Bishops, priests from 47 countries in Cebu for confab
CEBU, Philippines – At least 59 foreign delegates composed of priests, bishops, and lay faithful from 47 different countries are in the Philippines beginning Saturday, April 25, to inspect different venues and preparations for the International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) slated in January 2016.
If Pope Francis decides to return to the Philippines, joining the IEC will be the reason for his return. No confirmation, however, was announced on whether the Pontiff will be in Cebu next year.
Aside from foreign guests, at least 19 delegates from the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) will also be joining the visit in different venues.
Bishop Socrates Villegas, CBCP president, will lead the local delegation along with Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle.
The Pontifical Committee for the IEC that traveled from Rome will also be part of the inspection delegation. Its members include Msgr Piero Marini, Fr Vittorre Boccardi, Sr Sara Galati, Anne Griffin, and Fr Keith Peklers SI.
Msgr Marini visited Cebu last year for the first round of venue inspections.
On Sunday, the group of bishops and clergy will visit the different venues, primarily the multimillion “IEC Pavilion,” which is still under construction, at the compound of Pope John Paul II Seminary in Mabolo.
A plenary will also be held at the Marco Polo Plaza Hotel in Lahug. In the afternoon, the group will be at the Basilica Minore del Santo Nino to join the novena mass of the Kaplag (Discovery) of the image of the Holy Child Jesus.
On Monday, Cardinal Tagle is scheduled to lead a novena mass at the Basilica. The group will also be toured to the historical sites within Metro Cebu on the same day.
The Church held a fund raising event to finance the construction and other operational expenses for the IEC. They targetted at least P250 million. – Rappler.com