U.S. Holds 1st African Eucharistic Congress

WASHINGTON, D.C., AUG. 31, 2006 (Zenit.org).- More than 500 people will participate in the first Eucharistic congress for African Catholics in the United States, reports the bishops’ conference.

The African National Eucharistic Congress will be held at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and at the Catholic University of America, Sept. 2-3.

African pastoral leaders in collaboration with the Office for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees of the U.S. bishops’ conference planned the event.

According to Nigerian-born Sister Joanna Okereke, coordinator of ethnic ministries for the U.S. bishops’ conference, there are currently over 1,000 African nuns and 900 African priests ministering in the country.

Bishop Augustine Shao of Zanzibar, Tanzania, will preside at the Eucharistic celebration on Saturday.

A procession of nations, adoration of the Eucharist, and a cultural celebration will follow the Mass.

Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C. will preside at the closing Mass on Sept. 3.

Concurrent workshops will be given throughout the two-day celebration.

The 7th national convention of the conference of African clergy and religious will precede the congress.

Entitled “Breaking Bread Together: The African Experience,” the convention will be held Aug. 31-Sept. 1 at the Best Western College Park Inn in College Park, Maryland.