Mexico City (Fides Service) - With less than a month to go to the opening of the 48th International Eucharistic Congress organised by the Catholic Church which will take place this time in Guadalajara, Mexico, 10 - 17 October, the Bishops of Mexico have issued a message to the people stressing the importance of the Congress which has as its theme “Eucharist, Light and Life of the New Millennium”. In the message, addressed to Catholics and all men and women of goodwill the Bishops say: “this event will be a great opportunity to contemplate and meditate on the Mystery of the Eucharist, in order to spread in the world peace, reconciliation and fruits of New Evangelisation and offer the whole of humanity Jesus Christ the necessary food for facing the challenges of the new millennium”.
The Bishops recall that the Congress will be preceded by an international pastoral theological Symposium on the encyclical “Ecclesia de Eucharistia” at Valle di Atemajac University 6 - 8 October, during which participants will reflect on the mystery of the Eucharist from various aspects, biblical, theological, pastoral catechetical, spiritual, social and ecumenical, in order to “reach a better understanding of the impact this Mystery of salvation has on personal and social life”.
During the actual Congress, eight days of reflection, study celebrations of Mass and other prayers, participants will be assisted by some two thousands volunteers.
In the message the Bishops announce that Pope John Paul II will be united with the Congress participants for the closing ceremony. The Holy Father is due to deliver a message via satellite during which he will officially declare open the Year of the Eucharist for the whole Church October 2004 to October 2005. In October 2005, there will be the 11th ordinary assembly of the Synod of Bishops.
At the end of the message the Bishops entrust the Congress to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary: “May Mary help all Christians to recognise in the Eucharist the presence of her Divine Son and to welcome him with love and invoke him with faith, so that strengthened with the bread of life they will not hesitate to put themselves at the service of others in order to build and new humanity of justice and brotherhood”.
(R.Z.) (Agenzia Fides 15/9/2004; Righe 25, Parole 335)