By Krisha Socito
Over seven thousand Catholic faithful flocked to the International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) Pavilion for the Christ the King mass at 4 p.m. last Sunday, November 22, 2015.
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma and Cardinal Vidal blessed the Pavilion before the mass started.
The mass was presided by Jose Palma along with other members of the clergy in Cebu.
In Palma’s homily, he said, “We consecrate this place to Christ the king,” and expressed his gratitude to Duros Development Corporation (DDC) for the turning over of the IEC Pavilion, which they built for free as an offering to the Church, to the Archdiocese of Cebu.
Palma shared about the life of Jesus as we draw close to the season of advent. He emphasized that we should have a loving and thankful heart because Jesus Christ reigned saving us from our sins.
“We are ready for the international congress. In fact, we are ready for the concert,” Palma jokingly said, referring to the live performance of 400 priests at the IEC Pavilion on November 26 & 27 to inspire people with music for the Eucharist.
The mass and the concert also serve as tests on the functionality of the air conditioning system, sound system and other facilities of the Pavilion.
The IEC Pavilion, which will serve as the Plenary Hall of the 51st IEC, has a total area of 18,546.42 square meters, while the two-level pavilion has a total floor area of 7,207.86 square meters. The Main Hall and surrounding galleries can accommodate 10,000 people and 4,000 more if other areas are occupied.
Cushion covered mono-block chairs are provided for the people’s comfort.
Palma stressed that the warehouse-looking Pavilion was not luxuriously designed as its intent and purpose is to provide the 51st IEC with a suitable venue and, later on, to provide the Archdiocese of Cebu with space for its many pastoral activities.
After the 51st IEC, the Pavilion will be used as a pastoral center for religious events, a minor seminary, the offices of Jerome Bible Center and Dilaab, and as evacuation center in times of emergencies.