.- The 48th International Eucharistic Congress, which opened with a solemn Eucharistic liturgy the evening of October 10 in Guadalajara, Mexico, began six days of formal meetings yesterday morning in the presence of Cardinals Juan Sandoval Iniguez, archbishop of Guadalajara and Josef Tomko, the Holy Father's legate to this event, and thousands of delegates from around the world. The theme of the congress is: "The Eucharist: Light and Life of the new Millennium."
Each day starts with a plenary session and has a specific theme: on Monday, October 11 the theme was "We want to see your face, Oh Lord!"; Tuesday: "Eucharist, Viaticum on the Journey, Accompanies Our Pilgrimage"; Wednesday: "Eucharist, Mystery of Communion and Mission"; Thursday: "Eucharist, Center of Church Life"; Friday: "Eucharist, Exigency and Model of Sharing"; Saturday: "Eucharist, Fount of Evangelization."
At the start of the congress, special reports were given on the ecclesial importance of the Eucharist on each of the continents. The program features perpetual Eucharistic adoration at designated sites of adoration, recitation of the rosary in various pastoral centers on October 12, and a solemn procession with the Most Holy Sacrament on the streets of Guadalajara and a blessing in Liberation Square in the historical center of the city on October 14.
Today, October 12, there will be a pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Zapopan in Guadalajara, starting at 6 a.m. local time and concluding with Mass at 10 a.m.
The Eucharistic Congress will close in Mexico on Sunday, October 17, with Mass at 10 a.m. in Jalisco Stadium. Simultaneously there will be a television linkup with Rome and St. Peter's Square during which time Pope John Paul II will open the Year of the Eucharist.