On February 15, as the worldwide competition to compose a theme song for the 2008 International Eucharistic Congress in Quebec City drew to a close, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Archbishop of Quebec and Primate of Canada, confirmed the jury’s choice. The winning selection from the 96 compositions received is a work by Mario Jacques (melody) and Jean Morissette (harmonies).

Mario Jacques, Chantal Masson-Bourque, Robert Lebel, and Jean Morissette

The $2,000 prize was awarded to the winners on May 16, 2007, at Université Laval, during the theme song launch at the opening ceremonies of the international meeting of delegates who had gathered from around the world to prepare the Congress.

The jury, chaired by 2008 IEC liturgy coordinator Louis-André Naud, was made up of Christine Laflèche, choir director, musician, and theologian; Marc D’Anjou, Notre-Dame-de-Québec Basilica organist and accompanist; Chantal Masson-Bourque, violist and choir director; Céline Lamonde, music liturgy coordinator for Grand Séminaire de Québec; Lucie Brousseau, singer, facilitator, and choir director; Raynald Côté, priest; and Alain Gagnon, composer.

Mario Jacques is the pastoral animator of the Diocese of Saint-Hyacinthe and liturgy advisor for Le Jour du Seigneur (Radio-Canada). He is a writer and composer, coordinator of the Femmes de Chœur vocal ensemble, and producer of the Réjouis-toi, L’homme des longs chemins, and Cantique d’abandon de saint Ignace recordings.

Jean Morissette is the principal organist at Saint-Joseph Church in Saint-Hyacinthe. A concert performer and composer of liturgical hymns and sacred music, he founded Pro Organo, an association that promotes Quebec organs and organists of repute.

The “God's Gift” text by Institut Voluntas Dei priest and Diocese of Quebec City resident Robert Lebel was proposed to all candidates, who unanimously approved its depth and musicality. Robert is well known in religious music circles as a writer, composer, and musician.

© 2008 International Eucharistic Congress