The bishops want to encourage the great revival of Eucharistic Adoration in our parishes

This weekend somewhere in the region of 10,000 pilgrims from all parts of England and Wales will converge on Liverpool to celebrate our faith in the Eucharist at the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage and Congress. The title of the congress, Adoremus, denotes the emphasis it is placing on the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

Eucharistic congresses have been a part of the life of the Catholic Church since the 19th century. The last was in Cebu in the Philippines in 2016 and the next will be in Budapest in 2020. The Holy Father asks that between the international congresses individual nations have a national event to enrich the spiritual life of the local churches.

It is the first time that such a gathering has taken place in England and Wales since 1908. In those days the government was nervous of an anti-Catholic backlash and forbade a procession for fear of public disorder. We now live in a more ecumenical age and the Blessed Sacrament procession which forms an essential part of the congress will be held this Sunday – and it will be joined by many other Christian leaders from the Liverpool area.

In common with similar congresses throughout the world, the weekend will be one of joy and celebration. There will be workshops and talks, testimonies and dramas and, of course, a period of Eucharistic Adoration led by Cardinal Nichols. Bishop Robert Barron of Los Angeles will give two keynote addresses on Saturday which is the day of the plenary session to be held in the Echo Arena. Liverpool archdiocese has also generously organised a parallel programme of various activities in and around the city.

These range from an experience of Lectio Divina to concerts of sacred music and a session of Nightfever in the city’s Blessed Sacrament shrine. There will be organised walking tours, an opportunity to engage with Cafod and an opportunity to “Meet a missionary”, as well as a number of fringe events.

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