01/23/2016, 14.51
PHILIPPINES – SRI LANKA
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Bishop of Ratnapura: the congress in Cebu helps us understand the social dimension of the Eucharist

by Melani Manel Perera

Mgr Cletus Chandrasiri Perera is Sri Lanka’s official representative at the International Eucharistic Congress, which opens tomorrow in Cebu. The intensive schedule (Masses, catechesis, adoration, assemblies) raises awareness of the central place of the Eucharist in the Church’s life and work. Asian minority churches find a great joy of life in a country where Catholics are the majority.

Colombo (AsiaNews) – Mgr Cletus Chandrasiri Perera, OSB, bishop of Ratnapura, is the official delegate of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Sri Lanka at the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) that opens tomorrow in Cebu (Philippines).

"This Congress is meant to help us strengthen our understanding of the liturgy and focus our attention on the social dimension of the Eucharist,” Bishop Perera said.

Indeed, "The IEC is a privileged place, a stop on the path in which the universal Church gathers to celebrate the Eucharist and pray the Lord's presence.”

It is an event that “seeks to raise awareness of the Eucharist’s central place in the life and mission of the People of God. Every community from around the world is invited."

The congress includes number of activities, but "The daily celebration of the Eucharist will be the central moment,” the bishop explained. The others “include catechetical meetings, celebrations of the Word, sacramental confession, Eucharistic processions, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, prayer meetings and plenary sessions."

For Mgr Perera, celebrating the IEC in the Philippines is "a special joy". The country is home to Asia’s largest Catholic population, where Catholicism is the majority faith. Delegates from the other Asian nations will represent small minorities.

"This time the faithful will come to Asia from Europe and America,” he noted. “Such a universal gathering is the true sign of unity in faith and love. Through the IEC, Christ's followers will boost the faith in the Eucharist, the 'culmen et fons’, the ‘source and summit’, as Vatican Two says, of the life and activity of the Church in the world."

Plus, the Philippines is home to many Sri Lankans. "I invited them to participate in such a beautiful and spiritual event in Cebu. And I shall meet them there."

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