IEC 2012 Opening Ceremony to unveil Healing Stone

The 50th International Eucharistic Congress will feature the unveiling of a Healing Stone during the Opening Ceremony in the RDS on 10th June as a means of acknowledging the abuse of children.

The Healing Stone comprises a large, shaped piece of Wicklow granite which is engraved with a prayer composed by a survivor of clerical abuse. The prayer was originally featured in the Liturgy of Lament celebrated in Dublin’s Pro-Cathedral in 2011.

Work on the Healing Stone project began in early 2012. Following consultation with various people, including abuse survivors, it was agreed that the stone would be an appropriate symbol for the Congress.

Father Kevin Doran, Secretary General of IEC2012 said that, “the Stone speaks of permanence. To say something is carved in stone is to say that it is here to stay rather than just a passing thought. The stone represents the firm determination to work for healing and renewal … In our Christian tradition, the stone which covered the tomb of Jesus, symbolises both the end of His earthly existence and the fact of His Resurrection. We are conscious of the fact that, for many who have experienced abuse, either themselves or to a member of their family, the pain of abuse can sometimes be like a stone weighing heavily on them. It is a stone that, in some way or other needs to be rolled back so that they can be set free.”

Following the Congress the plan is to find an accessible and more permanent home for the Stone, where people can pause and pray, and be reminded of our need never to take safeguarding for granted.

Witness – Fr. Kevin Doran

In 2008, the world came to Quebec City for the International Eucharistic Congress. Now Dublin, Ireland prepares to host this major ecclesial event. As the congress approaches, Fr. Thomas Rosica speaks with its Secretary General, Fr. Kevin Doran, about the Irish Church, Celtic spirituality and what Dublin-bound pilgrims can expect in 2012.