Eucharistic Congress app is launchedFriday, May 4th, 2012
A Dutch agnostic, who moved to Ireland in 2002, converted to Catholicism, and hopes to become a priest, is adding an extra touch of the 21st century to the Eucharistic Congress with a new App launched this week.
The free iPhone and iPad App (application) is designed exclusively for Congress pilgrims by Dominican Friar Luuk Dominiek Jansen in conjunction with IEC2012 staff and will do everything from planning a personal IEC itinerary to getting from venue to venue and to any of the 34 churches hosting events in Dublin.
Designer of the App, Br Luuk, a native of the Netherlands, explained, "The App is built to be very flexible. The information regarding the Congress changes all the time; new information becomes available and updates to the programme are made. Therefore, we needed an App that would automatically update itself when new or changed information becomes available in the lead up to the Congress.”
The app receives updates every time it is switched on. It also has Pastoral Resources with the Congress prayer, an mp3 to play the Congress hymn Though We are Many, details about the IEC2012 logo, the patron saints and Congress Icons, theology and pastoral reflections on the theme of the Congress, and prayers and reflections around the Eucharist.
However, Bro Jansen’s own story, to be shared a session during the Eucharistic Congress, is as fascinating as the app. He arrived in Ireland in 2002 to conclude his studies in Mechanical Engineering and complete a Research Masters in Fluid Dynamics, in Galway.
He had grown up as an agnostic and religion did not feature in his life but once in Ireland a Catholic colleague began talking to him about God. He turned to science to prove the existence of God but felt that even if many discoveries showed that it could be possible, he realised that he did not know God. He started praying and was received into the Irish Catholic Church in Easter 2003 and made his communion and confirmation the same year.
He had a girlfriend but during a break in the relationship, he felt called to the religious life and in September 2007, he joined the Dominican order. He designed an app for the Dominican order known as iDoms. “It took me completely by surprise when I did discover that God exists,” he said. “God shows that he exists through other people, events and through prayers being answered straight away.”
Br Luuk will run a workshop in the Youth Space during the congress and share his story with others.
This final month of preparation for the 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012 (IEC2012) is being marked with a special Mass celebrated by the Papal Nuncio, the Most Rev Charles Brown, and broadcast live on RTÉ1 TV at noon on Sunday May 6. Music will be provided by the Palestrina Choir under the directorship of Blánaid Murphy.
Also this weekend, the final national collection to raise funds for this year’s 50th International Eucharistic Congress (IEC2012) will be held in parishes across Ireland on the weekend of May 5 and 6. This annual collection is the final in a series of four, which form a key part of fundraising for the Congress. Parishioners responded very generously to collections in 2009, 2010 and 2011 on the Feast of Corpus Christi raising a total of €3 million to date.
Due to the difficult economic climate and a desire not to compete with funding for education or healthcare, IEC2012 has specifically not sought any of the kind of public funding that would normally be made available to a large international event such as the Congress, which will be attended by around 20,000 people daily in the RDS from June 10 to 16 and will have an audience of up to 80,000 people in Croke Park on June 17.
Funds generated from the National Collections will form part of the overall budget of €11.5 million for the Congress.
Previous Congresses have been funded by a variety of measures including private contributions, sponsorship, fundraising and delegate fees. This Congress is following a similar approach. The Congress, though hosted in Dublin, is a pastoral initiative of the whole Irish Church.
To download the app, login to the iTunes store, search for IEC2012 or check the IEC website for a link.
by Ann Marie Foley