Eucharist is focus of June pilgrimage - Catholic Courier

Eucharist is focus of June pilgrimage

Bishop Matthew H. Clark will lead a delegation of pilgrims from the Diocese of Rochester to Quebec City, Canada, in June for the 49th International Eucharistic Congress.

The theme of this year’s congress, which will be held June 15-22, is “Eucharist, Gift of God for the Life of the World.” During the congress, participants from all over the world will gather to explore this theme, celebrate the universal nature of the Catholic Church and witness Christ’s presence in the Eucharist.

“The Eucharistic Congress is a wonderful opportunity for people to come together with others from around the world and celebrate what we believe in the Eucharist,” said Maribeth Mancini, director of the diocesan Office of Evangelization and Catechesis.

Pilgrims will be able to attend general sessions and workshops and daily eucharistic celebrations and may participate in a eucharistic procession through the streets of Old Quebec City. More than 25,000 people are expected to attend the closing liturgy, which Pope Benedict XVI may possibly attend.

“I think it is the chance of a lifetime. I think the experience of traveling together to such an event, the opportunity to participate in a eucharistic procession through the streets of Quebec and pray together is going to be a remarkable spiritual experience,” Mancini said.

The diocese is sending a delegation to this year’s congress because the location is ideal, she noted.

“It’s a reasonable distance, it’s a reasonable price and it’s much more accessible than when it’s held in other parts of the world,” she said.

The last congress was held in 2004 in Guadalajara, Mexico. Before that, the last congress held in North America took place in Philadelphia in 1976. Congresses also were held in Chicago in 1926 and in Montreal, Canada, in 1910, according to the Vatican Web site.

This year’s congress also is special because it marks the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City. The Diocese of Quebec is the oldest diocese in the New World north of Mexico.

The diocesan delegation will depart by bus for Quebec City on June 19. After arriving and enjoying a light supper, pilgrims will take part in the eucharistic procession. The next day, pilgrims will participate in the congress’s morning program before traveling to the Basilica of St. Anne de Beaupre for a 2 p.m. Mass with pilgrims from the Diocese of Springfield, Mass.

On June 21 pilgrims will attend congress programs and have some free time to explore Old Quebec City and visit historic religious sites. The next day they will take part in the closing liturgy and a farewell dinner. They will depart for Rochester on June 23, stopping along the way to visit the Basilica and Shrine of Notre Dame du Cap de la Madeline, which is located midway between Montreal and Quebec City.

Individuals 18 and older who wish to be part of the diocesan delegation must register by Nov. 15. Registration packets may be found online at www.dor.org, and the registration is limited to approximately 100 people. The cost of the trip is approximately $1,100, although it may be less if four people room together or more if one person wishes to reserve a room for single occupancy. All registrations for the congress must be handled through the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis.

Mancini said she has registered for the congress and is already looking forward to the pilgrimage.

“Any time that people from the universal church are gathered there is an energizing feeling of unity in what we believe. It’s a powerful reminder that we are one body of Christ,” she said.

EDITOR’S NOTE: For more information on the Eucharistic Congress, contact Maribeth Mancini or Sylvia Mancuso at 585-328-3228, ext. 1295, or 800-388-7177, ext. 1295.

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