Bulletin 11


A rumour is circulating that accommodations are now rare for the Congress period. We have made a point of verifying and there are still hundreds of hotel rooms available, many of which have been reserved for the Congress. Also, host family offers continue to increase.The organization will do its possible to assure that no one will lack accommodations. Contact your diocesan delegate for more information.


Have you chosen to participate in the 49th International Eucharistic Congress?
Are you wondering how to prepare yourself? First, consider the contemplation of the Mystery of the Eucharist by St. John Chrysostom, which stated our obligation to help the poor and the hungry who surround us. Then: Act! Participate in the missionary activities of the Congress. More information to come.


There will be Eucharistic Adoration through-out the week of the Congress.  Eight chapels will officially be inaugurated June 15th.Two sites will be accessible on the Eucharistic City, and six official sites will be spread throughout the city, including the South and North shores. Certain locations will be open for perpetual, silent adoration, while others will include Holy Hours of prayer lead by various groups.  If you are interested in leading prayer, please contact [email protected]


Cardinal Ouellet held a media conference and announced that Pope Benedict XVI will not be coming to Quebec City in June of 2008.  He will, however, be present with us in prayer and via video. The media conference can be viewed in French at ECDQ.tv

We are all understandably disappointed; however, the Congress will be an extraordinary event that will bear great fruit for the Church and our society. There is one person who is even greater than His Holiness… it is Christ and He is the one who is bringing us together.

Mr. Yvon Buissières, member of the Quebec City council, told us “The biggest gift that the Church can give to Quebec is to gather at the heart of the festivities to celebrate the Eucharist.”  

Thank you for your support and your continued prayers!


What is martyrdom?

We often perceive it as stemming from hate. Someone is anti-Christian, and so a Christian dies. In reality martyrdom begins with love. Our Canadian martyrs (Rene Goupil, Isaac Jogues, Jean de la Lande, Antoine Daniel, Noel Chabanel, Charles Garnier, Gabriel Lalemant, and Jean de Brebeuf) loved Christ so much that they dedicated their entire being to spreading the Good News. They laid down their life so that others could turn to Christ.

Arriving in North America in the 1600’s, these French Jesuits quickly took up residence in Huronia where they began to learn the local culture. They learned and mastered the Huron language.

The first of these martyrs was Rene Goupil. As a young man, Rene entered the Jesuit novitiate in Paris, however, due to physical ailments, he was forced to leave. After somewhat recovering from his illness, he sailed to New France on his own merits. He quickly put himself under the influence of the Jesuit superior who had him perform the menial chores of the house. For two years he performed these chores with humility and charity. He was finally assigned to Huronia and arrived in July of 1642. On the journey towards Three Rivers, the group of bark canoes carrying the Jesuits and their Huron friends to the mission were attacked by the Iroquois. The Jesuits were taken prisoner. The Iroquois pulled out the fingernails of the prisoners and crushed their fingers. Despite this, Rene Goupil was able to confess his sins and assist Fr. Isaac Jogues in the instruction of the Hurons who were captured with them. During his captivity, Rene always desired to do God’s will. He mentioned to Fr. Jogues his desire to join the Jesuit community. “Father, God has always given me an intense desire of consecrating myself to His service by religious vows in the Society of Jesus. Heretofore my sins have always rendered me un-worthy of this grace. Nevertheless I hope that our Lord will find acceptable the offering which I wish to make to Him now by pronouncing, as best I can, the vows of the Society, in the presence of my God and before you.”3 Even though he was greatly injured, he cared for the wounded, as much for the Iroquois hurt in battle as the Huron. He was obedient to his captors, and though the possibility of escape arose, Rene refused to leave as he did not believe that it was the will of God. After six weeks of torture and captivity, Rene had stepped outside the village to pray with Fr. Isaac Jogues. Two young men soon called them to return to the house. They turned back reciting the rosary and entrusting their life to the Lord. Upon their arrival at the village gate, an Iroquois drew his hatchet and hit Rene in the head. He fell to the ground uttering Jesus’ Holy name. He was struck twice more before dying on September 29th, 1642. His body was stripped and he became food for the dog, crow and fox.

