Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of September 4, 2006
Pray to grasp the Eucharist
2008 Eucharistic Congress depends on preparation
The Ark of the New Covenant will raise awareness for the congress.
By DEBORAH GYAPONG
Canadian Catholic News
The 2008 Eucharistic Congress will be fruitful if Catholics prepare in our minds and hearts, pray and deepen our understanding of the Eucharist, the congress' episcopal vicar said Aug. 15.
"We can see that you are already started," said Father Jean Picher to the more than 800 delegates attending the Catholic Women's League's national convention here.
Gift of God
The 49th congress, themed The Eucharist, Gift of God for the Life of the World, will be held in Quebec City June 15-22, 2008. It will coincide with 400th anniversary celebrations of the city's founding.
"The Catholic faith is receiving God's gift," Picher said. "God takes the first step."
"The Eucharist is not a thing. It's a person. It's God's gift to us. We are invited to share it with the world.
"You already may have started to pray for the success of the congress," Picher said. Last year, a campaign for 1,000 days of prayer began as a lead up to the congress. Catholics who wish to join in can find the daily prayer on the website at www.cei2008.ca.
Picher also told the gathering about the Ark of the New Covenant, which has been travelling through dioceses in Quebec since Pope Benedict blessed it in Rome May 11.
The ark will travel across Canada, spending about a week in each diocese, to raise awareness of the upcoming congress. Crafted of wood, and adorned with icons, the ark was the brainchild of Catholic youth.
A schedule for its "pilgrimage" is available on the website, Picher said. The ark will come to Ontario in January 2007, to Western Canada in April and Atlantic Canada in the fall. In January 2008, the ark will go to the North.
Picher said 15,000 people are expected to attend the Congress, with about 10,000 of them coming from Canada. Pope Benedict is expected to preside over the closing Mass.