Mandaue City, Cebu, the Philippines, 22 January 2016–The Theological Symposium of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress took off the other day with a contingent of Seminaryo ng Don Bosco and Bl. Stephen Sandor communities, our formation houses based in the FIN Province, present to take part in the on-going theological reflection on the Eucharist.
The first plenary address was delivered by Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, OP on the Christian Virtue of Hope.
His talk zeroed in on his experiences in refugee and migrant camps where, as it were, “can teach us what it means to hope in the most acute crisis of our time.”
Fr. Francis Moloney, a Scriptures scholar and himself a Salesian of Don Bosco led the participants in seeing how Christ loved us to the end, via his plenary talk which explicates the Eucharistic undertones in chapter 13 of the Gospel of St. John.
The afternoon sessions had seven concurrent sessions developing the various sub-themes of the Eucharistic Congress: (1) The Eucharist: Source and Goal of the Church’s Mission; (2) The Church’s MIssion in Asia-Mission-in-dialogues; (3) Mission in Dialogue with Peoples and Cultures; (4) Mission in Dialogue with Religious and Religious Traditions; (5) Mission in Dialogue with the Poor; (6) Mission in DIalogue with the Youth; and (7) Mary and the Eucharist in the Church’s Mission.
The theological symposium may sound esoteric and highfalutin. But it is interesting that in more than 2,000 participants gathered for the event, one cannot not take notice of the large attendance of the laity. One lay woman, a retired teacher, commends the speakers on the first day for using narratives in their talks to make themselves more grounded.
The FIS Province has generously welcomed our Salesians from the formation houses and are currently billeted in the Don Bosco Retreat House in Lawaan, Talisay City.
The Congress proper is set to open on January 24, via a Eucharistic celebration.