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  • » 01/23/2016, 14.02


    Eucharistic Congress in Cebu, a "new stimulus" for bearing witness in Asia

    Mgr Theodore Mascarenhas, auxiliary bishop of Ranchi, will participate in the great international meeting, which opens tomorrow in the Philippines. Catholics are a "little flock in Asia, but involved in bringing the Gospel to the whole continent." Even non-Christians come to Eucharistic celebrations to “pray devoutly before the Eucharistic Lord,” yet “respectfully stay away from communion”.

    Ranchi (AsiaNews) - The "little flock" of Catholics in Asia "is committed to and motivated by the Christian proclamation. I have no doubt that, despite the numbers and the work of fundamentalist forces, our witness will be strengthened by the meeting in Cebu because, with God’s strength, everything is possible, and in the Eucharist Christ gives us his very self,” said Mgr Theodore Mascarenhas, auxiliary bishop of Ranchi, India, who will lead the opening prayer of the second day of the International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) in Cebu next Monday (25 January).

    “The Catholic Church is a small minority in Asia,” he told AsiaNews, “the ‘the little flock’ as Saint Pope John Paul II used to say. When the decision about proposing the hosts for the 2016 IEC was being made, Cebu was one of the four candidates. Besides the long absence of the event from Asia, the witness aspect was one of the most important factors that tilted the balance in favour of Cebu.

    “The Eucharist is the ‘source and summit’ of Christian life,” the prelate noted. “I am sure that the event will have a galvanising effect on the Church in the Philippines and in Asia.  I am sure that the massive participation of devout Filipino and Asian Catholics will also be a witness to the rest of the world. It will be a unique experience and I am sure the love of the Eucharistic Lord will be felt throughout Asia and bring much fruit to our evangelising work.”

    Many of those who will speak at the Congress will touch the topic of dialogue. “The Eucharist has always been an inspiration to our non-Catholic brethren. In fact, many of them participate in our Eucharistic celebrations and respectfully stay away from communion, understanding that this is a moment only for Catholics.”

    At the same time, “Non-Christians come and pray devoutly before the Eucharistic Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Therefore, the IEC, just like the National Eucharistic congress held in Mumbai (India) in November 2015, will be a fulcrum of dialogue between religions.”

    The Eucharist is also a constant stimulus for evangelisation. “People here are very open to the Gospel and evangelisation takes place in various ways. Fundamentalist forces are creating direct and indirect hurdles for us, but the spirit of evangelisation is strong. The Eucharist is a very important evangelising moment. We require prayers and support to carry it on. With the strength of the Lord, all things are possible.

    Finally, Mgr Mascarenhas said that he “attended the Plenary Session of the Pontifical Committee for International Congresses held in April 2015 in Cebu. I saw the enthusiasm and the dedication with which the preparations were going on. For me it will be a moment of enrichment and renewed dedication to my vocation, my ministry, my people and my evangelising work.”

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    See also

    25/01/2016 12:14:00 PHILIPPINES
    Bearing "witness" to the Eucharistic Congress, Card Zen will also celebrate a Latin Mass

    Hong Kong’s bishop emeritus will address the congress in Cebu. Catholic blogger says, "In my experience young people who participate in the Mass in Latin find that it challenges them to dig more deeply into the Catholic faith. The young like to be challenged after all!"

    20/01/2016 15:24:00 PHILIPPINES
    For Fr D'Ambra, the Eucharist is a spiritual force that leads us to the encounter with Muslims

    The PIME missionary spoke today at the symposium introducing the 51st International Eucharistic Congress in Cebu. “The point of comparison is Emmaus, where two disciples recognised the Lord as he broke the bread, and from that, they found strength to move at night without fear.” In addition, “The challenge, in my opinion, is to try to communicate to others what the Eucharist is, even though Muslims have a hard time understanding that."

    06/09/2010 SRI LANKA
    Mgr Ranjith inaugurates the Special Year of the Holy Eucharist
    The start of the special year takes place at Our Lady of Lanka shrine in Tewatta. Focus is on the liturgy. Initiatives include mediation and action.

    19/07/2016 14:23:00 PAKISTAN
    The first Eucharistic Congress ends with an appeal to Catholics’ "awareness"

    Pastoral initiatives are presented whose goal is to deepen the sense of belonging to the Catholic Church. More than 1,500 people, mostly young people, attend the meeting’s final Mass.

    01/02/2016 16:21:00 THAILAND – PHILIPPINES
    For a Thai Catholic, the Cebu Congress is just the beginning of a new evangelisation

    Somchai Chaopatanawong is a member of a Basic Ecclesial Community in his native Thailand. Along with other fellow Thais, he flew to the Philippines for the conference, which ended on Sunday, 31 January. For him, it was a “wonderful 'miracle' to see so many Catholics and people from other religions meet."

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