The Launch of The National Eucharistic Congress
Aug. 15, 2015
His Eminence, Oswald Cardinal Gracias, President of the National Eucharistic Congress, together with His Lordship, Bishop Dominic Savio Fernandes, presided at an event, held on August 15, 2015, to release the logo, prayer, hymn and website for the forthcoming National Eucharistic Congress 2015. The occasion was attended by members of the Curia, dignitaries from among the Catholic fraternity and also Religious from the neighbouring Congregations. It was significant that this event took place in the same hall, at the Archbishop’s residence, that witnessed many meetings during the historic 38th International Eucharistic Congress held in Mumbai in 1964.
The program commenced with a prayer for guidance and help that the National Eucharistic Congress 2015 may bear abundant fruit for the Church in India; this was followed by the hymn, ‘Spirit of the Living God’, a reading from Scripture and intercessions.
His Eminence, Oswald Cardinal Gracias addressed the audience, and provided an overview of the theme and events for this Congress.
The theme – Nourished by Christ, to Nourish Others – encourages us to be filled with the Lord through the Eucharist and to carry this nourishment to others. His Eminence presented the different ways in which Christ, during his time on earth, nourished the people around Him: He physically, emotionally and spiritually gave himself to the marginalized, the poor, the needy and even the dead by strengthening, forgiving and loving them as well as breathing into them, life.
Jesus continuously revealed the mystery of the Eucharist through His teachings and miracles, and at the Last Supper he gave us this precious gift. We celebrate the significance of the Eucharist in our lives, in a very special way, through the Eucharistic Congresses. His Eminence expressed the desire to keep alive the spirit of the International Eucharistic Congress held in 1964 and the Archdiocesan Eucharistic Congress held in 2014, as we celebrate the National Eucharistic Congress 2015. In this way, the fruits of the Congresses will continue to reach and benefit the faithful all over India.
It is fitting that August 15 - Independence Day and the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary – was chosen to launch the National Eucharistic Congress. Independence Day is the perfect time to recollect our call to be a truly Indian Church and the Feast of the Assumption is a powerful reminder of our devotion to the Eucharistic Lord. As pointed out by His Eminence, Our Lady's womb was the first Tabernacle and we, too, are called to be like Mary – we must carry the Lord in our hearts and share His gift of salvation with others.
His Eminence sent out this exhortation to all: appreciate the Eucharist, live the Eucharist and share the Eucharist. It is only when we are filled with the Spirit of the Lord through the Eucharist that we are able to serve others.
All Christians are invited to follow in the Lord’s footsteps through the National Eucharistic Congress which will take place during November 12 – 15, 2015. Our action in service will have a magnanimous effect, starting with one person nourishing his/her family, the family in turn reaching out to the parish, the parish helping the diocese, thus enabling a vast transformation.
The Logo, which was designed by the Archdiocese of Bombay Catholic Communication Centre, was presented by Mr. Roger Pereira, Member, National Eucharistic Congress Steering Committee.
The three brush strokes, in the colours of the Indian flag, come together to form the Body of Christ, in effect representing the coming together of the Christian communities of India. The Cross - formed by the brush strokes and the stalk/sheaf of wheat - represents the Eucharist and its call to be nourishment for others.
The music of the Hymn for the National Eucharistic Congress was composed by Clint Cerejo; the lyrics were penned by Dominique Cerejo – who also sang the hymn for this event - and Fr. Reuben Tellis. The Prayer was recited for the very first time, and will now be translated into various languages and sent to parishes in the Archdiocese and across India.
In addition to the release of the logo, the prayer and the hymn, the event also witnessed the launch of the website which can be accessed at: www.nationaleucharisticcongress.in The website will be updated to provide information in real time as the National Eucharistic Congress 2015 unfolds.
The program ended with the singing of the National Anthem.
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