Back to news

June 18th 2008

The Eucharist builds up the Church, the sacrament of salvation

“Every Eucharist is celebrated in the expectation and hope for the reuniting of the one people of God at the one table of the Lord. The Church is the community of disciples professing themselves to belong to the Lord through the practice of fraternal love for all and love for one and other as the pre-eminent sign,” declared the president of the 49th International Eucharistic Congress (2008 IEC), Marc Cardinal Ouellet. This is also what Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio, S.J., archbishop of Buenos Aires and primate of Argentina, made clear in his catechesis for the thousands of Congress Pilgrims on hand to hear him. The assembly then took part in the Divine Liturgy (the Eucharist) according to the Byzantine rite.

Divine Liturgy according to the Byzantine rite

The Byzantine Eucharistic liturgy is called divine because the principal celebrant is Christ, making those present “participants in the divine nature.” 
The liturgical tradition of close to ten million Catholics all around the world, the Byzantine rite came into existence in Byzantium (Constantinople, now Istanbul) and spread from there throughout the world. Catholics in the Byzantine tradition have lived in Canada since at least the 1890s.
The Byzantine rite as practiced by the Ukrainian Catholic Church was chosen to represent the Eastern Churches in communion with Rome at the 49th International Eucharistic Congress for the simple reason that it has the greatest number of adherents in Canada.

CATECHIST: Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio, S.J., Archbishop of Buenos Aires and primate of Argentina
Although the accomplishments of this distinguished cardinal are many and impressive, he is most widely known for his simple lifestyle, humility, and compassion. Thanks to his rich experience, his theological depth, and the positions he has held in the Church, Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio makes the perfect catechist.

TODAY AT THE 2008 IEC: Agape meals and the continuation of the Eucharistic Festival
Beginning at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, June 18, under the theme of the day “The Eucharist Builds Up the Church,” Congress pilgrims are invited to a special experience of fraternal communion and cultural exchange. The Christian communities of the Quebec City diocese will be sharing a fraternal meal as a sign of the unity to which all God’s people are called. Agape meals will include a time of Marian prayer to gather pilgrims and parishioners around the Virgin Mary, first Church and Eucharistic woman par excellence. Agape meals will mainly be held in parishes near the pilgrims’ accommodations so that as many as possible can take part. An agape meal for the general public will be held on the forecourt of Notre-Dame-de-Saint-Roch Church, attended by Marc Cardinal Ouellet, president of the 2008 IEC.
At 7:30 p.m. in the Eucharistic City’s (ExpoCité’s) Pavillon François-de-Laval, there will be an ecumenical roundtable entitled Body Broken and Bread Shared bringing together representatives of various religious traditions (Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, and Protestant). Simultaneous translation will be available.

Thursday, June 19, morning sessions at Colisée Pepsi
Catechesis by Bishop of Imus, Philippines, Luis Antonio G. Tagle and witnessing by Elizabeth Nguyen Thi Thu Hong, Canadian teacher and sister of the late François-Xavier Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan, whose cause of beatification was opened in September 2007. A liturgy of preparation for the sacrament of penance and reconciliation will follow, with Cláudio Cardinal Hummes, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy and Archbishop Emeritus of São Paulo presiding, under the theme “The Table of Reconciliation.”

© 2008 International Eucharistic Congress