From 7-9 September 10,000 pilgrims from across England and Wales will arrive in Liverpool for the first national Eucharistic Congress to involve the whole of the Roman Catholic Church in this country for 110 years; the last was in London in 1908. Contributions to the event from around the country include a beautiful carpet of fresh flowers for the Corpus Christi procession, made by the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton. Birmingham is sending the altar where Pope Benedict celebrated Mass in Crofton Park in 2010, East Anglia is sending the statue of Our lady of Walsingham from the National Shrine, Salford the processional canopy, Shrewsbury a beautiful golden monstrance.
A Eucharistic Congress is a gathering of clergy, religious and laity to promote an awareness of the central place of the Eucharist in the life and mission of the Church. On Friday 7 September the pilgrims will be welcomed to the city by Archbishop Malcolm McMahon and by His Excellency Archbishop Edward Adams, the representative of the Holy See in the UK. Fifteen experts in their fields will give presentations on the Eucharist in the life of the Church and how this is seen in contexts such as hospitals and prisons, through social justice and ecumenical relations, in education and music.
The main speaker will be Bishop Robert Barron, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and founder of ‘Word on Fire’ Catholic Ministries which attracts millions of visitors to its website each year. Bishop Barron also works with NBC News in New York as an on-air contributor and analyst. He is a frequent commentator for the Chicago Tribune, FOX News, CNN, EWTN, and the Catholic News Agency. The themes of the Congress will be explored through drama, testimony and presentations.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols and Archbishop Malcolm McMahon will celebrate Pilgrim Masses at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King on Sunday 9 September. The Congress will conclude with a Eucharistic Procession through the streets surrounding the Cathedral and Benediction.
Alongside the main Congress there will be a Youth Congress for 1,000 young people in the Echo Arena Auditorium on Saturday 8 September. The main speaker will be international educator and author Katie Prejan-McGrady from Louisiana. Katie has been speaking throughout the USA and Canada since 2007 combining humour and storytelling with teaching theological truth for audiences of all ages. Cardinal Vincent Nichols and Archbishop Malcolm McMahon will also be present for part of the Youth Congress.
In addition to the main events a parallel programme of 27 different events has been organised in churches and other venues close to Liverpool City Centre. These include a commentary and presentation by Liverpool writer Jimmy McGovern following a screening of his BAFTA award-winning drama Broken.
Following contributions from the Anglican Bishop of Liverpool, Paul Bayes; Archbishop Malcolm McMahon and the Methodist District Chair, Dr Sheryl Anderson, there will be a discussion facilitated by the journalist Clifford Longley. Tickets are required for this event and are available at www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/eucharist-the-bread-of-life-an-ecumenical-conversation-tickets-46709814312
‘Food for the Hungry: practical responses to physical hunger’ takes place at the Nugent Kitchen in Epson Street, L5 2QT with food-related workshops including learning how to make bread from scratch. This event has the involvement of the ‘Feeding Liverpool’ group.
Other parallel events include an exhibition of items from the 1908 Eucharistic Congress in the Abraham apse of the Metropolitan Cathedral together with an International Exhibition of Eucharistic Miracles. There are events surrounding scripture, prayer and spirituality; Welcoming the Stranger, Eucharist in the World with Cafod; music: classical, gospel and modern and self-guided walking tours of Liverpool.
Tickets to the Saturday and Sunday Adoremus Pilgrimage and Congress at the Echo Arena and Metropolitan Cathedral are available until 31 July 2018 at: http://jumpdp.com/adoremus2018
Full information on the Congress can be found at: http://www.catholicnews.org.uk/adoremus2018
Parallel Events Programme here: http://catholicnews.org.uk/Home/Special-Events/Adoremus-National-Eucharistic-Pilgrimage/Parallel-Programme
Youth Congress here: http://www.adoremusyouth.co.uk