Pope Francis appoints pontifical legate to 2024 International Eucharistic Congress

Cardinal Kevin Farrell Cardinal Kevin Farrell, prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life. | Credit: Lucia Ballester/CNA

The Vatican announced that Pope Francis has appointed Cardinal Kevin Joseph Farrell, prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, the Family, and Life, as his special envoy for the 53rd International Eucharistic Congress (IEC), which will be held in Quito, Ecuador, from Sept. 8–15.

Farrell, 76, was born on Sept. 2, 1947. He was ordained a priest of the Legionaries of Christ on Dec. 24, 1978. Six years later, in 1984, he was incardinated as a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., where he was named auxiliary bishop in December 2001.

He received episcopal consecration on Feb. 11, 2002. On March 6, 2007, Farrell was named bishop of Dallas, where he served until 2016, when he was named prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, the Family, and Life.

Pope Francis elevated him to the College of Cardinals at the Nov. 19, 2016, consistory.

Since 2019 Farrell is the “camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church,” the cardinal who presides over the Apostolic Chamber (office) and carries out the task of caring for and administering the temporal goods and rights of the Holy See during the interregnum after the death or resignation of the pope.

The congress, whose theme is “Fraternity to Heal the World,” was presented Monday in the Vatican pressroom.

In the presentation, Archbishop Alfredo Espinoza of Quito noted that this Eucharistic congress coincides with the 150th anniversary of the consecration of Ecuador to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which made the South American country the first nation consecrated to Christ under this devotion.

After recalling that in 2021 they received the news that Quito would be the venue for the ecclesial event, Espinoza said that “the Eucharistic congress to be held in Quito ought to be a voice, with a Latin American accent, for the Church of the entire world.”

“It will be a voice of hope that is announced from this continent of hope. It will seek to be that prophetic voice that will proclaim to everyone that brotherhood is the only possible way to make and build a new world,” he emphasized.

Father Juan Carlos Garzón, secretary-general of the IEC, went on to discuss the foundational document for the Eucharistic congress, noting that “we live the urgency of a fraternity that springs from the Eucharistic experience and tends toward it as its end.”

Father Corrado Maggioni, president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses, reviewed the history of these events in the Church and explained how they are understood now.

“The re-understanding of the Eucharistic mystery that began with the liturgical movement and matured with the Second Vatican Council has also reoriented Eucharistic congresses to promote the inseparable link between the Mass and Eucharistic worship outside of it, paying attention to the lived experience,” the Italian priest highlighted.

In this way, “the Eucharistic congress has then become an opportunity to express the Church of the Eucharist in the light of Vatican II and the liturgical reform that followed.”

Topics to be discussed during the five days of the congress are: “Wounded World, Fraternity Redeemed in Christ, Eucharist and Transformation of the World, for a Synodal Church” and “Eucharist: Psalm of Fraternity.” 

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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