Who We Are
Intentional Eucharistic Communities (IECs) are those small faith communities, rooted in the Catholic tradition, which gather to celebrate Eucharist on a regular basis. Born in the enthusiasm flowing from Vatican II for a church of the people, some IECs were instituted in parishes, some were created as alternatives to the parish, some retain close ties with the institutional church, and some function independently. All are characterized by shared responsibility for the governance and life of the community. Through sharing liturgical life and mutual support for one another, members are strengthened to live Gospel-centered lives dedicated to spiritual growth and social commitment.
The first national conference, "A Conversation of Intentional Eucharistic Communities," was held in May of 1991 in the Washington, DC, area. It was attended by 155 participants from 15 communities.
Over time we became aware of more communities and were able to send invitations to over 80 IECs for the second national conference, "A Gathering of Intentional Eucharistic Communities -- Shaping and Celebrating our Faith," held in May of 2001, again in the Washington, DC, area. Over 240 members representing 41 communities, along with an impressive slate of presenters, came together to celebrate this way of being church. In various ways the keynoters and panelists affirmed our place in the history and tradition of the church, and in the workshops we looked in more detail at various elements of our community life: liturgical renewal, social commitment, relation to the institution, IECs as alternative faith communities, nurturing spiritual growth, developing community life, creating meaningful rituals. By sharing our stories, we walked through the histories of unique groups of people seeking mature forms of Christian community life. We got to know one another and our Sunday Eucharist was a Spirit-filled celebration of our faith.
Our third national conference was held May 15-17, 2009. View the 2009 details.
Our fourth national conference is planned for 2015! Learn more about Gathering 2015.
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