Coinciding in a year when Ireland will play in the European Football Championships and will host international athletics teams training for the Olympics in Britain, organisers of the International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) are incorporating sports into their programme and facilitating fans attending the Congress to keep up-to-date with sporting highlights.
”Wouldn’t it be interesting to celebrate Mass in the RDS arena and then stay on to watch the match on a large screen,” asks Fr Kevin Doran, secretary general of the IEC writing in The Irish Catholic this week.
”If there is one thing I would want to say to people it is that the Eucharistic Congress is not just for ‘special’ people.
”It is for everyone, and there will be something there for everyone.
”We even have an Austrian bishop offering a workshop on ‘communion and sport’.
”This may be particularly appropriate since the Congress begins the same evening as Ireland’s involvement in the final stage of the European Championships [June 10],” he said.
The Congress will involve over 100 keynote addresses and workshops on a wide range of themes associated with the Eucharist and focused around the daily celebration of the Mass in the RDS arena.
Speakers include Cardinal Rodriquez Maradiaga (president of Caritas), Maria Voce (president of the Focolare Movement), Patriarch Fouad Twal of Jerusalem, John Waters, John Bruton (former Taoiseach), Conor Hickey (director of Crosscare) and Richard Moore (founder of Children in Crossfire).
The Congress will also offer a parallel Chiara Luce Youth Space which will host guided prayer, music, workshops, social awareness activities, and opportunities for dialogue each day with a host bishop.
The Congress concluding Mass or Statio Orbis, will take place in Croke Park on June 17.
Check www.iec2012.ie for full programme and booking details.