Lasting effect of IEC remains to be known
After the International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) in Cebu City, what now?
Msgr. Joseph Tan, spokesman of the Archdiocese of Cebu, said questions on how the international gathering would affect the spirituality and lives of people from different parts of the world remain to be answered.
“On a short-term goal, we were successful in hosting the IEC. But when we talk about its lasting effect, that we could not answer for now,” he told CDN yesterday.
Tan said it would take time before the Catholic Church would know whether or not people would carry out what they learned during the IEC.
“What will happen to the archdiocese and other countries after the IEC? Will the Church in Cebu become more sensitive to those in the periphery? It remains to be seen,” he said.
The IEC, which is held every four years in different countries, aims at deepening one’s understanding of the Eucharist—the “source and summit” of the Catholic faith, as well as drawing attention to the social dimension of the sacrament.
Tan believed that the 51st IEC in Cebu City would be remembered by all the delegates as well as those who took part in the events.
“In a way, we can say that it surpassed our expectations. We received great feedbacks from the delegates. The crowd turnout in all public events were good and everything went well. Perhaps, that would be remembered as one of the best IECs ever,” he said.
At least 13,000 delegates from 73 countries attended the 51st IEC in Cebu City last January 24 to 31.
Tan said all committees were currently busy accounting all their expenses.
The working groups have until February 15 to come up with their respective financial report.
“Every committee has its own set of expenses, so we couldn’t decipher the overall amount spent during the IEC for now,” he said.
Tan was optimistic that all committees spent within the P300 million budget set for the IEC.
“We have more than enough (budget),” he said.
Tan also clarified that the local church did not use any of the budget for the IEC for its programs and projects, saying the IEC wasn’t an income-generating event.
The IEC Pavilion, however, may now accept reservations for groups or individuals who would want to use the facility, which can accommodate at least 12,000 people.
Since the Archdiocese has yet to create a team that will manage the IEC Pavilion, Tan said all bookings, for the time being, have to be coordinated with Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Dennis Villarojo.
So far, two groups have decided to use the IEC Pavilion for their events — the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals and the Couples for Christ, both Catholic lay groups.
The Archdiocese of Cebu did not spend a single centavo for the construction of the Pavilion.
A private contractor, Duros Development Corp., built the Eucharistic Pavilion at an estimated cost of P550 million.
Under a memorandum of agreement, DDC pledged to donate the entire IEC Pavilion. In exchange, the local church will give DDC usufruct rights over part of the seminary property for 25 years.
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