Help us prepare for congress: archdiocese to Cebu City

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Monday, June 9, 2014

THE Archdiocese of Cebu is asking the Cebu City Government for help in preparing for the International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) on Jan. 24 to 31 in 2016.

IEC secretary general Msgr. Dennis Villarojo submitted the IEC committee’s five requests during an executive session of the City Council yesterday.

First, Villarojo said, the committee is asking the City to transport congress delegations from their hotels to the venue.


The activity, which will have an estimated 15,000 delegates from almost 120 countries, will be held at The Pavillion that the Archdiocese is constructing at the Archdiocesan seminaries on Pope John Paul II Ave. in Barangay Mabolo.

Also, Villarojo said, the committee is asking the City to declare Jan. 29, a Friday, a non-working holiday in the city.

This will ease traffic that day, he said, considering there will be a Eucharistic procession from the Cebu Provincial Capitol to Plaza Independencia.

Palma’s appeal

Thirdly, Villarojo said, they want the City to provide security to the delegates, particularly at the venue.

“As you know, the area at the back of the seminaries in Mabolo, there may be difficult areas there in terms of security. So we hope this early, the City can make preparations or arrangements so that security can be tightened in the area,” he said.

Also, Villarojo said, the committee is asking the City to initiate cleanliness and beautification drives.

Lastly, Villarojo is asking the City to provide the committee assistance in setting up and preparing the venues for the IEC.

Aside from The Pavillion, other venues are the Plaza Independencia, where the opening mass for the IEC will be held on Jan. 24; the Provincial Capitol, where the mass before the procession on Jan. 29 will be conducted; Fuente Osmeña, where the procession to the plaza will pass; the Cebu City Sports Center, where the first communion mass for an estimated 5,000 children will be held on Jan. 30; the Hoops Dome in Lapu-Lapu City for youth day on Jan. 30; and the South Road Properties, where the closing mass will be conducted on Jan. 31.

“This is our congress. And may we have a fruitful, memorable and wonderful experience,” said Archbishop Jose Palma, who also appeared before the council.

He said the City has already extended its cooperation to the church for the IEC when it granted their request last month to exempt them from paying permits for the building of the P380-million pavilion.

Palma said the church and the City should be proud of hosting the IEC, adding that the time the country hosted the congress was in 1937 yet.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 10, 2014.

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