Ireland to Begin Year of Prayer for Renewal

Plans for Eucharistic Congress Under Way

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MAYNOOTH, Ireland, OCT. 26, 2010 ( The Irish bishops are encouraging the faithful to observe a Year of Prayer to support the process of spiritual renewal of the Church in Ireland, after recent sexual abuse scandals.

The year will open on Nov. 28, the first Sunday in Advent, and will be an «opportunity for all to avail of Scripture-based prayer to guide the renewal of the Church in Ireland at this time,» stated a communiqué with conclusions of the autumn general assembly of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference.
During this Year for Prayer, the faithful are invited to recite the prayer for the Church in Ireland, included in the Pastoral Letter to Ireland’s Catholics written by Benedict XVI last March 19.
The faithful are also encouraged to follow the Pope’s invitation to take part in Eucharistic adoration, in the sacrament of reconciliation and Friday penance.
Moreover, the Irish episcopate thanked all those who offered their «helpful reflections» on the Pontiff’s pastoral letter.
The communiqué also made reference to the preparation of the forthcoming apostolic visit to some dioceses, seminaries and religious congregations of Ireland.

It expressed the hope that the visitation «will assist in purifying and healing the Church in Ireland and will help to restore the trust and hope of the faithful in our country.»

Pro-life vigil

In their assembly, the bishops also spoke about the «extraordinary vigil» for unborn children called for by Benedict XVI, to be held on Nov. 28.

They noted the Holy Father’s request that vigils would be held worldwide in union with the prayer service the Pontiff will celebrate in Rome.
Eucharistic congress
Moreover, the Church in Ireland is preparing the 50th International Eucharistic Congress, which will be held in Dublin June 10-17, 2012, with the theme «The Eucharist: Communion with Christ and with one another.»
The text of a prayer for the congress has been approved and translated from English into German, French, Italian, Spanish and Polish.
On the Web site of the bishops’ conference is a brief video of presentation of the congress and other information on the event.
Renown Irish composer Bernard Sexton has composed the hymn for the Eucharistic congress, titled «Though We Are Many, We Are One Body in Christ.»
One of the key moments of the preparation of the congress is a national meeting planned for the last weekend of June 2011, on the occasion of the Solemnity of Corpus Christi.
Finally, the planning commission has prepared a pastoral program with catechetical materials.

The bishops’ communiqué noted that «one of the central mysteries of our faith is the Incarnation.»

It continued: «The Son of God took on our human nature and lived our human reality, including our experience of suffering and death. This means that the Eucharist has something to say about every truly human experience.»

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