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch. (CCC 1324)
+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS
Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan