Pope to deliver Congress homily by satellite

By 
  • April 28, 2008

{mosimage}QUEBEC CITY - While Pope Benedict XVI may not attend the 49th International Eucharistic Congress in person, his virtual presence will be there for all to see.

Cardinal Marc Ouellet, archbishop of Quebec, announced April 24 that the Holy Father will give the homily at the closing ceremony for the June 15-22 congress. It will come live from Rome via satellite and be shown on large screens.

In the earl planning stages for the congress, there was hope that Pope Benedict would be able to attend. However, because of his visit to the United States last month, it was felt he could not make another visit to North America this year.

Instead, the Pope will be seen and heard on screen by all those attending the Statio Orbis on June 22. This expression refers to the communion of the universal church in one location, which in this case is on the Plains of Abraham in front of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec.

According to a press release from the Eucharistic Congress, the event starts at 9 a.m. with a concert featuring singer and pianist Florence K and opera singer Natalie Choquette. They will be followed by Pueri Cantores, a 500-voice choir of youngsters aged eight to 16 who sing sacred music.

A Mass begins at 11 a.m. with a procession involving about 1,200 people. Cardinal Jozef Tomko, the papal legate to the congress, will preside at the Eucharist.

“If the weather is good, a crowd of about 50,000 people is expected,” the release said. “The congress organization invites people to bring chairs in order to be comfortable during this great gathering.”

At a press conference April 24, the cardinal revealed the design for the stage and altar to be used during the event.

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