|The crowds assembling at Croke Park for the Final Mass of the Eucharistic Congress|
The Eucharistic Congress came to a close yesterday with the Statio Orbis, as the concluding Mass of a Eucharistic Congress is called. The Mass was held at Croke Park, Dublin, and the celebrant was the Papal Legate to the Congress, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops. The stadium was alive with a vibrant sense of communion with Christ and with one another. People from every parish in Ireland joined with pilgrims from all over the world in a very joyful and prayerful celebration of faith and of love for the Eucharist. Fr Hugh Clifford and 18 representatives of Sacred Heart Parish were present at the ceremony.
Cardinal Ouellet said in his homily,
'After this week of Eucharistic reflection, celebration and adoration, we are certainly more aware of God’s call to communion with Him and with one another. Let us bear witness to this grace by calling others to faith in this communion. The Irish bell, which resounds from Lough Derg, from Knock and Dublin, must resound in the whole world. Let’s ring the bell further through our personal testimony of renewed faith in the Holy Eucharist. Faith is the most precious gift we have received with Baptism. Let’s not keep it private and fearful! Let it grow as a splendid tree through sharing everywhere!'
Before the end of Mass, the video message from Pope Benedict XVI to the Congress was shown. The Pope spoke of how the full active participation of the faithful in the Eucharistic Sacrifice is not just about external activity. It means entering the inner depths of the mystery of the Eucharist in a personal encounter with Our Lord. Recalling the scandals of recent times, Pope Benedict reminded us that Ireland has been shaped by the Mass at its deepest level for centuries and that we are heirs to a Church that has been a mighty force for good in the world. He showed how the Eucharistic Congress can help in the renewal of the Church in Ireland with his reminder that our worship should not become a matter of habit, but ought to be a deep personal relationship with the goodness of Christ. The Pope made the announcement that the next International Eucharistic Congress will be held in Cebu in the Philippines in 2016.The President of this Dublin Eucharistic Congress, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin thanked Fr Kevin Doran, the General Secretary of the Congress and his team and he stressed that this Congress can provide an impetus for the task ahead:
The 50th International Eucharistic Congress was not just a seven-day event. Over the past year a great deal of catechesis has been carried out across Ireland in preparation for this week. Tomorrow we must start our catechesis anew to prolong the fruits of this Eucharistic Congress through a dynamic of New Evangelization.
|Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Papal Legate to the Eucharistic Congress, addresses the congregation|
|Fr Barry Horan at the Mass in Croke Park|
Fr Barry did huge work as the Delegate of Galway Diocese in preparation for the Eucharistic Congress.
|Sharing the joy of the occasion: Canon Joseph Keogh, Fr Anthony Minniter and Monsignor Sean O'Flaherty|
|Some of the Galway priests present at the Mass:|
In front: Canon Joseph Keogh, Fr Anthony Minniter, Monsignor Sean O'Flaherty
Behind: Fr Denis Murphy OP, Fr Ian O'Neill, Canon Martin Moran, Fr Hugh Clifford
|Fr Hugh Clifford with Kathleen Cazabon, one of the 18 people who represented|
Sacred Heart Parish at the Final Mass of the Eucharistic Congress
|Crowds of people were greeting Archbishop Charles Brown, Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland,|
on the street outside Croke Park after the Mass.
|Representing the Knights of Malta: Paschal Diviney, Deputy National Director of the|
Order of Malta Ambulance Corps, and former Sacred Heart parishioner