Philippines' Eucharistic Congress in appeal for cash
Cebu archdiocese needs almost $7m to stage event
(From left) Archbishop Jose Palma, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales, and papal nuncio Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto at the launch of the International Eucharistic Congress. (Photo by Vincent Go)
Organizers of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress to be held in the Philippines’ Cebu archdiocese in 2016 are calling for millions of dollars in donations to help stage the event.
The archdiocese is building a Eucharistic Pavilion and needs to raise at least US$6.8 million, Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu said on Tuesday.
"Much of the expenses will be shouldered by the Archdiocese of Cebu," Palma said. He said the pavilion will be "simple and not very grand" and will protect participants from heat and rain.
Some 15,000 overseas delegates are expected to attend the gathering held every four years.
Philippine Church leaders earlier said they hope Pope Francis will attend the congress.
"We are quite sure he'll come to the [Eucharistic Congress] because of his preferential love for underdeveloped areas," Cardinal Orlando Quevedo told ucanews.com.
The prelate, however, said that Filipinos have to be "realistic".
"If the pontiff visits the Philippines in January 2015, then he will be visiting the country two years in a row," Quevedo said.
"He can’t come to one country two succeeding years," he added.
The only time the Philippines has hosted an International Eucharistic Congress was in 1937 in Manila.
"This is an event worth celebrating and rejoicing if only to think we have an opportunity to share our expression of faith to with participants from different countries," Palma said.
The call for donations is part of an archdiocese fund-raising drive for the event.
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