Eucharistic Congress to Focus on 3 Themes

Gift, Covenant and Life of the World

OTTAWA, OCT. 18, 2006 ( The 49th International Eucharistic Congress in Canada will focus on the Eucharist as gift, covenant and life of the world, reported the archbishop of Quebec.

Cardinal Marc Ouellet, whose diocese will host the event in 2008, updated Canada’s bishops on the event on the opening day of the plenary assembly of Canada’s episcopal conference, Oct. 16-20.

The cardinal said Monday that the theme of the Eucharistic congress will be: “The Eucharist, Gift of God for the Life of the World.”

The communications office of the Canadian bishops’ conference said that organizers expect 15,000 participants, including 10,000 Canadians, to attend the congress, which will take place from June 15-22, 2008.

The event coincides with the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City.

A novelty to this congress will be the Ark of the New Covenant, a replication of the Ark of the Covenant of the Old Testament, which was blessed by Benedict XVI last May.

The Ark of the New Covenant will be carried in procession, from one diocese to another, from church to church, in spiritual preparation for the International Eucharistic Congress.

Benedict XVI has told Cardinal Ouellet that he hopes to come to the closing ceremony on June 22, but the trip has not been officially confirmed.