5,000 already registered, but Church still short of funds for Eucharistic Congress
CEBU CITY – At least 5,000 of 15,000 foreign and local delegates expected to attend the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) which will be held here from January 24 to February 1 have already registered.
Bro. Jonathan Rubin, representative of IEC Communications Committee Chairman Msgr. Joseph Tan said the new IEC Pavillion, estimated to cost 550 million to build, has capacity to hold 15,000 delegates.
However, with less than five months to go, Rubin said the fund raising campaign launched by the Archdiocese of Cebu has yet to reach financial targets. Only 18 million has been collected so far since the "Piso Para sa Misa ng Mundo" initiated by the Church mainly for the purpose of raising funds for the major international event was started.
"This is not enough for the big event, thus we are seeking the assistance of media in urging people around the country to share their blessings and help in preparations for IEC 2016, especially on the financial aspect,” Rubin said, although he failed to mention how much the target of the fund-raising is.
As this developed, the Archdiocese of Cebu launched a parish-to-parish campaign to drum up support from families or charismatic communities to serve as host families for some 4,000 national and foreign delegates of the 51st IEC in Cebu next year.
So far, at least 200 families residing in Metro Cebu have committed to become “host families.”
The IEC is an international gathering of people aimed at promoting an awareness of the central place of the Eucharist in the life and mission of the Roman Catholic Church.
The Roman Ritual De Sacra Communione et de Cultu Mysterii Eucharistici extra Missam defines the Congress as “a pause for commitment and prayer to which a particular Church invites the universal Church”.
The choice of the Philippines as the venue for the congress was announced by then Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI during a video message at the conclusion of the previous Eucharistic congress held in Dublin in June 2012.