News/Canada

Cardinal Marc Ouellet chafes under the criticism that his pride and joy — the International Eucharistic Congress — is little more than a week-long piety-fest. So he's been chafing a bit more than usual this week as secular media here in Quebec have focused as much on such criticism as it has on actually covering the event.

Those clerics are everywhere

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Not that a Eucharistic Congress is a numbers game, but it has been readily apparent with anyone with eyes around here that the priesthood and hierarchy are very well represented indeed.

Catholic fervour of past recalled during procession

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{mosimage}QUEBEC CITY - As many as 25,000 Catholics from around the world poured through the narrow streets of Quebec City June 19, accompanying the Blessed Sacrament in an outpouring of religious fervour absent from this city for at least half a century.

Something old, something new

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It should not be suprising that here in Quebec City, the cradle of Christendom in North America, that the liturgies have been surpassingly beautiful. There is a veritable cornucopia of worship services to attend, from the large daily Masses in the Pepsi Colliseum at the Expo City to the Adoration chapels, to the many Vespers and prayer services that happen daily at many of Quebec's historic churches.

Toronto pilgrims moved by Quebec's Catholic past

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{mosimage}QUEBEC CITY - Pilgrims who venture away from the International Eucharistic Congress grounds in this city are getting some living lessons in church history — almost 400 years of it.

Quebec City is celebrating the fourth centennial of its founding in 2008. And since the Catholic Church was there in the earliest years of this colony of France, it too is looking back into its own history and finding much to be proud of.

Where are young priests? Right here

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Looking for bright young, spirited and inspirational priests? In despair because you believe the media mantra about the dying priesthood? Have a little faith. They're out there, believe me. I keep tripping over them, especially here at the 49th International Eucharistic Congress in Quebec City.

The Eucharist sanctifies the institution of the Church

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{mosimage}QUEBEC CITY - Human beings may be fallible but the Catholic Church as an institution remains sanctified through the Eucharist, says Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J.

And it is this sanctified institution that always deserves defending, even if its individual members err, the archbishop of Buenos Aires and primate of Argentina explained in a large catechesis session here at the 49th International Eucharistic Congress June 18.

Why is it always a United Church?

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I have many good friends in the United Church, and they always seem very respectful toward Catholic teachings and practices, even if they disagree with them. Yet it seems lately that every protest by disaffected Catholics takes place in a United Church. Perhaps I exaggerate, but a little incident here in Quebec reinforces that impression.

There's plenty of elbow room

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It's taken me about three days to get my bearings here at the Eucharistic City, the new name for the Expo City grounds for the duration of the 49th International Eucharistic Congress here in Quebec City

Rain or applause?

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On the far end of the Pepsi Coliseum here in Quebec City, a white tent houses the media room for the International Eucharistic Congress. We have internet hook ups, a bank of computers for common use, tables with fresh flowers and a big screen TV to watch proceedings inside the Coliseum.

This just in from head office

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Pope Benedict XVI sent his regards and blessings Wednesday, June 18, to the 12,000 or so pilgrims gathered here in Quebec City for the International Eucharistic Congress. Below is the text of his message from the Vatican Information Service.