AND CELAM – Mons. Alfredo José Espinoza: “We want to shout that fraternity is the path we must follow today.
Preparations for the 53rd International Eucharistic Congress are unstoppable. Hence, delegates from 34 Episcopal Conferences of the world met from September 11 to 15 in Quito.
The agenda of this Plenary Assembly was useful in order to present the base document of the International event called “Fraternity to heal the world,” in addition to showing the progress obtained in theological, liturgical, logistical and communication terms of the International Congress that will be held from the 8th to the 15th of September 2024.
A preparatory path
The base document is aimed at all the faithful and reflects on fundamental elements to foster the spirit of fraternity in daily life. In addition, it seeks to contribute to the development of pastoral activities prior to the congress designed for ecclesiastical jurisdictions.
In this regard, Bishop Francisco Alberto Sanguinetti Montero, Bishop of Canelones – Uruguay, assured that the content of the base document can be synthesized into two primary aspects. First, he addresses in depth “the gift of the Mass, the gift of the Eucharist, where Christ is present, who died and rose again.” Secondly, there is the “call he makes to reconciliation and to look at others as brothers.”
On the same topic, Bishop Alfredo José Espinoza Mateus, Archbishop of Quito – Ecuador, recognized that the organization of this activity represents a great challenge for Ecuador, a country consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and that deeply loves the Eucharist. “I sincerely thank the Pontifical Committee for Eucharistic Congresses and the Theological Commission, which have had the delicate mission of preparing this document. The same one that will serve as inspiration to make a preparatory path towards this great ecclesial event,” he stated.
It is a spiritual process that extends to other areas, achieving different scopes thanks to those responsible for the commissions. Also, the Plenary Assembly provided a space for attendees to be updated in connection with the progress in the organization process of the agenda.
Mons. David de la Torre, Auxiliary Bishop of Quito and president of the Theological Commission, commented that Pope Francis chose the motto of the Congress: “Fraternity to heal the world,” thinking about the direct relationship between his pontificate and the encyclical “Fratelli Tutti.” ,”one of the fundamental documents to understand the theological and pastoral lines that identify his teaching.
In this sense, he clarified that the theme of the International Eucharistic Congress goes beyond mere theory. On the contrary, it touches upon the existence of the world, where there is a great diversity of wounds caused by wars, conflicts, and expressions of violence.
On his hehalf, Father Corrado Maggioni, president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses, expressed his approval for the work carried out by the Local Committee in Ecuador, encouraging it to continue on this path of preparation for what is expected to be the largest meeting of the Church in the world with the wish to reflect on the Eucharist as the center of Christian life.
In turn, Father Juan Carlos Garzón, Secretary General of the Congress, referred to the progress achieved in terms of organization, which from his perception makes the following so clear: “the fruitfulness of the Eucharist for evangelization and the renewal of faith in the Latin American continent.”
A congress for all
The delegations that attended the Plenary Assembly of the organizers of the 53rd International Eucharistic Congress that met in Quito were made up of 46 people, including cardinals, bishops, priests and lay people from 34 countries.
Among them are: Papua-New Guinea, Switzerland, Italy, Japan, Paraguay, Poland, Slovenia, Hungary, Canada, Australia-New Zealand, Taiwan, Togo, Mexico, Chile, Ireland, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Peru, Rwanda, Namibia , Colombia, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, France, Uruguay, Guatemala, United States, Philippines, Korea, Panama, Lesotho, Czech Republic and Germany.