Last week I took part in the Eucharistic Congress in Liverpool. Together with parishioners from St Ignatius' we were part of the Congress on Saturday in the Echo Arena.
It was a superb day with wonderful interventions from Bishop Barron, Youth 2000, The Rise Theatre Group, Mary's Meals and others. The whole day took place in "the shadow of the monstrance" which was unveiled at the end for a period of adoration. Eight to nine thousand people with a tangible desire to be in the presence of our Eucharistic Lord prayed Vespers together, with extended silences in which so much love was exchanged.
The interventions which made up the bulk of the day came from the "grass roots" and from the Movements. The day was about inspiring us, rather than equipping us. It expressed a deep desire from the participants for a perfomative, life-changing engagement with the Lord, rather than a day of information.
The Church of the National Eucharistic Congress is the Church that we long to see in all our parishes.
I took the above photo during Bishop Barron's first talk on the Mass, and the below photo during the lunch break - this photo shows the venue, and how it looked when it became for that day, a place of grace.