Eucharistic Congress Opening in Guadalajara

Mass to Start a Week of Activities

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GUADALAJARA, Mexico, OCT. 10, 2004 ( The 48th International Eucharistic Congress was poised to begin with a solemn Mass in the Jalisco Stadium of Guadalajara.

This evening’s concelebrated Mass was to be presided over by the Pope’s legate, Cardinal Jozef Tomko, and attended by the national, diocesan and parish delegates, as well as delegations from all the continents.

On Saturday, in all the parishes of the Archdiocese of Guadalajara, thousands of children made their first Communion. Many of these celebrations were presided over by cardinals, bishops or priests from diverse parts of the world, who were in Guadalajara to attend the Eucharistic Congress.

Today, the bells of all the churches of the city pealed to mark the start of the universal celebration of the Eucharistic Jesus.

A key goal pursued by the congress is the reactivation and consolidation of Eucharistic adoration worldwide. Locally, round-the-clock adoration of the Blessed Sacrament was set to begin in many churches, for the duration of the congress.

On Monday, Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez, archbishop of Guadalajara, will welcome the visiting delegations and participants and will speak on the topic of the day: «We Want to See Your Face, Lord!» The meeting will take place in the Expo-Guadalajara Expositions Center.

Also on Monday morning, a delegate from each continent will give a brief report on the situation of faith in the Eucharist in his part of the globe.

At 6 p.m. Monday, there will be a Mass of renewal of the patronage of Our Lady of Zapopan, in the esplanade of the Cabañas Cultural Institute, presided over by Cardinal Cláudio Hummes, archbishop of Sao Paulo. At the end of the Mass, the venerated image of Our Lady will be taken to the cathedral of Guadalajara to wait until dawn of the next day, when it will be returned to its basilica.

The pilgrimage to the basilica of Zapopan, will take place as it does every year on Oct. 12, the anniversary of Columbus’ discovery of America in 1492 and the start of the continent’s evangelization.

Also on Tuesday, a solemn Mass will be celebrated by Cardinal Sandoval when the Marian image arrives at the basilica of Zapopan, where it is permanently kept. The rosary will be prayed throughout the city. Congress participants and faithful of the archdiocese will come together to pray living rosaries.

At 5 p.m. on Thursday, in front of the arches of Avenue Vallarta, there will be a solemn concelebrated Mass, presided over by Cardinal Stephen Hamao, president of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers. Later, there will be a solemn procession with the Blessed Sacrament.

The congress in Guadalajara will crystallize in an initiative of a social nature: the activation of the Cardinal José Garibi Rivera Foundation.

Inspired by Populorum Progressio, a foundation set up by John Paul II to help the poor in Latin America by supporting self-management projects, the Guadalajara Archdiocese founded the Rivera Foundation, named after its first cardinal.

The Rivera Foundation aims to help people who wish to help themselves. Among other things it funds parish projects and gives advice.

The International Eucharistic Congress will culminate next Sunday with a Mass and a television linkup with John Paul II, from the Vatican.

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