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June 21st 2008

49th International Eucharistic Congress unveils its charitable work, the Cardinal Marc Ouellet Foundation

The charitable work of the 49th International Eucharistic Congress has been unveiled, under the chairmanship of papal legate Jozef Cardinal Tomko and the patronage of Oscar Andrés Rodriguez Cardinal Mariadiaga, Archbishop of Tégucigalpa (Honduras) and President of Caritas International.

The Most Reverend Piero Marini, president of the Pontifical Committee for the International Eucharistic Congresses, explained that specific criteria guided the 2008 CEI organizers in their choice of the Cardinal Marc Ouellet Foundation (CMOF), which supports organizations aiding immigrants and refugees. First was that the initiative be local, permanent, and involved with the Eucharist. CMOF meets all these criteria, helping organizations located within the Diocese of Quebec through United Way/Centraide SVP Funds—which use only interest from funds held in trust—thereby ensuring the sustainability of its work, and its relationship to the Eucharist is strengthened by service to others, as the foundation advocates.

This relationship to the Eucharist was highlighted by Oscar Andrés Rodriguez Cardinal Mariadiaga, Archbishop of Tégulcigalpa and President of Caritas International. “The words of Matthew 25:35—‘I was a stranger and you welcomed me’—remind us that the Universal Church, with an invitation from Christ himself, attaches particular importance to strangers.”
Marc Cardinal Ouellet, Archbishop of Quebec and Primate of Canada, who established the foundation, explained his motivation to those present: “Some 40 million people around the world have been left homeless by violence and persecution, and it is likely that in the future even more people will be displaced by an increasing number of factors that are feeding off one another and creating conditions that result in new forced displacements. Today people flee not only persecution and war, but also injustice, social exclusion, environmental pressures, competition for scarce resources, and suffering caused by failing states.” Cardinal Ouellet also noted that each year, the Catholic Church of Quebec supports World Day of Migrants and Refugees with a diocesan observance in January.

The Most Reverend Pierre-André Fournier, Auxiliary Bishop of Quebec and president of the Foundation, accompanied by the patrons of honor, accepted a check for $162,500 presented by Msgr. Jean Picher, the 2008 CEI general secretary.

In concluding remarks, papal legate Jozef Cardinal Tomko noted that the unveiling reflected the spirit of the Gospel and International Eucharistic Congresses.

PATRONS OF HONOR OF THE Cardinal Marc Ouellet foundation

Mr. Réal Bond
Ms. Graziella Bélanger Bond
Mr. Jean Campeau
Mr. Nicolas Cortina
Dr. Louis Dionne
Ms. Suzanne Duplessis
Mr. Louis Garneau
Ms. Monique Arsenault
Dr. Fernand Labrie
Jean-Paul L’Allier, Esq.
Mr. Jean-Robert Leclerc
Ms. Geneviève Marcon
Ms. Raymonde McCormack
Mr. Nelson Michaud
Marie Gagnon, Esq.
Alain Michaud, Esq.
Mr. Jean-Guy Paquet
Mr. Noël Rhéaume
Mr. Peter Simons
Mr. Marian Stastny

© 2008 International Eucharistic Congress