The upcoming National Eucharistic Congress of India, being held in Mumbai in November and expected to draw thousands, is meant to deepen the understanding, appreciation, and love of the Eucharist.
The event will be held Nov. 12-15 at the Archdiocese of Bombay’s St. Piux X seminary, and is centered on the theme “The Eucharist: Nourished by Christ to Nourish Others.”
According to Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay, “the national congress will give a tremendous boost, and spur Eucharistic devotion all over the country, showing the importance of participation in the liturgy and exploring the true essence of Christian life as participating in the Paschal Mystery of the Eucharist.”
“The focus is therefore that we are nourished by Christ scripturally, that is, by the Word of God and the table of the Eucharist, but it should also have an impact on our lives – our personal life, family life, parish life – in our service to the country and in reaching out,” Cardinal Gracias told CNA.
The cardinal has encouraged all the faithful to “appreciate the Eucharist, live the Eucharist, and share the Eucharist.”
“The summary of the message is also to proclaim and share in true meaning in the Mass, which is the ‘source and summit’ of our lives as Christians,” said Cardinal Gracias.
As many as 5,000 people from across India are expected to attend the congress. Each of the 167 dioceses in India are sending five representatives to Mumbai for the event, where the Eucharist will be celebrated in the Latin, East Syrian, and West Syrian rites.
Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo has been appointed the Holy Father’s special envoy to the event, and Pope Francis is also expected to relay a video message to its participants.
Cardinal Gracias noted that the Bombay archdiocese hosted the 38th International Eucharistic Congress in 1964, and the significance of Bl. Paul VI’s participation for the Church in India.
Eucharistic congresses began in the late 19th century as a form of pilgrimage centered on the Eucharist.
By Antonio Anup Gonsalves