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49th International Eucharistic Congress: One of the Major Events for Quebec City in 2008

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Because of the importance of the International Eucharistic Congress, please note that the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) translated a media release written by the Archdiocese of Quebec and added it to its website.

In a recent news conference, His Eminence Marc Cardinal Ouellet, Archbishop of Quebec, unveiled the latest details on plans for the 49th International Eucharistic Congress to be hosted by Quebec City in 2008.

Confirmation of dates and assembly locations for the Congress

The 49th International Eucharistic Congress will be held 15 – 22 June 2008. Congress organizers are expecting to welcome between 12,000 and 15,000 participants from over 60 countries including Canada, the United States, France, Italy and Mexico. Meetings and conferences will be held at the ExpoCité Centre, while meetings of other language groups will be held in parishes across the city.

The program will include a number of cultural and social activities open to everyone, as well as family and youth oriented activities, processions and large celebrations. Among the most memorable moments will be the closing ceremony on Sunday, 22 June 2008, at which Pope Benedict XVI is expected to preside. With the Holy Father present in 2008, the closing ceremonies could attract a crowd of over 250,000, since the last time a Pope visited Quebec City was in 1984. The Plains of Abraham has already been reserved for the special event. Over the last few months, a General Secretariat composed of three staff persons as well as a number of committees has been working on the organization and logistics of the Congress.

Mr. Yvan Caron, President of the Congress Corporation

Mr. Yvan Caron, former President of the Fédération des Caisses populaires Desjardins de Québec and an entrepreneur known for his community involvement, particularly with the Opération Enfant-Soleil, has accepted the invitation of Cardinal Ouellet to serve as Chairman of the 49th International Eucharistic Congress Corporation. The mandate of the Corporation is to support the work by those organizing the Congress, to ensure financial transparency, and to produce a balanced budget. A Congress of this magnitude requires an operating budget of approximately $8 million over the next three years. Of this amount, $2 million is projected for expenses related to the visit of the Pope.

Important contribution from the Knights of Columbus

For many years, the 100,000 members of the Knights of Columbus in Quebec have been generously involved in major Church projects. One example is their major contribution to the World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto. Mr. Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight, has confirmed that the Knights of Columbus will donate $1 million to the Congress. This amount is in addition to the contributions from the Archdiocese of Quebec and religious communities which have supported this project since the beginning.

The Congress organizers are also in contact with the three commissioners from the regional, provincial and federal governments who are responsible for the 400th anniversary celebrations of Quebec City. The organizers for the Congress are confident they will receive financial collaboration.

In 2001, Mr. Jean-Paul L’Allier, Mayor of Quebec City, asked Most Reverend Maurice Couture, then Archbishop of Quebec, for Catholic involvement in the 400th anniversary celebrations of Quebec. That was the beginning of the plan for Quebec City to host the 49th International Eucharistic Congress. Steps were then taken to achieve this goal, and the late Pope John Paul II announced at the end of the last Eucharistic Congress in Mexico, in October 2004, that the 49th International Eucharistic Congress would be in Quebec City in 2008.

The Congress will involve a variety of celebrations. Details will be released at a later date. As Archbishop of Quebec, Cardinal Ouellet is also the Chairman of the Congress.

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Information:

Geneviève Lebel
Director, Communications Service
Église catholique de Québec
Tel.: (418) 688-1211, ext. 208
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated on Monday, May 01 2006  
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