Catholics meet for 2010 Eucharistic Congress

The free event, which begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday and runs through Saturday, will be held at the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park.

The theme of this year's congress, "To Sanctify the Christian People," comes from the prayer of ordination for priests. Pope Benedict XVI has declared a "Year for Priests," which will conclude later this month with an international gathering of priests in Rome, according to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Pat Chivers, a spokeswoman for the archdiocese, said the annual gathering gives area Catholics the opportunity to celebrate their faith and renew their commitment to the Eucharist.

Speakers include the Rev. Mitch Pacwa, founder of Ignatius Productions; and Johnette Benkovic, founder of Living His Life Abundantly International Inc.

The Friday session begins with a Mass celebrated at 6:30 p.m. by Bishop Luis Zarama, followed by a healing service led by the Rev. Jack Durkin at 7:45 p.m.

At 8:30 a.m. Saturday, there will be a procession, which will bring together priests, first communicants and representatives from schools, parishes and ministries. Cardinal Seán O’Malley, archbishop of Boston, will speak after the procession.

Various programs are held in multiple languages. This year, in addition to English, Spanish and Vietnamese, some sessions will be available in French and Portuguese.

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