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March 23rd 2008

Launch of the final pilgrimage of the Ark of the New Covenant

Easter Sunday marks the beginning of the final pilgrimage of the Ark of the New Covenant, starting from Midland, Ontario. The Ark will travel approximately 1600 km to arrive in Quebec City for the feast of Corpus Christi on May 25th. Leading up to the 2008 International Eucharistic Congress (2008 IEC), the Ark’s escorts, called "portageurs", received a blessing at the National Canadian Martyrs’ Shrine. Bishop Peter Hundt, auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Toronto and Bishop Pierre-André Fournier, auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Quebec, presided this ceremony.

Throughout this 64 day pilgrimage, certain sections will be on foot and others will be by vehicle. The public is invited to walk with the "portageurs" when in their parish and to participate in the local celebrations organized for this special occasion. Stops are planned in different cities and villages in order to have prayer times and celebrations with the local communities.

This pilgrimage will pass through 10 Canadian dioceses and five national shrines. The walk will pass through St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal, QC, Notre-Dame du Cap Sanctuary in Cap-de-la-Madeleine, QC, St. Anthony’s Hermitage in Lac Bouchette, QC and Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré in Beaupre, QC.

The Ark of the New Covenant, a symbolic object created for the spiritual preparation of the 2008 IEC, will finish its journey of over 70 Canadian dioceses and eparchies. This pilgrimage began May 11, 2022 in Rome with a Papal blessing before the Quebec bishops on official visit. Between May 2006 and March 2008, this artistic work traveled the entire country visiting thousands of faithful of all ages.

For maps, schedules, a daily blog and videos of the pilgrimage produced by ECDQ.TV, consult or watch Salt + Light Television for weekly coverage.

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) will coordinate the pilgrimage's police escort during the time the walkers are in Ontario. The OPP will provide marked cruisers for both the front and rear of the procession and is working on security with municipal police services in jurisdictions outside OPP authority. The safety of the walkers and motorists is the OPP's top priority. The 2008 International Eucharistic congress thanks Discount for the transport of "portageurs".

© 2008 International Eucharistic Congress