Cebu City, the Queen City of the South, has shown her vibrant faith again on the fourth day of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress.
We witnessed more evangelizing and exciting activities today.
All roads led to the IEC Pavilion, Mabolo, Cebu City. Passing through tight security measures, participants, delegates, and guests braved the rains in the morning to attend the 4th day of this international congress.
Most Rev. Gilbert Garcera, DD, bishop of the Diocese of Daet, presided the Morning Prayer. Filipino Augustinian Friars led the congregation in singing the psalms and hymns. Bishop Gilbert gave a short reflection focusing on the nakedness that sets our minds of our nothingness. He said, “Job reminds us of our humble awareness of who we are before our compassionate and loving Father.”
Before the catechetical session started, members of the Couples for Christ Foundation for Family and Life, animated the pavilion. The 12,000-strong delegation started dancing, jumping, singing, and praising the Lord.
Two catechetical sessions followed. Salesian Bishop, Most Rev. Thomas Menamparampil, D.D., from Jowai, India led the first catechesis entitled, “The Eucharist as Mission, Mission as Dialogue.” In his conference he emphasized the importance of dialogue with diverse religious beliefs and traditions. An evangelizer is not a mere giver. Evangelizing requires constant listening, learning, dialoging, and conversion.
Mr. Paul Ponce, an Argentinian father of a family of circus performers, together with his wife Leah, and their children Pablo, Jose, and Lily, shared their faith-life testimony with the assembly. Paul began with a circus act. Afterwards he shared his conversion story. The sacrament of confirmation changed his life and convinced him of his faith. Now, they live their life bound by God’s Eucharistic love.
His Eminence Peter Card. Kodwo Appiah Turkson, D.D., President of Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and Chancellor of the Catholic University College of Ghana, sent a copy of his speech to the Eucharistic Congress on “The Eucharist and Care for Creation.” Card. Turkson could not make it to the congress, as he was called by the Holy Father to a council meeting. But Arch. Antonio Ledesma, D.D., Archbishop of Cagayan de Oro, read his paper.
In the afternoon, the Papal Legate, His Eminence Charles Maung Card. Bo, together with Bp. Mylo Hubert Vergara, DD, Arch. Pierro Marini, DD, Arch. Jose Palma, DD, Rev. Fr. Vittorio Boccardi, and Rev. Fr. Jose Quilongquilong, SJ, held a press conference at the media center. When asked about his message for the participants of the congress, Card. Bo responded by reiterating his homily during the opening mass: let us wage a third world war against poverty and injustice. “Let us use missiles of charity, and missiles of sharing.” Card. Charles added. He gained an applause from the media for his humility and humor.
The afternoon schedule gave the local and foreign participants ample time to visit a few parishes here in Cebu. The Eucharistic Congress Delegates went to their designated parishes to celebrate Mass with the parishioners.
There were also cultural presentations held in separated venues to give the participants a touch of Filipino culture. In Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, talents from Cebu Metropolitan Grand Choir and San Diego Dance Company entertained the Australian delegations and other pilgrims through music and dance.
This day has been another success for the 51st International Eucharistic Congress. Bringing to you the events here in Cebu—Fray Robin Ross Plata, OAR—CBCP Media and Recoletos Communications.