Eucharistic Congress Of Congo: In Lubumbashi There Was Talk Of “Eucharist And Family”
In Lubumbashi the Eucharistic Congress of Congo: “The Eucharist and the family”, Archbishop Fulgence underlines the importance of the family as a fundamental unit of society
The archdiocese of Lubumbashi (DR Congo) hosted the third National Eucharistic Congress from 4 to 11 June 2023
This third congress, as Mgr. Fulgence Muteba, Archbishop of Lubumbashi underlined, was a moment of grace, an opportunity to revive faith in the Eucharist and discover aspects of this mystery that lies at the heart of the Church.
The theme chosen for this great meeting is “The Eucharist and the family”.
For Archbishop Fulgence, this choice is explained first of all by the importance of the family as a fundamental unit of society, then this theme finds its meaning in the fact that the family today is faced with various challenges.
The effects of globalization and modernization have given families an openness to the world thanks to the media and in particular to social networks and with the risk of losing their identity and values by copying what happens elsewhere.
Added to this are the socio-economic difficulties that the DRC is experiencing and which weigh more heavily on families.
But what is a Eucharistic Congress? A Eucharistic Congress is a religious gathering that brings together a certain number of people, bishops, priests, religious, but also lay faithful, all categories put together.
It is a meeting of faith that focuses on the mystery of the Eucharist, “the source and summit of our faith”. He scrutinizes the different aspects of this mystery, through teachings “focused on the Eucharist, on Eucharistic devotion, and above all on the real presence of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist”.
For this Congress, delegations from the country’s 48 dioceses and ecclesiastical provinces and elsewhere made the journey for this national event which concluded on Sunday, June 11.
We recall that this Eucharistic Congress is the third after that of Kisantu in 1933 and that of Kinshasa in 1980.
This event had the fervor to bring together a large number of faithful despite being postponed twice due to the covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, and also following the recent visit of Pope Francis to Congo from January 31st to February 3rd.
Thus the bishops of all the DRC and more than 20,000 faithful participated in the closing mass of this 3rd Eucharistic Congress in Lubumbashi on Sunday morning (11 June)
The Mass was presided over by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Prefect of the Congregation for Evangelization.
In the homily, card. Tagle stressed that “we will have to share the bread that is Jesus to build a community and a family.”
He then continued: “By sharing we remember our brothers and sisters. The Eucharist makes us God’s family.
He also invited the faithful not to waste the real food that gives authentic life”: Jesus in the Eucharist, urging all participants to be wary of false foods, toxic drinks that weaken and destroy mutual understanding, mutual respect, mutual forgiveness, mutual belonging and mutual service.
He concluded his homily by also launching a message of unity in diversity, different from each other but we form one family in Christ Jesus, referring to the message of reconciliation “All reconciled by Christ” launched by the Pope during his last visit.
At the conclusion of this Congress, Monsignor Marcel Utembi, President of the Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO), listed several evils that devour the Congolese people today, including massacres, wars, natural disasters and the uncertainty of tomorrow.
Added to this is the hunger for love, the hunger for justice and peace, for a full life, for care, for forgiveness and for mercy.
Give this message of hope saying that we are not alone in this suffering.
There is Jesus who stands by our side, present in the Eucharist, and walks with us.
He is the bread that comes from heaven and consoles us.
Article by Rodriguez Bidubula