4TH NATIONAL EUCHARISTIC CONGRESS launched in Jasikan
On behalf of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference and the Steering Committee for the 4th National Eucharistic Congress, I bring pleasant greetings to the Most Rev. Gabriel Akwasi Ababio Mante, the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Jasikan, the Priests, Religious and lay faithful of the Diocese and, by extension, to all Catholics in Ghana.
Dear People of God, the Catholic Church in Ghana, under the pastoral leadership of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, intends to celebrate the 4th National Eucharistic Congress in August 2017. The theme for this national event is: “The Eucharist and the New Evangelization”. The Catholic Diocese of Jasikan has been selected by the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference to host the Congress. The Catholic Church in Ghana is very grateful, in advance, to the host Bishop, the priests and religious, and all the lay-faithful of the Diocese of Jasikan for accepting to host this congress and to serve as a “sanctuary to encounter the Lord Jesus Christ” from 7th to 13th August, 2017.
What is a Eucharistic Congress?
A Eucharistic Congress is a celebration of the Catholic Church which brings the people of God together specifically:
- To create an awareness of the central place of the Eucharist in the life and mission of the Catholic Church,
- To pray and adore the Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist,
- To help and improve our understanding of the celebration of the Eucharist,
- To draw our attention to the social dimension of the Eucharist; and
- To use the centrality of the Eucharist to effect integral transformation.
History and Practice
Internationally, the Catholic Church usually organises Eucharistic Congresses every four (4) years with specific themes to help the Church reflect on her life. The most recent one (the 51st International Eucharistic Congress) was held in Cebu, Philippines from 24th to 31st January, 2016 on the theme: “Christ in you, our Hope of glory” (cf. Col. 1:27).
Ghana, since 1951 has organised three such Congresses – in Kumasi, February 19-26, 1951; in Tamale, January 5 – 11, 1998; and in Kumasi, November 18 – 21 2005. The next Congress (the 4th one) will be held here in Jasikan from 7th to 13th August 2017.
4th National Eucharistic Congress: Aim and Activities
The primary object of the 4th National Eucharistic Congress is to take advantage of the context of the 60th Independence Anniversary of Ghana and to use the congress to rededicate the Republic of Ghana and her citizens to the Eucharistic Love of Jesus Christ. In addition, the wish of the Bishops is that the Congress will:
- Support a deeper understanding of the meaningful celebration of the Mass;
- Extend the worship and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament outside the Mass itself; and
- Help all delegates, pilgrims and participants of the Congress reflect the social implications of the Eucharist so that the influence and the fruit of our celebration and adoration will permeate our entire personal and social life.
The Congress is scheduled for 7th -13th August, 2017. It is a week-long national programme. The national event is divided into two main sessions:
- Session I: This first session will be a Study-session for Two- Hundred and Fifty (250) national delegates, made up of priests, religious, youth, men and women, from all the 20 Dioceses. The daily study-sessions will last from 7th to 10th August, 2017. Each Diocese is expected to sponsor ten (10) persons for the study session.
Topics for the Study Session include: The Eucharist and our Care of the Environment, The Eucharist and the Social Media, The Eucharist and the Church’s Dialogue with the Youth, The Eucharist and the Church’s Dialogue with the Poor, the Sick and the Suffering, The Eucharist and the Family, The Eucharist makes the Church, and the Church makes the Eucharist, etc.
- Session II: This second Session, from 11th to 13th August, 2017 will be the general session where it is expected that over 10,000 Catholic-pilgrims and participants from all over Ghana will take part in a series of catechism sessions, that focus on different dimensions of the Eucharist, daily celebration and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, the sacrament of the Reconciliation, Eucharistic Processions and Durbars.
While we wait with interior preparation and in great expectation for the national event, the various Dioceses will organise events locally to mark, celebrate and raise awareness on the 4th National Eucharistic Congress.
To the Diocese of Jasikan
Dear People of God, permit me to thank the Bishop, the priests and religious, the lay men, women and the youth of the Diocese of Jasikan for accepting the onerous task to host the congress. We acknowledge the tremendous efforts of the Local Organizing Committee so far. As host, my Dear Catholics of Jasikan, you will prepare the ground for our brothers and sisters who are coming to pray and study with us. You will make your homes and other facilities to them and express your generosity to them. We trust you will do very well in these endeavours.
Launch & Conclusion
On that note of goodwill and encouragement to the Host Diocese, I hereby, on behalf of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, the Steering Committee and the Local Organizing Committee, declare that the 4th National Eucharistic Congress is duly launched in the Name of God the Father, and of God the Son and of God the Holy Spirit, Amen!
Thank you all for your attention.
Presented by Most Rev. Gbariel A.A. Mante, Bishop of Jasikan on behalf of the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference..