ROME (CNS): Pope John Paul II has announced a special year dedicated to the Eucharist, saying the Church needs to highlight its importance for spiritual life and missionary tasks of the 21st century.
The eucharistic year will begin with the International Eucharistic Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico from October 10-17 this year and will end with the Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist in Rome from October 2-29, 2005, the Pope said.
He made the announcement on June 10, the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, during a Mass at the Rome Basilica of St John Lateran.
The Pope last year wrote an encyclical on the Eucharist, emphasising its centrality for every aspect of Church life.
Speaking at his noon blessing on June 10, he said the eucharistic year was part of a pastoral project for the whole Church, in which he was inviting the faithful to “start afresh from Christ”.