51st Eucharistic Congress, Cebu, Philippines.

51st Eucharistic Congress, Cebu, Philippines.

Paul Mooney mhm

We are now half way through the Eucharistic Congress in Cebu City. Together with an estimated 12,000 participants and delegates we are exploring various aspects of the Holy Eucharist through prayer, praise, Keynote sharings, faith testimonies, cultural presentations and fellowship.

The opening Mass was led by Cardinal Bo, the Papal Legate to the Congress, Archbishop of Rangoon, Myanmar. As Mass begin an historical drama reminded the tens of thousands gathered of how the Christian faith was brought to the Philippines almost 500 years ago. In spite of a failed start the second attempt of evangelisation found the native peoples of Cebu venerating an ancient image of the Santo Nin~o. From Cebu, the Christian faith spread rapidly and took deep and lasting root in the hearts and lives of the Filipino people's.

Some local and internationally renowned clergy and faithful have already shared keynote speeches or shared faith testimonies of God's grace and conversion; Bishop Mascarenhas, Cardinal Zen of China, Archbishop Vidarte OFM, Fr. Timothy Radcliffe OP, Ambassador Tamara Grdzeldize, Bishop Robert Barron, Ms. Marianne Servaas, Cardinal Rosales, Cardinal Quevedo OMI, Dra. Josefina Manabat, Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil SDB, and a testimony on behalf of Cardinal Turkson was read. There are many more sharings in the next four days.

Presentations are interspersed with cultural presentations, prayer and praise sessions and wonderful entertainment. Each day begins with morning prayer in the new purpose-build auditorium at the John XXIII Seminary. I was amazed at the size of the new auditorium and the beautiful facilities it houses on 4 levels.

The theme chosen for this 51st Eucharistic Congress is "Christ in us, our hope of glory", a theme reminding us of the graceful efficacy of participating in the Holy Eucharist. A competition-winning hymn is being sung here, all over the Philippines and world-wide in these days of particular blessing.

I feel truly blessed to be here. The special hospitality of the Cebuano people is complimenting the congress and the participating pilgrims. Please be assured that I am holding all of you in my prayers here.

Paul F. Mooney MHM

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