The International Eucharistic Congress 2012
The 50th. Congress took place from 10th to 17th June 2012. Members of the Lieutenancy were involved in the Congress in various ways, at the opening ceremony, as speakers at various sessions, in the liturgies, participation at the Eucharistic Procession, Driving liturgical VIPs, hosting an “at home for Holy Land Pilgrims” and of course as a formal body at the Statio Orbis, the closing ceremony in Croke Park.
The Lieutenancy facilitated the attendance of Christians from the Holy Land at the Congress.
34 Holy Land Pilgrims attended, led by Bishop Shomali. They were from both the Latin and Orthdox traditions and resided variously in Jerusalem Bethlehem and Jordan. During the course of the visit the Pilgrims were guests of the Lieutenancy in the home of a Dublin based member.
His Beatitude Patriarch Fouad Twal spoke on in Dublin on the Feast of the Sacred Heart. During his homily he said:
"As a reminder of our communion with one another in suffering, I come to you as the shepherd of Christ’s little flock, (Lk 12:32) who suffer in the land of the promise, the land of the new and modern promises and international resolutions, that were never fulfilled. It is the land that first witnessed the fulfillment of God’s plan, to redeem his creation in the Incarnation, suffering, death, Resurrection and Ascension of the Son of Mary, our Virgin Mother."
I am Patriarch of the city of Jerusalem, where the Sacrament of the Eucharist took place, and where our Lord “took bread… broke it and gave it to [his disciples], saying ‘This is my body which is given up for you. Do this in memory of me.” (Lk 22:19) The Eucharist originated in the Upper Room, in my Diocese of the Holy Land, where the miracle started, where your Mother Church is, and where your roots are. We renew in this Eucharistic Congress, the event that happened in Jerusalem. I feel at home with you, as we continue to celebrate the same event here in your midst. We are profoundly linked to this event.
Much has changed in this 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 realize that Christ is with us, and find courage in His Presence. Though we 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. Whether this threat comes from living in the conflict between Jews and Arabs, or bearing some personal, physical or emotional suffering, it is clear that our Lord wishes for us who bear His name, to continue to witness to faith in suffering. As Blessed John Paul II wrote, “Suffering seems to belong to man's transcendence: it is one of those points, in which man is in a certain sense ‘destined’ to go beyond himself, and he is called to this in a mysterious way.” (Salvifici Doloris, 2) In the Holy Land, we have more than 100 congregations of men and women religious, working with me in many sectors. Fifteen are contemplative communities praying in Eucharistic Adoration day and night. This is the treasure and the richness of our Diocese. As a Church, we are grateful to the many religious congregations devoting time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. I rely on your prayers to bring forth peace and justice in the Holy Land."