After stringent preparations from various sectors supported by the Local Government Units of Cebu, Cebu City Government, the Catholic Archdiocese of Cebu, various hospitality establishments in and around Cebu, the youth and the Cebuano faithful; the Queen City of the South is all set to host the 51st International Eucharistic Congress on January 24- 31, 2016.
The International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) is an international gathering of clergy, religious and laity with the aim to promote awareness of the central place of the Eucharist in the life and mission of the Catholic Church. From its beginnings in 1881 in Lille, France the IEC has been celebrated almost every year around the world moving from country to country. The Philippines was fortunate to have hosted the 33rd IEC in Manila in 1937. For the 51st IEC, it will be held once again in the country with Cebu, Philippines as the chosen venue.
Who is leading the IEC and How many are expected to come?
The Pontifical Committee on International Eucharistic Congress, headed by Archbishop Piero Marini is the one responsible for initiating and coordinating the IEC at the global level. The local committee in Cebu headed by Archbishop Jose S. Palma organizes and prepares for the Congress in 2016. This committe is supported by the National Committee which consists of the Permanent Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses of the CBCP chaired by Archbishop Romulo Valles along with the other commissions of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
The expected number of daily attendees to the Congress are around 15, 000 pilgrims. It is also projected that during the opening and closing Masses of the Congress, attendees could swell to a million.
The Significance of IEC for Catholics in the Philippines and the world as a whole
The 51st IEC provides an opportunity for spiritual growth for all Catholics not only in the Philippines but abroad. The world will be watching and joining the event in prayer through video streaming in the IEC website and telecasts from the foreign media.
Why Choose Cebu?
The significance of IEC in Cebu is connected with the 9 year Novena for the 500th anniversary of the founding of Christianity in the Philippines. It was in Cebu that Christianity first came to our shores in 1521. The main venue for the 51st IEC will be the IEC Pavilion located in Pope John Paul II Avenue, Mabolo, Cebu City, Philippines.
Preparations for Accommodations
For the convenience of pilgrims and attendees to the 51st IEC, the organizers has prepared an online booking and reservations system which consists of accredited hotels in Cebu and other hospitality establishments in and around the metro. For larger groups looking for accommodations, a directory of accredited Tour and Travel operators is also on hand to assist them. All of the establishments found in the booking system and directory have passed the standards set by the IEC committee.
The IEC organizers have also asked people to open their homes to delegates and pilgrims. The IEC Home Stay Sub-Committee said it is still open to host families who would want to open their homes to delegates who cannot afford hotels or for those who want to immerse with Filipino families. Together with the Department of Tourism, A seminar was held for IEC host families on hosting do’s and don’ts with topics ranging from proper behavior, suggested bed arrangements as well as dining etiquette.