Manila Bulletin

5,000 al­ready reg­is­tered, but Church still short of funds for Eucharis­tic Congress

- By MARS W. MOSQUEDA JR. Religion · Cebu City · Saudi Arabia · Nigeria · Philippines · Benedict XVI · Dublin

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.

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