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53rd International Eucharistic Congress: "Fraternity to Heal the World"

The 53rd International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) theme—"Fraternity to Heal the World"—was unveiled at the Vatican in a significant announcement. This theme, presented during a press conference, highlights the Congress's commitment to addressing global issues through the lens of fraternity and unity.

Mons. Alfredo José Espinoza Mateus, S.D.B., Archbishop of Quito, expressed his hopes for the Congress, emphasizing the need for tangible outcomes rather than theoretical discussions. "I hope that it will be a congress that commits and leads to life, that it will not be a congress that remains in theoretical formulas, but a congress that starts from reality, from the vision of the speakers that they have of reality, and that it carries that commitment of fraternity," he said.

The Congress, set to take place in Quito, Ecuador, from September 8 to 15, 2024, coincides with a historically significant time for the nation. Ecuador became the first country to consecrate itself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus 150 years ago, marking a deep-rooted religious tradition.

Fr. Juan Carlos Garzón, Secretary General of IEC2024, elaborated on the theme selection, stating, "We presented three themes to the pope for this congress, and he chose the theme of 'fraternity to heal the world,' which aligns with the magisterium of Pope Francis. The theme also evokes the title of the encyclical' Fratelli Tutti' and is inspired by the biblical text: 'You are all brothers and sisters.' Therefore, we are in ecclesial and universal harmony with the Holy Father and Latin America."

Despite Pope Francis' absence due to his apostolic journey to Asia, Cardinal Kevin Joseph Farrell, prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, the Family, and Life, will represent him as the special envoy for the Congress. Thousands of faithful and pilgrims are expected to converge in Quito for the event.

Archbishop Espinoza highlighted the anticipated attendance, noting, "We are expecting 5,500 people, which is the capacity of the Convention Center, in terms of the Congress itself. As for the big celebrations, we expect thousands of people to participate, possibly 30,000 or 40,000 people."

This Congress aims to foster discussions and inspire actionable commitments to promote fraternity and unity globally, resonating with Pope Francis' vision and teachings. The gathering in Quito is poised to be monumental, reflecting the Church's dedication to healing and solidarity.

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Author Name

Benjamin Crockett is a journalist for the EWTN Vatican Bureau. 

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