The central role of Communion in marriage and family life was the theme of the second and third days of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress ongoing in Dublin (June 10-17), with the participation of faithful from 120 Countries (www.iec2012.ie
). In the afternoon of June 12 Msgr. Diarmuid Martin
, Archbishop of Dublin, announced that cardinal Marc Ouellet, pontifical legate, on the request of Benedict XVI undertook a pilgrimage of reconciliation and penance for sexual abuse survivors, bearing witness to the “path of renewal” undertaken by the Irish Church, which the archbishop said he hopes will be a fruit of the Congress. The pilgrimage will take place at the shrine of Lough Derg, also called the “Purgatory of Saint Patrick”, a century-old pilgrimage site to request special graces.The meaning of life.
During the same Eucharistic celebration in the arena of the Royal Dublin Society, where the event is under way, Cardinal André Armand Vingt-Trois
said that Christians are the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world”, an “original vision of man, family life, social commitment, and the relationships to work, money and Gods creation”. For cardinal Vingt-Trois, this vision and this communion “are no mere theoretical projects. They are rooted in the dedication of our lives to the service of our brothers and sisters”, in “taking part in the Eucharist” and in the “power of the Holy Spirit”. The cardinal added: “the testimony of Catholic families is especially important to add the salt of the Gospel to the core of today’s world”. In fact, their primary mission is “to live concretely by these values, by “reconciliation, mutual acceptance and joy in giving one’s life for one’s loved ones”.The table and the Eucharist.
The day dedicated to marriage and the family was marked by personal testimonies, which included that of Breda O’Brian
, journalist of the “Irish Times”, mother of four. “A marriage is not a moment. It is a lifetime, where every day you try to live up to the promise which you made”, a promise so impossible that it forces us to stop relying on our own resources, and reach out for the grace of God in prayer”. She said that in her family “the kitchen table is very important”. “It is there that we learn to listen”, and “to forgive and be forgiven”. “It is there that we are nourished, body and soul”. It is there that “we learn to give thanks for all we have” it is “the place where we first learn the meaning of Eucharist, of Christ present in our midst”.The future in the hands of the laity.
For father Thomas Norris
, from Ireland, member of the International Theological Commission, in this International Eucharistic Congress “we are following the wake of the central inspiration of the Second Vatican Council whereby the Church is the communion of God-Trinity here on earth”. The theologian underlined that in “Deus caritas est” the pope wrote that “Christian faith is love for our neighbours since it is the encounter with Jesus Christ”: “However – he added – we continue witnessing divisions between Christians, although on the day dedicated to ecumenism the testimonies of frére Alois, prior of Taizé, of Maria Voce, president of the Focolari Movement, the words of the Anglican archbishop Jackson and the ceremony of the Word and Water bear witness to the fact that the love that comes from the Gospel is present amongst us. It’s a beautiful sign of unity”. As relates to faith in Europe, for Father Norris “there is an awakening; the future is certainly in the hands of the laity and of ecclesial movements. They can give a major contribution to the new evangelization”.Words and water.
The ceremony of Bread and Water was particularly significant, held in the RDS Arena, during which was blessed the water with which were aspersed the faithful, coming from Irish sacred water wells that date back to a period prior to the formal division of Christian Churches. The Eucharistic celebration was presided over by Michael Jackson
, Anglican Archbishop of Dublin and Glendalough, who in the morning press conference said he appreciated the fact “that during preparations for the Congress the Church of Ireland, with other Christian communities, was actively involved”. In the same context Msgr. Diarmuid Martin, reaffirmed the good relations between Christian Churches in Ireland. “Catholics and Protestants are facing the same challenges – he underlined – secularism in particular. For the first time we need a radically new evangelization”. Msgr. Martin invited to recognize the contribution of the Church in Irish society “despite undeniable problems and limitations”.