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MANILA — Some 16,000 delegates coming from various parts of the world are expected to attend the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) to be held in Cebu City on Jan. 24-31.

Msgr. Jose Palma, Archbishop of Cebu, made the announcement during a live television interview of the US-based EWTN Television Network hosted by Fr. Mitch Pacwa on Tuesday.

Palma is now in Alabama, USA where the interview was conducted. He also said some one million people are expected to attend the Eucharistic Congress, the second time to be hosted by the Philippines. The first was the 33rd Eucharistic Congress held in Manila in 1937.

During the hour-long TV interview, Palma invited people from various parts of the world to attend the eight-day Eucharistic Congress and come together as one church in praising and adoring God.

For his part, Fr. Mitch said that the forthcoming Eucharistic Congress hosted by the Philippines is a “magnet to draw people” to participate in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

Msgr. Palma said the celebration will put a spotlight on the Holy Mass so the people would see the divinity of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God.

He proudly told Fr. Mitch that in the Philippines, Filipinos go to Mass every Sunday and churches are full-packed with churchgoers.

Msgr. Palma said the people should feel grateful to God for His mercy.

A Eucharistic Congress is an international gathering aimed at promoting an awareness of the central place of the Eucharist in the life and mission of the Catholic Church.

Meanwhile, Msgr. Palma said that foreign delegates attending the Eucharistic Congress will also have the chance to visit the Magellan Cross in Cebu City which was brought by Ferdinand Magellan to the Philippines on March 16, 1521 that started Christianity in the country.

Another religious site is the centuries-old St. Niño Cathedral, also in Cebu City. (PNA)

SOURCE: SunStar Cebu

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