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Catholic Voice

January 24:
An International Congress on
the Eucharist

January 24: From every corner of the planet, to the table
of Divine Sacrifice

January 25:
More than talks

January 26:
Sacred moments,
sacred spaces

January 27:
Gifts and mission

January 30:
And now…


Some of the priests of the Diocese of Oakland concelebrating during the Inaugural Mass in Cebu.

Rev. Alexander Q. Castillo

January 24, 2016
From every corner of the planet,
to the table of Divine Sacrifice

The 51st International Eucharistic Congress started Jan. 24. Thousands of delegates from all over the world have come to Cebu in The Philippines to experience a moment of powerful blessings and deep reflection.

Sunday evening, Cardinal Bo celebrated the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. He is the first cardinal from Myanmar, and His Holiness Pope Francis appointed him as his delegate to preside at the Congress.

Dozens of bishops and hundreds of priests concelebrated the Mass at the Plaza de Independencia, one of the landmarks of Cebu City.

There are two things I really have to tell you:

1. In the message the pope sent for the participants in the Congress, a phrase was said twice: "The Eucharist unites heaven and earth." I found it very interesting not only that the Holy Father repeated the phrase, but that this is something we should "chew on," especially those involved in liturgy.

2. Cardinal Bo delivered a very strong homily. He said devotion, and even Eucharistic devotion, is not enough. Eucharistic devotion should move us toward Eucharistic commitment and identity ... people who become in the world the presence of the same Christ that nurtures us on the altar. This idea closely follows what Pope Francis has been emphasizing: we are to become missionary disciples of Christ, nurtured at the altar ... ready to spread mercy on the streets.

And this, my dear brothers and sisters ... was just the beginning. Let's wait to see what we have tomorrow. We are all very excited.

Maraming Salamat po.

Rev. Alexander Castillo
Special to The Catholic Voice

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