iec_5954662378_d1232f3420International Eucharistic Congress 2012

Ronan Ashe, Allen Parish's representative for the 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012, shares his views on this year's 'World Spiritual Olympics' and encourages parishioners to 'Get involved!' He speaks to parishioners this weekend about the world's biggest religious gathering of Catholics that comes to Dublin from 10th-17th June.

"First, I want to thank Fr. Moore for giving me the opportunity to talk to you.

The International Eucharistic Congress takes place in the RDS, with its closing ceremony in Croke Park from 10th – 17th June 2012. It happens once every four years, over eight days. It was in Quebec City (Canada) in 2008 and Guadalajara (Mexico) in 2004.

The Congress has been described as the 'Spiritual Olympics' or 'World Youth Day for Adults'.

Some interesting facts about the congress are that:

  • 25,000 people will attend the RDS each day,
  • Of which 12,000 will be international pilgrims,
  • Culminating in 80,000 participants in Croke Park on the final day, and
  • 2,000 - 3,000 volunteers will help in the period before, during and after the event
  • There will be over 100 very interesting and practical exhibition stands
  • There will be over 150 workshops and discussion groups
  • 18 keynote addresses will be given by international speakers, such as Brother Alois Löser, Prior of the Taize Community, France
  • Holy Mass, liturgies and prayers will be celebrated in seven languages
  • Film, music, concerts, theatre and hundreds of choirs will feature during the social programmes
  • Dedicated space and events will be available for 2,500 young people, and a lot more besides that.

Some of you were already at the Diocesan Eucharistic Congress in Carlow on 9th/10th March 2012, during which:

  • 800 people across the diocese booked
  • 500 young people attended the Schools' Programme on 8th March
  • 173 primary schools, including our parish's own five schools, were involved in making the beautiful altar cloth, which was used at the final Mass of the Congress in Carlow Cathedral.

The Diocesan Congress had some excellent speakers, workshops, music and celebration, all making a very positive atmosphere. Great credit is due to the Faith Development Services in Carlow as well as all who contributed and attended this Congress making it such a great success and setting the mood for the International Eucharistic Congress. 12th June has been set aside as a special Diocesan day.

The last time this was in Ireland was in 1932. In fact there will be some people that remember it and attended it. The 2012 International Eucharistic congress is also going to be a great event for Ireland and a chance to show ourselves as the great people that we are.

Already, for some time, there has been a great and energetic attitude among the clergy and religious, as well as the laity, youth and adults alike. This Congress is for everyone and, as a lay person who is looking forward to the Congress myself, I encourage you to attend this unique occasion.

Already, we have filled the parish's quota of Croke Park tickets; however you can still get Croke Park tickets by booking a three-day or seven-day ticket. For those who want to book a one-day ticket, it is preferable to book Tuesday – 'Diocesan Day' and the 'Day for Youth Space'.

Information is available in the Parish Newsletter, on the parish website, on the K&L and IEC 2012 websites. For bookings and transport arrangements, and for any other information about the International Eucharistic Congress, please contact me at: 086 3909075.

Once again, I encourage you to attend this very special occasion."