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Organisers hope Eucharistic Congress will revive Irish Church

By on Friday, 3 June 2011

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin (Niall Carson/PA Wire)

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin (Niall Carson/PA Wire)

The organisers of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin next year have said they hope the event will help to reinvigorate the Irish Church.

Delegates from some 70 countries met on June 1-3 to hear plans for the events that Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin described as a “vital element in the reform agenda of the Irish Church”.

Participants at congress, which takes place on June 10-17, 2012, will hear reflections, catechesis and workshops from leading bishops and theologians. A day devoted to ecumenical communion through baptism will be led by the Anglican Archbishop of Dublin, the Most Rev Michael Jackson.

Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, will preside at a day dedicated to reconciliation. That session will also be addressed by Richard Moore, who was blinded by a British Army rubber bullet in Northern Ireland in 1972. Mr Moore subsequently tracked down the soldier who fired the round and established a friendship with him.

Other senior Church leaders who have so far been confirmed to lead events are Honduran Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga and Cardinal André Vingt-Trois of Paris.

Fr Kevin Doran, secretary-general of the 2012 congress, said that he expected around 25,000 people to participate in the catechesis and workshops and 80,000 to participate in the concluding Mass. The theme for the congress is “The Eucharist: Communion With Christ and With One Another”.

To raise awareness about the event a congress bell has been taken to parishes and Catholic schools around Ireland. In each community the bell is rung as a sign of invitation to the Dublin event.

More information is available on the congress website,

The Irish Church will host a national eucharistic congress at Knock shrine, in County Mayo, on June 25-26.

  • Tiggy

    Liturgy in Ireland is a joke. I visit Dublin regularly, I now always attend Harrington St Church where the EF Mass is celebrated. It is beautiful  and the Priest is an excellent preacher.

  • Harper

    If you mean St Mary’s Haddington Road, this is good to hear. I used to attend there as a student in the early 1980s and it still maintained tradition – the only diocesan church (to my knowledge) to do so at that time (it is also the only Catholic Church in Ireland that I know of with a memorial to the Fallen of the Great War). It was restored in the last few years and I was delighted that there was no attempt to turn it into a Star Trek Command Centre, as has been so banefully common elsewhere in Ireland.

  • Nat_ons

    I don’t often agree wholeheartedly with SSPX versions of church militancy, but this is one of the outstanding issues. While there is not one wit of a reason why the ‘Order of Mass’ set out by the Servant of God Paul VI may not or must not encourage the full depth of devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, there are nonetheless all too many reasons why the prevailing Irish expression (among others) of the Roman rites is so devoid of this basic piety. For (whether it is spoken of now or not), of all these rationals it was the puritanical suppression of any such simple popular ‘piety’ by a New Way enthused clergy (in favour of wordy, folksy, busy Do-It-Yourself liturgies) that laid the axe to all or any publically expressed reverence in the Mass .. and especially toward lingering notions of the Real Presence of the Lord our God - the Word acting in power according to his word among us - in the Eucharist (after all, across many decades there have been, as there generally remain, few actively encouraged opportunities to express this ‘love’ of Christ’s Thanksgiving Sacrifice in the New Order Mass let alone outside it).

    How it will all suddenly fall back into shape at the heart of the church catholic in Ireland, and at one swiftly gone Eucharistic Congress, is something His Grace, Diarmuid Martin, does not explain. Perhaps because he cannot, any more than I would be able to do so; yet with him – and unlike the gainsayers - I do hope, trust and pray the Holy Ghost shall indeed pour himself out once more upon this sorely blighted and truly benighted community. One of the first steps to this blessing, I guess, is a revived undertsanding of its Roman Communion; for although there are genuinely pressing political reasons to seek sincere ecumenical friendship in Ireland – and avoiding isolationism – God’s household cannot be built on kind equivocations, rather it knits together alone in the sincerity of loving truth = even about being Romish and Papist and, erm, Catholic (Tradition, humble kneeling, and soaring Gregorian Chant et al not excluded).

    A start here in Northern Ireland – although a politically controversial one – would be a demoting of the pagan standing stones dedicated to the IRA activists killed in the sorrowfully long recent conflict. Not that this need be brutal or dismissive or ungracious to local feeling; I suggest only that the Cross of our divine Saviour and statues of our Blessed Lady should not be the mere sideline afterthoughts that they have become so visibly along the roads in Nationalist Belfast. It cannot be that there are no wonderful artists available to express the beauty of Ireland’s onetime defining love for the church in communion with Rome, of ever virgin Mary, her immaculate heart, and above all else in life her Son, the Lord our God, humble and gentle of heart; there are many atsonishingly well crafted murals across Belfast .. all of them political, rebellious, and bloody .. Catholic Orthodoxy (or at least the hierarchical motivation) hides behind space rocket shaped churches, tackily thoughtless posters inside them, and featureless or hideously banshee-like imagery where it may.

    God bless, Nat.

    PS: A Belfast church, once a beautiful, simple, warm little ex-Army barracks tin hut leftover, had gone so far in its 1970′s brutalism as to banish its much cherished ‘Child of Prague’ to a sort of cloakroom for its folk group. If the Church, left to sink in the mire of worldly fashion, needs a telling image for its woebegone spirit, that has to be it – Christ, an innocent infancy, and his sovereign holy ministry all mean less than space for a covering of ‘relevant’ theme music. Along with repeatedly vandalised statues of the Immaculate Conception, plonked thoughtlessly to the side of IRA pagan standing stones, Ireland’s bishops need look no further to understand the illness afflicting their charge: if they want a revival, look first to themselves .. only then may truly ecumenical days with Anglicans begin to make sense, in the one faith.

  • Harper

    Can someone here please tell me what the talk on ecumenical communion by the Protestant Archbishop of Dublin is designed to achieve and what Cardinal Levada of the Congregation of Doctrine thinks of it? We have just seen Cardinal Burke cancel an engagement with a wholly orthodox body; can we expect the invitation to the Protestant Archbishop of Dublin to be politely withdrawn, as in the case of the Methodist ordinands in Liverpool, or is a reversal of this too much to hope for?

  • Ken Purdie

    Nope that Mass was stopped a few years ago.This one is in St Kevins, Harrington Street. (SCR). Very well attended.

  • Ken Purdie

    Your nuts.

  • Ratbag

    Got it… returned to sender!

  • Ratbag

    Count John McCormack sang at the last Eucharistic Congress to have taken place in Dublin.

    Who will it be this year?

  • Ratbag

    Sorry, next year…

  • Brian A. Cook

    May God bring much healing. 

  • Anne

    The Eucharist is the True Presence of Jesus Christ and we need to recover our faith in Him and also to recover respect and reverence for His Presence in every tabernacle in every Catholic Church and at every Holy Mass, which is sadly lacking.  I hope that during these coming months the Church in Ireland will work on restoring that respect and reverence that is due to Jesus and have more silence after the distribution of Holy Communion at Holy Mass and also increase Eucharistic Adoration in our country.