Journey of the Eucharist, Day 6

IMG_20160124_111135Today, the second part of the Eucharist Congress officially began. The city of Cebu is booming with pilgrims from all over the Philippines and also from other countries.

In the morning we had time to finish some details in our Regnum Christi booth at the Convention Center. We also walked by the area where we are staying. Cebu is a city of about 700,000 people full of contrasts. Richness and poverty live side by side. We are staying in a well-developed part of downtown. There are several tall, new buildings, big malls, offices and hotels. Nevertheless, there is also poverty everywhere. The streets are full of street children. Right by our hotel there is a whole family living at the street: dad, mom and two children, one who is three months old and was lying in the midst of flies.

Br Stephano, the Italian Legionary of our team, took advantage to walk around the slum by our hotel. He spoke with some of the street children and asked what they wanted to be when they grow up. Some answered doctors, other teachers. He was very deeply moved by these children’s dreams, saying that kids in Italy would answer saying they wanted to be soccer players, musicians, top models, etc.

In the evening we had the opening Mass of the Eucharistic Congress. The celebration was in a big square by the seaport. This is the place where the Spaniards first arrived in the Philippines in 1521, led by a great Portuguese Navigator, Ferdinand Magellan. The square and surrounding streets were packed with pilgrims. Hundreds of bishops and priests concelebrated. Some parts of the Mass were said, and even sung, in the local language, “Cebuano”. It was a beautiful celebration. Pope Francis chose a cardinal to represent him in the congress, the bishop of Myanmar. In the homily he spoke about the necessity to integrate our faith in the Blessed Sacrament with our service to the poor.

Tomorrow will be a day full of activities and intimacy with the Eucharist! See ya!



About Br Antônio Lemos LC

Br Antônio Lemos is from Curitiba, Brazil. He joined the Legion of Christ in 2006 after a couple of years as a Regnum Christi member. He is a big fan of the Brazilian national soccer team, 1980´s pop culture (specially movies), and St Thomas Aquinas. He is currently studying Theology in Rome.
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