The Vatican

Eucharistic Congress in Quito aims to promote fraternity

The International Eucharistic Congress to be held in Ecuador from September 8 to 15 wants to remind Catholics of the importance of the Eucharist for living in fraternity.

Paloma López Campos-May 20, 2024-Reading time: 3 minutes

Eucharistic Adoration (OSV News photo / Gregory A. Shemitz)

The Holy See has held a press conference to present the 53rd Eucharistic Congress to be held at Quito (Ecuador) from September 8 to 15, 2024. With the theme "Fraternity to save the world", the three interventions of the press conference revolved around the Eucharist as "heart of the Church" and expression of its universality.

The three speakers were the Archbishop of Quito, Monsignor Alfredo José Espinoza Mateus; the Secretary General of the International Eucharistic Congress 2024, Juan Carlos Garzón; and Corrado Maggioni, President of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses.

Eucharistic Missionaries

In his speech, the Archbishop of Quito expressed his wish that the Eucharistic Congress of September be "that voice with a Latin American accent for the Church of the whole world". A voice that he described as "of hope" and "prophetic" that proclaims "to all that fraternity is the only possible way to make and build a new world".

Monsignor Espinoza Mateus emphasized that "there are many wounds in the world" and that this is the mission of the National Eucharistic Congress, which aims to show that "the Eucharist leads us to be builders of fraternity".

The Archbishop concluded by pointing out that "the Eucharistic Congress will make us fully aware that we are 'Eucharistic missionaries of fraternity'". Finally, he welcomed all those who will come to Quito in September.

Fraternity, the basis of the Eucharistic Congress

For his part, Juan Carlos Garzón, secretary general of the Eucharistic Congress, linked the theme of this meeting to the encyclical "Fratelli Tutti", because it "coincides with the ecclesial meaning of the Eucharist, source of communion for those who celebrate it, with its mission to make visible in the wounds of the world the healing work of Christ".

Father Garzon analyzed the Basic Document of the Eucharistic Congress, which in its introduction mentions "a dream of fraternity. A fraternity, said the Secretary General, that must spring "from the Eucharistic experience" and tend "towards it as its goal.

The three parts of the Basic Document explore three perspectives of the main theme: wounded fraternity, fraternity realized in Christ and fraternity as healing of the world.

The Secretary General indicated, based on the above-mentioned document, that "the Eucharist is the healing of our love" and thanks to it a "we" is born, oriented "to mutual service in the real and visible neighbor, that is, Eucharistic love overflows to heal the wounds of the world".

History and current events of the Eucharistic Congress

In the last intervention of the press conference, the president of the Pontifical Committee, Conrado Maggioni, highlighted the history of the International Congresses, from the first one held in Lille in 1881 to the present day. He noted that the various meetings in places as varied as Quebec, Manila, Buenos Aires, Nairobi or Seoul, "marked 'eucharistically' the path of the Church in these countries in their respective continents".

On this occasion, said Maggioni, the Eucharistic Congress of Quito is "a decisive appeal to 'fraternity' seen as a gift from Heaven and, at the same time, as a human commitment to convert inimitable relationships into fraternal bonds, within the concerns of the present".

The President of the Pontifical Committee affirmed that "the Eucharistic Congress has become an opportunity to express the Church of the Eucharist, in the light of the Second Vatican Council and the resulting liturgical reform". In this way, "the inseparable link between the Mass and Eucharistic worship outside of it is promoted, paying attention to the lived experience".

The Eucharist at the heart of the Church's mission

For Conrado Maggioni, the fact that the Eucharistic Congress is international makes it possible "to revive the awareness that the presence of Christ among us and through us is the heart of the Church and her mission". The gathering to celebrate Christ sacramentalized allows "to focus on the only leaven capable of truly leavening human history and turning it into new dough for the Kingdom of Heaven".

Maggioni concluded his speech at the press conference by affirming that "the internationality of the Congress manifests the universality of the Eucharistic mystery that shapes every baptized person, in his or her state of life, as well as every Christian family, religious community, parish and diocese".

Logo of the 53rd International Eucharistic Congress, to be held in Quito, Ecuador (Photo CNS / Courtesy of the Archdiocese of Quito).
La Brújula Newsletter Leave us your email and receive every week the latest news curated with a catholic point of view.