March 12, 2014
The Eucharistic Congress Bell began its pilgrimage through the Dioceses of Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day in 2011. Like St. Patrick’s Bell, the Congress Bell is being rung across the land calling God’s people together, to hear anew the good news that God is present among us and calls us to communion. The forthcoming Eucharistic Congress offers us an opportunity to reflect together on the place of the Eucharist in our lives, as individuals and as communities.
The Congress Bell has its origins in the Dominican Convent in Portstewart in Co Derry. It was used
most recently to ring in the Jubilee Year 2000 in Glendalough, Co. Wicklow. Starting on St Patrick’s
Day, 2011, the bell has been brought on foot from diocese to diocese in Ireland by teams of volunteers. It has also made its way to Rome, where it was rung by Pope Benedict, symbolically calling pilgrims to Ireland for the International Eucharistic Congress in June. The bell will end its 500 day pilgrimage at the opening ritual of the Eucharistic Congress in Dublin in June.
On Monday, 30th April, the Congress bell and its accompanying four icons came to the chapel of Mercy International Centre. An international community gathered to welcome the Congress Bell to this sacred space.
An extract from the Prayer Ritual used highlights the symbolic richness of the bell in our Christian and personal journeys: