VATICAN CITY, (VIS) - Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday announced that the next International Eucharistic Congress will take place in 2012 in Dublin, capital of Ireland.
The Pope made the announcement during his homily, transmitted by satellite from the Vatican to thousands of faithful gathered on the Plains of Abraham in Quebec, for the closing Mass of the 49th International Eucharistic Congress, held in that Canadian city from 15 to 22 June. The Eucharistic celebration was presided by Cardinal Jozef Tomko, pontifical legate and president emeritus of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses.
Commenting on the theme of the congress - "The Eucharist: gift of God for the life of the world" - the Holy Father said: "The Eucharist is our most precious treasure. ... It is the Sacrament par excellence ... It contains all the mystery of our salvation, it is the source and the summit of the
activity and the life of the Church."
"It is, then," he continued, "particularly important that pastors and faithful should always seek a more profound understanding of this great Sacrament. Each will thus be able to strengthen his faith and better achieve his mission in the Church and in the world, recalling the fecundity of the Eucharist for his personal life, and for the life of the Church and the world."
"Participation in the Eucharist", said Pope Benedict, "does not distance us from our fellow man; quite the contrary, being the most exalted expression of God's love, it calls us to commit ourselves alongside our brothers and sisters to facing the challenges of the present and to making the planet a pleasant place to live. To this end, we must struggle tirelessly so that all people may be respected from conception to natural death, that our rich societies may welcome the poorest and restore their dignity, that everyone may feed themselves and their family, and that peace and justice may shine out on all continents."
The Pope, who had been speaking French, then pronounced a few words in English: "I sincerely hope that this Congress will serve as an appeal to all the faithful to make a similar commitment to a renewal of Eucharistic catechesis, so that they themselves will gain a genuine Eucharistic awareness and will in turn teach children and young people to recognise the central mystery of faith and build their lives around it."
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