A VATICAN official called upon Catholics to participate in next year’s 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) as a way to further deepen their faith.

“This celebration is an opportunity to reflect on the International Eucharistic Congress (IEC). It is an occasion for people to become more grounded to the imitation of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist,” said Archbishop Piero Marini.

Marini, president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses (PCIEC), led 59 bishops and priests from different nations in the eighth day Novena Mass at the Basilica Minore Del Santo Nino de Cebu Pilgrim Center at 5:30 a.m. yesterday.

Marini and 59 clergymen are in Cebu to attend to a three-day mini congress, which would serve as a preview of the IEC next year.


In his homily, Marini stressed the importance of next year’s IEC in Cebu after the country celebrated the 450th anniversary of Christianization.

In connection with the celebration of Good Shepherd Sunday yesterday, Marini reminded the faithful that as “good shepherds,” everyone is called to be in communion with others.

After the mass, Marini and the rest of the foreign delegates were treated to a traditional Sinulog dance by the Mandaue City Science High School (Mansci) Dance Company.


On the ninth day of the 450th Kaplag Anniversary today, the image of the Santo Niño will be returned to the Basilica through a fluvial procession from Mandaue City to Cebu City at 6 a.m.

After the fluvial procession, a novena mass will be held at the Basilica. Fr. Eusebio Berdon, OSA, the Prior Provincial of the Augustinian Province of Santo Nino de Cebu, will serve as main celebrant.

A grand Kaplag reenactment will be held in key areas near the Basilica at 3 p.m. today.

After the grand reenactment, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle will hold a novena mass at the Basilica at 6:30 p.m.