Explore the Eucharist

  > 1000 days of prayers 
  > Did you know... 
  > Youth Summit
  > The Ark of the
       new covenant




239 days before the congress


Get involved
To find out more

The Congress

What is the Ark?
Article Index
What is the Ark?
The Project
The Name
The Symbolism
The Icons
The Artists
The Dimensions


The Artists

The Design Committee
Following the Youth Summit in 2005, a committee made up of young adults from Montreal and Quebec City was given the mandate to design the religious symbol that would serve to prepare the way for the Congress. The members of the committee were: Véronique Rondeau, Chantal Laure Faneus, Marie-Dave, Clément Laffitte, Jean-Francis Clermont-Legros, Guylain Roussel, Dominique Vandal, Sister Cécile Gagné, RHSJ, Sister Doris Lamontagne, PFM, Father Robert Gendreau, Camille Jacques, OSM, and Valérie Cloutier.

The committee’s proposal was enthusiastically received by the organizing committee which is helping Cardinal Marc Ouellet to establish the main orientations of the IEC. The organizing committee enriched the proposal by adding a number of themes, including that of the angels in adoration. The name finally chosen was The Ark of the New Covenant.


The Artist, Alain Rioux : Wood sculpture as a spiritual journey

Alain Rioux is a 45-year-old artist from Quebec City. This self-taught carpenter and sculptor works out of his home in Ancienne-Lorette. He met his wife-to-be, Chantal Dubois, during a visit by Pope Jean-Paul II to Quebec City in 1984. Alain and Chantal have two children.

Alain grew up in a family of carpenters, who introduced him to carpentry when he was a young boy. But at the same time, he became interested in the visual arts. Through such media as painting, drawing, modeling and photography, he explored and developed his talents. Alain always had a workspace that would allow him to give full reign to his imagination. As a young adult, he started a small woodworking business. Customers also sought his talents in a variety of areas, including the production of background decor, advertising signs and to-scale models. He later completed a year of visual arts studies.


One day in 1994, while working as a teacher, Alain went to his studio to make a sculpture of the Virgin to guide him in his prayers. It was through this work that he rediscovered his love of wood sculpture, which he had put aside. It also led him to Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, where a sculptor agreed to give him a few lessons.



On March 19, 1995, he began a one-year training program at the École-Atelier de sculpture de Québec in Limoilou. In April 1996, he started up his own company, Art 3D Alain Rioux enr., with a small room in his apartment as a studio. He has created various sculptures, including several with religious themes. He has also made liturgical furnishings such as vigil lights, prayer benches, crosses, altars, ambos, tabernacles, monstrances, statuary pedestals, and so on.



September 2005 saw the start of the project for the Ark of the New Covenant. Alain made designs of the work and began sculpting it in the winter of 2006. The construction of this symbolic ark represents his desire to serve the Church in a meaningful way and to explore new artistic challenges. It is the crowning achievement of Alain’s ten years as a professional artist.


Alain Rioux - Carpenter/sculptor

' ); //--> This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it "> This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it


How the icons were selected – A story of collaboration with Marc Lepage

Marc Lepage is a man who lives life with passion! He has been more than able to juggle his time as a spiritual life coordinator with his community and humanitarian involvement. He works full-time in a high school on Quebec City’s south shore and has participated in missionary projects overseas.

Humanitarian aid has long been one of Marc’s interests. In 1999, during a stay in Romania with a group of young students, he fell in love with the country and its people. Since that time, every year for three to four months, he has been devoting his time to a Romanian orphanage, the Casa de Copii Sfanta Maria. This orphanage, which is run by the Oblate Sisters of the Assumption, is home to more than 100 children.

This orphanage and others with which Marc regularly collaborates receive funding for their operations through the sale of icons produced by Romanian Orthodox monks. The profits from these sales are supporting these orphanages in their commitment to help the children under their care.

In developing the concept for the Ark, the committee was deeply moved by the beauty and simplicity of these icons. It chose them because part of the mission of the Eucharistic Congress is to demonstrate international solidarity. In addition, helping to fund the humanitarian work of these orphanages was seen as being very much a part of the missionary work to which we are called by the Eucharist.


Next >
© 2007 CEI2008
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU/GPL License.