Cardinal: Quebec Congress a “Mission Accomplished”

Eucharistic Event Draws Larger-Than-Expected Crowds

QUEBEC CITY, JULY 3, 2008 ( Cardinal Marc Ouellet gave a “highly positive” evaluation of the 49th International Eucharistic Congress, which just concluded in Quebec.

The cardinal, along with two leaders of the congress, spoke about the June 15-22 event at a press conference Wednesday.

They reported that the congress brought together 7,891 laymen, 326 pastoral agents, 55 archbishops, 17 canons, 157 deacons, 218 bishops, 61 novices, 863 diocesan priests, 1,271 women religious, 149 religious brothers, 392 religious priests and 175 seminarians.

Cardinal Ouellet described the event as “highly positive.”

“Mission accomplished,” he said, adding that “attendance surpassed all expectations.”

More than 11,000 people registered as pilgrims. An average of 12,500 people participated in each day’s activities. Of these, some 68% were Canadian.

Seventy countries were represented: 20 from America, 22 from Europe, 19 from Africa, 10 from Asia and three from Oceania.

Some 20,000 people visited the congress site daily.

These numbers are quite a change from the 1st International Eucharistic Congress, held in France in 1881. During that gathering, some 300 people participated.

Over the years, the congress has evolved, now attracting 12,000 to 15,000 people for a week of celebrations, adoration, catechesis, cultural events, fraternal meetings and social charity.

Benedict XVI announced that the next international congress will be hosted by Dublin, Ireland, in 2012.

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