“All my springs are in you” – in the spirit the motto from Psalm 87 from Wednesday to Saturday Budapest hosted the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses. The participants (from 75 countries – members of the Pontifical Council of IEC and also emissaries of the nations) of the meeting, barely 500 days before the opening of the International Eucharistic Congress in Budapest in September of 2020 – with the same motto – participated in spiritual programs, informative lectures and also on site visits (Hungexpo, Stadium Ferenc Puskás, St. Stephen’s Basilica, Kossuth Square). The emissaries were greeted by the President of Hungary, who is personally looking after the preparations of next year’s Congress.
János Áder evoked the last International Eucharistic Congress in Budapest, through which the Hungarian nation wanted to “give something to the world”. And as the meeting back then was organised in “the growing shadow of a possible war”, today we also have our challenges to face. “If this continues, greed, comfort and selfishness will drive humanity into destruction. To avoid this, we are more relied on each other in all our actions, more than ever.” – said the president, according to whom the encyclical of Pope Francis, Laudato Si’ warns to this teaming-up and the common tasks. He added that the Hungarian nation “always said yes to a life without fear, to honesty, to the human dignity, to solidarity, to the free practice of religions, the peace-creating benevolence and the mutual respect. (…) that no nation is more holy or more sinful than the others. but we do believe that nations and countries are born with a mission.”
“It was an old dream, that after the International Eucharistic Congress of 1938 the Catholic world shall meet again in Budapest and express our reverence and adoration towards Christ present in the Eucharist.” – said Cardinal Péter Erdő on the plenary meeting. He said that the preparations for the next year’s Congress are on their way – as an example he mentioned this 4-day conference – and that Hungary considers the event their own: apart from the fact that “after every mass on Saturdays we pray together for the Congress, so that it may serve for the spiritual renewal of our city, country, Europe and the world”, a great sum of financial subsidization from the State for renovating of church-buildings and for programs. Péter Erdő reminisced that they lived it as a dream, when they heard the video message of Pope Francis in Cebu City (Philippines) in 2016, in which the Holy Father announced that the next International Eucharistic Congress will be held in Hungary. According to the Cardinal a lot of work and a tremendous amount of prayers are needed for the 2020 event in Budapest in order to end with success and pastoral joy, by which the Church hopes the renewal of personal faith, the revival of the missions and the splay of the catholic view.
According to the president of the Hungarian Catholic Bishops’ Conference the Congress is a huge opportunity for our parish communities to renew and strengthen in the eucharistic spirit during the preparations. “Secularization is a great problem these days in our country. In its moderation the Congress can be a great opportunity.” – said András Veres in his greeting to the participants of the plenary meeting, and he continued to talk about the missions too: “There are people who do not see the point in the mass every Sunday, we would like to lead them to Jesus, and help them to know who invites them into his community.” The bishop of Győr hopes not only this, but also that Pope Francis will personally participate at the International Eucharistic Congress of Budapest in 2020.
Photos: Marcsi Ambrus, Tamás Thaler