Spending a little quiet time with Jesus

  • June 21, 2008

Adoration chapels set up throughout Quebec City to coincide with the 49th International Eucharistic Congress have proved surprisingly popular, an organizer told me the other day.

“We see that people are thirsting for the Lord because they prefer to go to the chapel than visit elsewhere in town,” said Sr. Geneviève Gadbois, 32, who belongs to the Little Sisters of Miriam and Family, a new Quebec order founded 30 years ago.

Gadbois led a team that organized the two Eucharistic adoration chapels on the Expo Cité site where most of the Congress events are taking place, and six chapels throughout the city. All have seen good participation, she said.

Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Archbishop of Quebec, had asked her to transform not only the Expo Cité site but also the whole of Quebec City into a Eucharistic City, she said.

She began her work for the Congress two years ago, and gradually assembled a small team to help her.

The Chapel of the New Covenant, open 24 hours a day at Expo Cité , was jam-packed during daylight hours. Bathed in blue light, over a reflecting pool of water, the Blessed Sacrament was displayed in a monstrance atop the Ark of the New Covenant.

CNS photo

The Ark, adorned with icons, suggests both a boat and the Old Testament Ark of the Covenant, though its most prominent icon facing front is of the Virgin Mary, herself the Ark of the New Covenant.

The Ark traveled to every diocese in Canada as a symbol of the Congress before entering on pilgrim’s shoulders into the Chapel of the New Covenant the first night of the Congress June 15, accompanied by Cardinal Peter Turkson, Archbishop of Cape Coast, Ghana.

Cardinal Turkson explained that the Ark of the Covenant contained manna, the heavenly bread that sustained the Israelites during their 40 years in the wilderness.

“Jesus is the new manna, falling from heaven,” he said. “Jesus is the bread of life for us now,” he said.

The New Covenant chapel featured silent adoration, while the Chapel of the Gift of God, offered guided adoration through a combination of meditations and music. This chapel was located in a transformed cattle shed, as Expo Cité also hosts provincial agricultural exhibitions.

Gadbois said 63 groups provided music for the 89 hours is open over the course of the week in French, English and Spanish. She called people in Europe, North and South America to provide the music and guided adoration. Groups such as NET Ministries, an evangelistic ministry aimed at young people, the lay apostolate of Madonna House, and religious communities from the Dominicans to Famille Marie Jeunesse participated.

This chapel featured a modern monstrance designed by the Congress’ artistic director Cyrille-Gauvin Francoeur and crafted by Alain Rioux, who also constructed the Ark.

Gadbois said she and her team prepared for their work by praying, attending daily Mass and participating in adoration. She said she hoped people would discover new ways of praying to Jesus.


For more coverage by the Catholic Register on the 49th International Eucharistic Congress see:

You’ll know they are pilgrims by their backpacks

Your TV eye on the Eucharistic Congress

This just in from head office

Rain or applause?

There's plenty of elbow room

Why is it always a United Church?

Where are young priests? Right here

Something old, something new

Those clerics are everywhere

The Eucharist is also service

More on the numbers front

New priests bring new life to church

We're all softies at heart


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