Fr. Isaac Jogues was originally sent to New France in 1636. After a serious illness that almost killed him, he began to learn Huron and started mission work with the Tobacco Indians. This mission was unsuccessful as many Tobacco Indians became sick and blamed the blackrobes for these infections. In 1641 he was transferred to the Sault; now know as Sault Ste. Marie. In 1642, while returning to Huronia and Quebec, Jogues’ group, including Rene Goupil, was captured and tortured. Thirteen months later, after Rene’s death, Jogues escaped from the Iroquois with the help of the Dutch. He returned to France in 1643. Rumours had spread within the Jesuit community about Jogues’ wellbeing. Seeing him again in France was, as some Jesuits from Rennes later wrote, seeing “Lazarus raised from the dead.”3 In June of 1644 Fr. Jogues returned to Canada. He was assigned to the young colony of Montreal, dealing mostly with the Iroquois. In September, the French decided to progress in a treaty with the Iroquois. Once again, Jogues was sent as an ambassador. Accompanied by Jean de la Lande and a few Hurons, Isaac left Three Rivers on a mission of peace. In June 1647, Quebec received a message from the Dutch announcing that Jogues and de la Lande had been martyred, beaten and tomahawked to death.

Fr. Antoine Daniel arrived in New France in 1632 where he began to learn the Huron language and teach the young Huron. Fr. Daniel translated prayers into Huron and helped create a school in Quebec City for Huron boys. This was the first boys’ college in North America. Although there were to be 10 new pupils, when it came time to leave, their parents could not bear to part. And so, only three Huron boys entered the seminary. Fr. Daniel travelled often between missions. July 4, 1648, three days after returning from a retreat, he was killed during an Iroquois attack. He had finished presiding mass in the morning when they heard the war cries. He went about comforting dying and baptizing all those he could. When the Iroquois finally entered the village, he ran towards them to block the way. Wounded by a gun shot and arrows, he fell and died crying out Jesus’ name. The Iroquois, unrelenting, threw his body into the burning church. “Thus delaying the enemy, he was serviceable to his escaping flock even after his death”.3

These are only three of our eight beloved Canadian martyrs, those who gave their blood for Christ and his Church. They were dedicated men who exiled themselves from their homeland to follow God and “make disciples of all the nations” (Mt 28:19). As Jean de Brebeuf wrote “My God, would that you were better known! Would that this whole Native People have converted itself completely to you! How you are loved! Yea, my God, if all of the torment endured by the captives of this land… should fall upon me, I would offer myself to them with all my heart and I alone would suffer them!”6 It is this zeal and love of God that brought them to give their life. They so loved Christ, His Church and the Native people that laying down their life was the only course of action. It is their stories that are remembered and revered at Canada’s national Martyrs’ shrine in Midland, Ontario. We celebrate their feast day September 26.


  1. Martyr’s Shrine, Midland, Ontario, Canada http://www.martyrs-shrine.com/story/index.cfm?
  2. Resources for Catholic Educators http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/10/19.html
  3. Martyrs of New France http://www.wyandot.org/martyr.htm
  4. New Advent http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10378a.htm
  5. OCY Archdiocese of Toronto
  6. Pastoral Letter – 350th Anniversary of Canadian Martyrs. Canadian Bishops’ Permanent Council http://www.ewtn.com/library/MARY/CNDMRTRS.HTM

Eucharistic Testimony

Adrienne Jones, South Carolina, USA

I’m Roman Catholic, but I grew up in the US in a mostly Southern Baptist family. In this Protestant environment, I tended to focus on the Word of God as the central aspect of my religious experience. It wasn’t until my two years in Japan, with no Catholic church to attend, that I first experienced the hunger to partake in the liturgical feast, the divine communion with God offered to us. I missed the body and blood of Jesus. The occasional bread and grape juice offered at the international church I went to just didn’t cut it. Currently in Ottawa, I’m a member of a faith-filled Eastern Catholic student group; I’ve learned to cherish the Eucharist because in celebrating it, we are celebrating along with all the saints and angels in heaven. A heavenly feast! That brings us compassion and mercy! No mortal food could ever taste so sweet!

Eucharistic Commitment

I will reflect on the prayer to Our Father. What does “Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done on Earth as It is in Heaven” mean to me and what can I do to open myself to His will, in preparation for His Kingdom?