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 last year. (Photo by Vincent Go)
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila is appealing for help in raising funds for the 51st International Eucharistic Congress that will be held in Cebu City in January next year. A one-peso (US$0.02) daily donation will help send a poor delegate to Cebu, he said in Manila on Sunday. "The delegates of the Archdiocese of Manila will come from the poorest of the poor who cannot afford to pay for their fare and registration fee," said Cardinal Tagle. "This will give our poor brethren a chance to experience being part of an international event. Please be generous in your support of the Eucharistic Congress," he added. Cardinal Tagle said donations will also be used to finance the expenses during the event, which is expected to draw thousands of delegates from around the world.
Organizers said Cebu archdiocese needs to raise at least US$6.8 million to build a "Eucharistic Pavilion" that will protect participants from heat and rain. Some 15,000 foreign delegates are expected to attend the gathering that is held every four years. Cebu archdiocese last year launched a fund-raising drive called "Piso para sa Misa ng Mundo (Money for the Mass of the World)" to encourage Catholics to share a peso to support preparations for the international gathering. Cardinal Tagle also urged the faithful to "prepare spiritually" for the international gathering aimed at promoting an awareness of the central place of the Eucharist in the mission of the Catholic Church. "I hope in the coming months leading to January, our preparations will become deeper for the Eucharistic Congress," he said. "Let us participate in the Mass, know the meaning of the celebration, and live it," Cardinal Tagle said. The prelate led the farewell Mass for the Eucharistic Congress' "Pilgrim Symbol," an image of the cross supposedly brought to the Philippines by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. Magellan arrived in the Philippines in 1521 during the Spanish expedition to the East Indies. The symbol is being brought around the country to encourage local churches to get involved in next year's activities. The Philippines last hosted the Eucharistic Congress in Manila in 1937 during the pontificate of Pope Pius XI.
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