The International Eucharistic Congress had to be postponed by a year as a consequence of the pandemic. Therefore, the organisers decided to turn the initially scheduled date of the Congress into an online meeting, whereby, in the spirit of the Eucharist, Catholic community members are going to be connected through Budapest by the invited speakers’ video messages.
The short video is preceded by Cardinal Péter Erdő’ introductory speech, by presenting the Nigerian Diocese and the Archbishop that of. Poverty is enormous in the region, and humanitarian aid is often needed, since the people of the area have extremely limited access even to the health care and food. Archbishop Okeke speaks both about the Hungarian doctors working in the Catholic hospital of Onitsha city, and about the foodstuffs and donations provided by the Hungarian Catholic community for the Diocese. Since severe Christian persecution has been still going on in the country, many people have already died for their faith. Péter Erdő encourages us in the short film to pray for the life of the Nigerian Catholics. In his message Valerian Okeke sends his thanks to the “good people of Hungary”, to the Government of Hungary and to the people of God who have shown the Eucharistic love. The Archbishop mentions the Afréka Foundation, led by Dr. Réka Fodor, highlighting the hard work and the “great humanitarian and medical services” they are doing in Nigeria, since the Foundation feeds the poor, provides medical services and foods to the prisoners, to the students and to the needy.
“The Eucharist is the centre of both the Christian life and of all the sacraments in the Catholic tradition” – points out Archbishop Okeke, asking us to pray that there would be a chance next year for us to share more our faith in the Holy Eucharist. Finally, at the end of his video message the Archbishop of Onitsha blesses us, asks God to be gracious to us, to heal our nation during the pandemic.