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The Eucharistic Congress Bell is a key symbol of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress The Eucharistic Congress Bell will arrive at St Columba's Church Douglas on Saturday, 3rd December 2011 at 9.30am. There will be a short prayer service to receive the Bell into the Church and there it will remain during the regular Saturday morning rosary and the 10am Mass. It will will continue on its journey to other parishes within this Diocese until Sunday 11th December when it will be handed over to the Cloyne Diocese. The Bell will reflect the invitation to faith, to prayer, to reconciliation and to mission which has always been important in our Christian tradition and is no less so today. The pilgrimage of the Bell throughout the Dioceses of Ireland, and beyond, will be a vehicle to:
  • Invite people to deepen their communion with Christ and with one another
  •  Promote the pastoral aims of the Congress
  •  Invite all Christians to join in giving a common witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in an increasingly secular society
  •  Animate the people of your Diocese to become involved with the Eucharistic Congress both locally and nationally
  •  Invite people to come to the Congress from June 10th to 17th 2012
There is a strong emphasis on the inclusion of young people in the Eucharistic Congress Bell Pilgrimage however it is not exclusively a youth project. The pilgrimage should include the infirm, senior members of the community, and an outreach to the families and of the children preparing for sacraments (Baptism, Confirmation, and Communion). Accompanying the Bell are four Icons which correspond to the four stages of the Pastoral Preparation Programme. OUR LADY OF REFUGEThe icon shows John the Evangelist and Mary as they might have been beneath the cross, evoking the text of John 19:26-27. This icon will be used to represent stage 1 of the Congress pastoral preparation programme: “Christ gathers us as a Eucharistic community.” Iconographer: Philip Brennan.  PANTOCRATOR This icon will be used to represent stage 2 of the Congress pastoral preparation programme: “Christ gathers us to listen to hear, to be nourished and to be formed into a community by God’s Word.” The text inscribed in the Book will be “The Word was made flesh and lived among us” reminding us that Jesus is the eternal Word, spoken by God in the beginning Iconographer: Richard Sinclair ELIJAH AND THE RAVEN The Icon of Elijah and the Raven is in the Byzantine Museum in Athens and dates from the 17th Century. This is the image that has been chosen to represent Stage 3 of the pastoral preparation: “Christ gathers us to be nourished by the Bread of Life.” The bread and water brought by the raven nourish Elijah for his long journey to the Holy Mountain. In that sense they pre-figure the Eucharist, which is food for our journey to the Holy Mountain where God has prepared a banquet for all the nations.  (Is.25)  Iconographer: Colette Clarke  PENTECOST The Pentecost Icon will be used to represent Stage 4 of the pastoral preparation for the Congress: “Christ gathers and strengthens us for Mission by the Word and the Bread of Life.” The coming of the Holy Spirit is what transforms the Church into a missionary Church. Those who come to the Congress “from every nation under heaven” (Acts 2) will be invited to return home and to share the promise with their children and “all who are far off" – whether physically or spiritually. The Pentecost icon will serve as a reminder that the “ekklesia” that gathers for the Eucharist is also sent out to the ends of the earth. Iconographer: Colette Clarke For further informatn on the 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012 please visit http://www.iec2012.ie/  
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