The ultimate purpose of the Eucharist is mission, Mary Healy, a professor of Sacred Scripture at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, told the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress.
More than 60 speakers from nearly 40 countries on five continents are in Budapest for the Sept. 5-12 congress, which will close with a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis.
In the United States, some churches "have signs posted at the exits to the parking lot, so that you see them every time you leave the church on Sunday morning: 'You are now entering mission territory,'" Healy said in her Sept. 6 address. "They have the right idea. In the Eucharist, the whole pattern of Christ's redemption is made present to us.”
Healy is a member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, a body of scholars that engages in research for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
At the Congress' opening Mass Sept. 5 in Heroes Square, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, president of the Council of European Bishops' Conferences, said the Eucharist "goes beyond all loneliness, all distance and all indifference." Ucanews.com reported that the Italian archbishop welcomed the representatives of Eastern Christians with whom he works and prayed "to build Christian unity" so that "our witness may be credible."