As Catholic Church in Rwanda Celebrates 52th International Eucharistic Congress, Cardinal Antoine Kambanda, Archbishop of Kigali has called upon Rwandans to stick to the journey of unity and reconciliation. The congress, which is set to begin on Thursday, May 27, will be celebrated for the first time since Rwanda got the first Cardinal in Kambanda. The Eucharistic Congress, which is celebrated every four years, is an international gathering of people which aims to promote an awareness of the Eucharist in the life and mission of the Catholic Church. The Eucharist, also known as Holy Communion, is a Christian rite that is considered a sacrament in most churches, and as an ordinance in others. According to the New Testament, the rite was instituted by Jesus Christ during the Last Supper; giving his disciples bread and wine during a Passover Meal before he was crucified. He commanded them to do this in memory of him while referring to the bread as his body and the cup of wine as the new covenant in his blood. The Catholic Church in Rwanda will celebrate this year’s congress under the theme “the Eucharistic is the source of Unity, Reconciliation and love”, according to a circular released to all catholic parishes in the country. It is particularly being celebrated in Rwanda amid the 100 days of 27th commemoration of 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Speaking to The New Times, Cardinal Kambanda said that the Eucharist should be an inspiration of love, unity and reconciliation in Rwandan context and history that experienced genocide. “The congress manifests the importance of Eucharist in the life of the church because the church lives by the Eucharist, it is the Eucharist that gives the church life Christ died for us so that we can overcome hatred, divisionism so we become one family, one body and brotherly love,” said the prelate during the interview. The congress will be held by respecting Covid-19 prevention measures, Cardinal Kambanda said. He said the congress is already being celebrated in sub-parishes ‘with adorations where Christians pray in front of the Eucharist, do processions where possible with respect to social distancing and other Covid-19 prevention guidelines’. From May 27 to May 30 all Catholic parishes in Rwanda will celebrate the congress while all dioceses will celebrate it between June 3 and June 6 with a great feast of Eucharist in the context of Covid-19. Kambanda said the congress will be held at national level from July 15 to 18 while at international level it will be held in September 2021 in Budapest, Hungary. At international level it had been scheduled to take place in September 2020 but postponed due to Covid-19 pandemic. “Eucharist is the core of the heritage of love that Christ gave us. This love is proved by the way Jesus sacrificed himself on the cross. It is a source of love, unity and reconciliation because in our country, in our history of Genocide, love was destroyed. Love that Christ gave us as heritage to be brothers and sisters who love one another, we should recover this love for unity and reconciliation in the Eucharist as a source of love,” he said. He explained that Eucharist means dignified unity saying it is a united one body that should teach a lesson of why people should be united. “Eucharist is a source of unity and reconciliation that we need as Rwandans. When we share the body of Christ we become one body as members of one body. Because the body has different members who do not look the same but united to make it one body. They complete one another,” he said. The Ecuadorian city of Quito has been designated as the venue for the International Eucharistic Congress to be held in 2024.