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UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
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Philippines

Preparations for January's eucharistic congress nearly complete

Philippines church expecting more than 10,000 participants

Joe Torres, Manila

Joe Torres, Manila

Updated: December 14, 2015 04:30 PM GMT
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Preparations for January's eucharistic congress nearly complete

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, right, speaks on the significance of the International Eucharistic Congress in Cebu in January. With the cardinal is Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, papal nuncio to the Philippines. (Photo by Angie de Silva)

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The church in the Philippines has nearly completed preparations for January's International Eucharistic Congress, which is expected to draw some 10,000 Catholic participants from around the world, officials said. 

"I can say at this time ... we are prepared," said Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu, host of the global gathering that will run from Jan. 24 to 31, 2015. 

"The preparation is practically done," Palma told reporters during a press briefing on Dec. 14.

Some 8,500 delegates from 71 countries have already registered, said Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Dennis Villarojo.

"That's a good representation already," Bishop Villarojo said, adding that the organizers are still receiving more registrants.

Archbishop Palma said the meeting will surely be a "source of renewal" for Catholics. "Those who might have weakened in their hope may strengthen their hope," the prelate said.

The congress, an international gathering that aims to create and promote awareness of the place of the Eucharist in people’s daily lives, carries the theme "Christ in You, Our Hope of Glory."

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila said the significance of the meeting "goes beyond the Catholic Church." 

"We know there is a crying need for humanity today. Humanity calls for a gift of loving, forgiving and we hope the celebration of the International Eucharistic Congress may add to the year of mercy," said Tagle.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, Auxiliary Bishop Robert Barron of Los Angeles, Nigerian Cardinal John Onaiyekan of Abuja, and Indian Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay are among the speakers during the meeting.

Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Yangon will represent Pope Francis.

The Philippines last hosted the spiritual gathering in 1937 in Manila during the pontificate of Pope Pius XI.

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