Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of November 1, 2004
Bishops prepare for congress
The 2008 International Eucharistic Congress will be in Quebec City
By ART BABYCH
Canadian Catholic News
A strong effort will be needed to stimulate interest at home and abroad in the 2008 International Eucharistic Congress in Quebec if the event is to be successful, Canadian bishops have been told.
Saskatoon Bishop Albert Legatt, mandated by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops to help coordinate the congress, told delegates at the CCCB's annual meeting Oct. 21 that only 26 people from all of the English-speaking dioceses in Canada attended the Eucharistic Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, Oct. 10-17.
Another 65 people came from the dioceses of Quebec and Montreal, he said.
"This indicates to us that if want the Eucharistic Congress in 2008 to be a success, we will need to make a very good effort (to stimulate interest) and have a good communications plan" Legatt said.
Pope John Paul - as had been expected - announced on the closing day of the congress in Guadalajara that Quebec City will be the site of the next celebration in 2008. The event will coincide with the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City and the 350th anniversary of the appointment of Blessed Francois de Laval as Canada's first bishop.
Mexico a grand celebration
Of the congress in Mexico, Legatt said there were "grand celebrations" and "very rich moments of catechesis," and lauded what he said was "the incredibly warm welcome and hospitality of the people."
But he observed, "The international aspect was not as strong as what might have been expected," adding that the language translation left much to be desired. "It really was a Spanish . a Mexican event," he said. "They were there in huge numbers."
Cardinal Marc Ouellet, archbishop of Quebec City, said Canada could likely do better in attracting delegates from other countries, "if not on the level of participation." Ouellet said a theme for the Quebec congress and a basic text for catechetical use before the event is being prepared. "The fact that we are in a Eucharistic year helps us to launch the whole thing on a good footing," he said.
In a question to the cardinal, Bishop Donald Theriault, Catholic bishop for the Canadian Forces, alluded to the cost of hosting the congress. "Will the organizing committee look at World Youth Day to see what has been done and what could be copied from that?" he asked.
World Youth Day 2002 in Canada produced a deficit of $38 million.
"You are referring to the financial question, probably," replied Ouellet. Expenses for the congress will be controlled "very severely," he said. A budget has already been prepared and professional accountants will be watching it closely to help control expenses, he added.
"If we have to be more modest (in spending), we will be," Ouellet said.
Letter to the Editor - 11/08/04
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