Eucharist not Synod is the gateway to the Church's future

Liturgically some way to go.   The Latin Mass perfectly expresses the Eucharist

Bishop Wolfgang Ipolt on the Adoratio Congress

Bishop Ipolt: "The most important catechesis".

Before the Adoratio Congress in Neuzelle Monastery, Bishop Wolfgang Ipolt of Görlitz encourages the sanctification of Sunday.

Bishop Ipolt, what do you hope for in the middle of the diaspora from a congress on Eucharistic adoration?

Bishop Wolfgang Ipolt

First of all, this is an unusual format for our diocese, and not everyone is immediately familiar with it. When they hear the word "congress", some people might think of a meeting of scientists who exchange views on an important question and in the process learn something and advance research. But the fact that Christians come together for a whole day to worship the Lord in the Eucharist and also to strengthen each other in faith is new.

The word "congress" comes from Latin and means "meeting, assembly". The Adoratio Congress in Neuzelle is intended to be such a gathering - among Christians, but especially a meeting with the Lord who is present in the Eucharist. I hope that through this congress many will be strengthened in their faith and then also celebrate the Eucharist more sincerely at home in their parishes.

How was the response to the first congress?

At the first Adoratio Congress, people also came from the Archdiocese of Berlin, because Neuzelle is about the same distance from Görlitz as Berlin and word of this initiative of the monks has spread there too. I am curious to see how the congress is received this time - after all, one should stay for the whole day. That is a high investment of time - but at the same time a chance to experience the faith in a larger community, also with elements that one is not so used to from one's own parish.

Have you experienced in pastoral care that Eucharistic adoration has an effect on the new evangelisation?

Adoration is always free of purpose. It is solely about Jesus Christ. It is about taking a new look at him and handing over one's own life to him. I can only trust that the Lord, in silence and in the space of prayer, everyone changes in his presence and that HE evangelises them, that is, infects and strengthens them anew with his message. This cannot be measured. But people who pray have the best prerequisite to remain Christians.

"We need a solid catechesis on the Eucharist today".

Where would you start to deepen the knowledge of faith about the Eucharist?

Today we need a solid catechesis on the Eucharist, which is the centre of the Church. For most Catholics, the First Communion class was the only catechesis they received. There are many occasions in the Church year when priests can help us to understand this mystery more deeply in the homily. I cite Holy Thursday and the Feast of Corpus Christi as excellent examples. But also the celebration of First Communion in a parish is an opportunity to talk about the Eucharist not only for the First Communion children but even more so for the participants in that service.

Of course, the regular celebration of the Eucharist on Sunday should not be underestimated. Those who do so will grow deeper and deeper into the mystery of this sacrament. That is why I personally think very highly of faithfulness in the sanctification of Sunday and active participation in the Sunday celebration of Mass.

What worries you in connection with the sanctification of Sunday?

What worries me is that some Catholics make their participation in Sunday Mass dependent on whether the parish priest agrees with them or not. Others plan the weekend with an excursion or visits to friends, where Sunday Mass then simply drops out like a disruptive factor. Sometimes it might help us to remember that the early Christians suffered martyrdom in the time of persecution because they did not want to do without Sunday Mass. "Sine dominico non possumus" (without Sunday we cannot be!).

This word from the persecution period of the Church speaks of the seriousness and faithfulness of the early Christians. If the Church presents herself most clearly in the Eucharist, then her co-celebration and "actuosa participatio", active participation, in it, as the Council put it, is the most important catechesis and strengthening of faith in the presence of the Lord in this sacrament.



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