Back to news

June 21st 2008

Witnesses to the Eucharist in the heart of the world

“Vocations to love are as different as there are people. Baptismal grace shapes in them the love of Jesus Christ; the Eucharistic mystery nourishes and perfects it until it becomes a witness of holiness. No matter the state of life to which men and women have committed themselves—single, married, or consecrated—all are called to the perfection of love that Christ makes possible by the grace of redemption,” explained Marc Cardinal Ouellet, President of the 49th International Eucharistic Congress (2008 IEC). This, too, was the teaching of Wiyghan Cardinal Tumi, Archbishop of Douala (Cameroon), and the message of Marguerite Barankitse, founder of the NGO Maison Shalom, in her poignant witnessing at the last plenary session of the 2008 IEC.

CATECHIST: Wiyghan Cardinal Tumi, Archbishop of Douala (Cameroon)

Cardinal Tumi is a member of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, and the Pontifical Council for the Family. He is a man of the Church in the service of truth, in love with justice and peace. His struggle for human rights and accomplishments as a priest, bishop, and archbishop have been colossal.

WITNESS: Marguerite Barankitse, Founder of the Maison Shalom NGO

Holder of an honorary doctorate from Université de Louvain, Marguerite Barankitse carries on a courageous battle for peace and reconciliation in her native Burundi. A tireless worker, she has dedicated her life to child victims of war. Maison Shalom has helped over 50,000 children and adults since 1994. Her message: “Evil will never have the final word. Faith and love can move mountains of hate.”

TODAY AT THE 2008 IEC: Talks, prayer vigil and adoration, family day and show at Colisée Pepsi

Afternoon and evening: Last chance to hear guest speakers at the Eucharistic Festival. Starting at 2:30 p.m. at the Eucharistic City, there is an open invitation to attend talks on a variety of such topical issues as the Eucharist and the Environment and Work. Eat. Sleep… Jesus? There will also be a talk entitled Dialogue of the Catholic Church with Islam at 7:30 p.m. at Christ-Roi Church in Lévis by Jean-Louis Cardinal Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

At the end of this week of adoration and praise marking the 49th International Eucharistic Congress, the entire Church will answer its Lord’s call to pray while awaiting his return. Starting at 6 p.m., young people aged 18 to 35 will gather at Pavillon François-de-Laval in the Eucharistic City (ExpoCité) for a vigil of prayer and adoration led by papal legate Jozef Cardinal Tomko. His Holiness Benedict XVI will deliver a message prerecorded especially for the event. Everyone is invited to join the group starting at 9 p.m. for guided adoration until midnight or take part in one of the prayer vigils organized at the various adoration sites. These prayer vigils will wrap up with ceremonies to mark the closing of the 2008 IEC adoration sites.

Today is family day at Montmartre Canadien. Events will include interactive teaching sessions, moments of sharing and reflection, a Eucharistic celebration, and, finally, musical entertainment and games for the kids. According to language spoken (English, French, or Spanish), the day will feature three different themes.

Tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Colisée Pepsi, the residents of Quebec City are invited to join the teenager program for On naît plein d’bonté, Wow !!! (Wow! We Are Born Full of Loving Kindness!), a drama of witness presented by Village des Sources and Robert Lebel. Over 500 young people aged 10 to 17 will take to the stage. Tickets are on sale at the door for $10 each. Admission is free for children under 16.

Sunday, June 22: Benedict XVI live from Rome

Catholics from Quebec City and the surrounding areas are warmly invited to attend the closing celebration (Statio Orbis) of the 2008 International Eucharistic Congress in Quebec City. The event will take place, rain or shine, on the Plains of Abraham opposite Musée nationale des beaux-arts du Québec. The site will open at 7:30 a.m. and, starting at 8:30, there will singing and music by the Jerusalem Communities, Voltigeurs de Québec, Nathalie Choquette, Florence K., and Pueri Cantores. The Eucharist will be celebrated at 11 a.m., and His Holiness Benedict XVI will deliver the homily live from Rome. Seats and food will be available onsite, but the 2008 IEC organizers invite participants to bring their own chairs and meal. The best way to get to the Statio Orbis site will be by public transit. Parking spaces have been set aside for this purpose at Place Laurier and Université Laval. From there, bus routes 11 and 801 stop very close to the Plains. Don’t miss this great gathering!

© 2008 International Eucharistic Congress