Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of January 21, 2008
DVD promotes Eucharistic Congress
Encounters at the cenacle whets spiritual hunger
Fr. Tom Rosica
By DEBORAH GYAPONG
Canadian Catholic News
The upper room, where Jesus held the Last Supper and where the Holy Spirit descended at Pentecost is also known as the cenacle.
So it is fitting that a new DVD prepared by organizers of the June 2008 International Eucharistic Congress in Quebec City is called Encounters at the Cenacle.
Not only is this an inspiring "must-see" for anyone preparing to attend, it might benefit anyone who wishes to enlarge their experience of the Eucharist at their home parish.
On the DVD, Basilian Father Tom Rosica, CEO of Salt + Light TV, describes the Eucharist as a "living memory."
"It's a memory of something that happened a long time ago but continues to happen today," he said. "So what Jesus celebrated in the Eucharist at the Last Supper, we continue to celebrate that today and to have the very same effects that took place when Jesus gave himself, his flesh and blood, to his disciples."
"We are not only recalling an event of the past, but we are brought into it," said Quebec Cardinal Marc Ouellet. "We are brought to the event itself though the power of the Holy Spirit."
Multitude of voices
The DVD features accessible, conversational interviews not only with Ouellet, but also Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins and a panel that includes Rosica, Catholic high school teacher Mark Mignella, Sister Gill Goulding, a theologian at Toronto's Regis College, and Sister Antoniana Maria of the Trinity.
On the DVD, Collins explains how the Holy Eucharist is joined to the great act of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, noting the priest celebrating is not redoing something over and over, nor is he making something happen.
"It is an act of God that is the heart of the celebration. The gift doesn't come from us, it comes from God."
"The gift can remain there untouched, unopened. That depends on us," he said. "Some responded to Christ when he was alive and others walked away."
Collins noted that it is important for priests and the congregation to know they are not doing the Eucharist, but are "entering into it."
Sin can clog us, he said, just as cholesterol can clog our arteries. "When the gift is offered we don't have any room, we are full of ourselves," he said. "Part of our response as we approach the Holy Eucharist is to lead a repentant life."
Prepare and inspire
Designed to be viewed in small group setting, the DVD's ten 15-minute segments use music, visuals and discussion to prepare and inspire pilgrims for the June 15-22 congress.
Its first segment shows pictures from the last International Eucharistic Congress held in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 2004, scenes from Quebec City and a snapshot of local history, illustrating Quebec's key role as the portal to the evangelization of the continent. It also contains stunning scenes of eucharistic processions in Old Quebec.
The DVD is meant to accompany the congress's foundational theological document: The Eucharist: God's Gift for the Life of the World.
Produced by Jean Lortie, Elyse Touchette and Debra Violette, who also hosts the interviews and narrates the Scriptural texts that open each session, the DVD comes with a study guide and format for discussion and prayer.
Goulding expressed her hope for the congress "that God will work, because God desires more than we desire for there to be a real outpouring of his Spirit."
Sister Maria of the Trinity said she hoped the congress would not be a "one time event," but a starting point for a movement of God that will "sweep over the nation."