Cardinal Ouellet Looks Ahead to 2008 Eucharistic Congress

Sees Hope for a Culture of Life and Compassion

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GUADALAJARA, Mexico, OCT. 11, 2004 ( A new evangelization, centered on the Blessed Sacrament, will help the faithful rediscover Christ, says a prelate whose archdiocese will host the next International Eucharistic Congress.

Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Quebec, who has learned that his archdiocese will host the congress in 2008, spoke to ZENIT about the importance of such events in a secularized world.

Q: Is it possible to reintroduce a sense of wonder and amazement for the Eucharist in a world that has lost the sense of the sacred?

Cardinal Ouellet: Of course it is, but we have to invent new means as, for example, art. Artists are able to make us almost guess, catch a glimpse of the mystery, of the beauty of the mystery. And that by definition.

Q: Do artists teach us to see another dimension of things?

Cardinal Ouellet: Yes, indeed. The Eucharist should be the most beautiful source of inspiration for Christian artists.

When one looks at Andrej Rublev’s icon of the Trinity, the adoration of the Host, and the Eucharistic catechesis on the meaning of the celebration, a different perspective is acquired. One understands that to celebrate the Eucharist well, one must have a spirit of adoration.

Q: What is the reason for not approaching Communion without that spirit?

Cardinal Ouellet: The reason is that some say «Amen» without knowing what they are saying, not realizing that it is the Lord, God-with-us, Emmanuel. The Eucharist should inspire great respect, but also, amazement: such a great Trinitarian God comes so close to man’s heart in such a humble way. If that doesn’t cause wonder, what does?

Q: What hope can the next International Eucharistic Congress, to be held in 2008, give to the Archdiocese of Quebec, to French-speaking Canada, and to the North of the American continent?

Cardinal Ouellet: The main hope is that such a great event, of such content, will help my people find Christ. Christ is the center of our historical culture. The Eucharist is the foundation of our culture.

In recent decades we are going through a grave crisis, but I hope that, through a movement of new evangelization, centered on the Eucharist, we might rediscover Christ and rediscover the meaning of life for young people who today don’t know what way to go.

Q: Do you expect profound changes in culture from the next International Eucharistic Congress in Quebec?

Cardinal Ouellet: I am sure that the Eucharist will again inspire a culture of life where children are born in families; a culture of compassion where the poor and hungry, and people who are suffering, receive more help, more care, more respect, also for the elderly.

A change that will enable one to discover in the Eucharistic mystery the most eloquent testimony of the resurrection of Christ, of the power of the resurrection to transform the world, and to make possible the building of a more just society.

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