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Congress papal envoy says 'Ask who the Eucharist is'

Pope John Paul II's envoy opened the 48th International Eucharistic Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, by urging the faithful to "ask who the Eucharist is, not what the Eucharist is."

"That was an amazing phrase. I think everybody will remember it," said Bishop Patrick Zurek of San Antonio, Texas, as fireworks lit up the stadium at the close of the Mass.

Cardinal Tomko, president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses, said devotion to the Eucharist is needed in a world "shaken by the dark shadows of wars both known and forgotten ... (and by) the ideological attacks on marriage, the family and on human life from its conception."

An estimated 65,000 people packed Guadalajara's Jalisco Stadium to near capacity and periodically broke into thunderous chants of "You can see him, you can feel him, Jesus is here."

Each time Cardinal Tomko referred to the pope, the crowd burst into applause, at times chanting "John Paul II, the whole world loves you."

During the Mass, selections of the Scripture were read in a host of languages, including Spanish, English, German, Portuguese and French, among others.

35 cardinals and some 250 bishops attended the event, along with hundreds of priests from six continents.

The congress brings together bishops, priests and lay people from 80 countries for a full week of prayer and discussion aimed at bolstering devotion to the Eucharist worldwide. The congress includes special eucharistic processions as well as visits to the sick and imprisoned.

The congress closes on Sunday with another Jalisco Stadium Mass that will feature a message by the pope broadcast from the Vatican. That Mass, and one at the same time at the Vatican, will mark the beginning of a special eucharistic year that will run until the end of October 2005.

At congress' opening, papal envoy urges, 'Ask who the Eucharist is' (Catholic News Service 11/10/04)

Eucharistic Congress Opening in Guadalajara (Zenit 10/10/04)
Eucharist must move Christians to effective charity, Pope says (Catholic News Agency 11/10/04)
Year of the Eucharist an Invitation to Witness to Christ, Says Pope (Zenit 10/10/04)
Pope: Devotion to Eucharist can help heal ills of terrorism, poverty (Catholic News Service 8/10/04)
Papal audience tooks toward Year of the Eucharist (Catholic World News 11/10/04)
Year of the Eucharist begins with Pope's Apostolic Letter (CathNews 11/10/04)
Pope presents Apostolic Letter to mark beginning of Year of the Eucharist (Catholic News Agency 8/10/04)

12 Oct 2004