Archdiocesan Pilgrimage :: Ark of the New Covenant
Congress now open to all parishioners and members of lay groups in the Archdiocese -- register today as space is limited!
June 15-22, 2008
Every four years, Catholic faithful from around the world are invited to gather together to reflect on and celebrate the great mystery of the Eucharist during the International Eucharistic Congress. From June 15-22, 2008, it is expected that between 12,000 to 15,000 bishops, priests, deacons, religious and lay people will gather in Quebec City to come to a deeper appreciation of “the eucharist, gift of God for the life of the world,” the theme of this 49th Congress. The year 2008 also has special significance for the church of Quebec. It marks the 400th anniversary of the first permanent French establishment in North America, and therefore, the beginning of the spread of Catholic faith into what would become the once vast New France. Congress officials express a confident hope that the Holy Father will preside at the closing mass on the plains of Abraham.
Two delegates from each parish throughout the Archdiocese of Toronto are going to join other delegates to be pilgrims at this memorable event. Two members from each lay ecclesial movement in the Archdiocese are invited to be part of the pilgrimage. Pastors are also welcome. Through participation in the Congress celebrations and activities in Quebec City, and through prayerful events and liturgies planned by the Archdiocesan Congress Committee to support this pilgrimage experience, these representatives of the Archdiocese will enter deeply into the mystery of the Eucharist and encounter Christ. As pilgrim delegates, they will be encouraged to share the Good News proclaimed in this event with their parishes upon their return.
Chateau Mont-Sainte Anne
Chateau Mont-Sainte Anne is a hotel nestled at the base of the beautiful mountain of St. Anne, a few kilometers from the famous shrine of Ste.-Anne-de-Beaupre and the St. Lawrence River. It is a 30 minute drive from this idyllic location to the charming old city of Quebec. This resort hotel with its picturesque views, gardens, pools and mountain trails provides an ideal setting for prayer, community dialogue, biblical reflection and liturgical celebrations. Private access up the mountain via gondola offers a unique opportunity for a sunset liturgy and a candlelight vigil on the summit.
The well-appointed bedrooms each have a balcony and kitchenette. The common areas offer a warm and relaxed environment for faith sharing among pilgrims from the Archdiocese of Toronto. There is daily opportunity to gather this entire group together in a beautiful gathering place that looks into the splendor of the outdoor environment of the mountain. A buffet breakfast and four-course dinner offer plentiful and delicious food for the body. An exercise room, hot tub, sauna and swimming pool are available to sooth and revive. There is a convenience shop within the hotel to purchase drinks and necessities.
To acquire more information
and for pictures of the Chateau, please visit www.chateaumsa.com
Total Cost - $1,675.00 CDN per person (double occupancy, single supplement add $650)
- Motor Coach Transportation from Toronto with various pickup points.
- Daily transportation from hotel to Congress.
- Seven nights accommodation in beautiful Chateau Mont-Sainte Anne exclusive to Toronto pilgrims.
- Full breakfast and dinner daily including all taxes, gratuities and service charges.
- Transportation on gondola for liturgical celebrations on mountain summit.
- Visit to St. Anne-de-Beaupre Shrine and Montmorency Falls.
- Registration fee for International Eucharistic Congress.
- Initial deposit to secure place $350 (non-refundable) payable to Archdiocese of Toronto.
- Final payment payable to Gideon Travel Agency due February 1, 2008.
For further information, contact:
Kitty McGilly, M.R.E., L.H.S. -
416.201.7375 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Diocesan Congress Co-ordinator -
Fr. Michael McGourty
For a downloadable brochure and registration form, please click here.
Ark of the New Covenant
The Ark of the New Covenant was in Toronto from January 16 - January 31, 2007
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an International Eucharistic Congress (IEC)?
It is a gathering of the universal Church, in order to celebrate Jesus living and present in the Eucharist, the source and summit of evangelization and centre of the life of the Church. A diocesan Church invites other Churches, with the approval of the Pope, to this time of prayer, of reflection and of commitment.
What is the theme?
The Eucharist, gift of God for the life of the world.
What happens during a Eucharistic Congress?
Each day, a solemn Eucharistic liturgy is celebrated and a catechesis helps to deepen the theme of the congress. Congress delegates are separated according to language and meet in parochial churches where they exchange views and pray with parishioners. Public celebrations take place, including a procession of the Blessed Sacrament and an event for young people. Artistic and cultural activities are scheduled. A social work, destined for the needy, is inaugurated during the congress. A family activity is planned for the congress. In addition, religious heritage will be emphasized by pilgrimages and by guided and commented visits.
Will the Pope be coming?
In 1964, Paul VI started the custom that the Pope comes to conclude the Eucharistic Congress by a solemn Mass. John Paul II continued along the same lines, despite his health problems that prevented him from participating on two occasions. Benedict XVI has told Archbishop Ouellet (Archbishop of Quebec City) that he hopes to come. The final decision should be made in 2007.
What are the dates and the places of events?
The Eucharistic Congress will take place June 15 to 22nd, 2008. The central venue for activities will be the Centre of Fairs at Expocité, the capacity of which will be increased before 2007. The closing mass will be celebrated on the Plains of Abraham. Linguistic groups will meet in various churches in the heart of the city.
What are the main objectives of the Eucharistic Congress?
The spiritual and pastoral goal of the Congress is reached inasmuch as it is prepared for in advance. Three objectives have gone into the spiritual preparation for the congress:
- Promote Eucharistic catechesis as the Paschal mystery of Christ.
- Encourage fully active and conscious participation in the Liturgy through the hearing of the Word of God, the offering itself and the sense of brotherhood in the community.
- Take another step towards greater human solidarity through the commitment to transform the world by concrete actions as a sign of the Kingdom in the heart of today’s world.
The Ark of the New Covenant was created with these objectives in mind.
What is the Origin of the Ark?
Preparations for the IEC got underway with a Youth Summit held in May 2005. The participants at this initial mobilization of youth enjoyed a weekend of renewal and discussions. At the summit they noted how the Cross of World Youth Day had been used, and expressed the desire to produce a symbolic object that could travel the country to prepare the way for the congress.
A committee of youth from Quebec City and Montreal was mandated to develop this idea. Following its reflections, the committee recommended to the IEC Steering Committee that it consider using an original artistic work.
This artistic creation, the Ark, will expand the horizon of our understanding of the Eucharist and will serve as the springboard for a wide variety of activities related to the three main objectives of the Eucharistic Congress.
The originality of the Ark is a first in the history of International Eucharistic Congresses. The hope is that it will foster creativity in the places where it travels and will serve to bring all generations together – that it may be the impetus for an ideal opportunity to unite many people in Christian reflection to help them discover, deepen and celebrate the Eucharistic Mystery to render it in every way a gift of God for the life of the world.
Why an Ark?
The Ark: A Chest: In this case, the Ark of the New Covenant is a seat, as well as a container. It is a “seat” for the King, that is, Christ, present under the form of the Eucharistic species exposed in a monstrance. It is also a chest containing the Scriptures, the Bible, which, proclaimed in the liturgy, becomes the presence of Christ who through his word teaches the people, his Church. The ship’s hold at the base of the Ark is a place where people can put testimony of their commitment as Christians, to make the passage of the Ark as it travels from one community to the next.
A Symbolic Boat : The base of the Ark is in the form of a boat, bringing to mind Noah’s Ark (cf. Genesis 6:18-22). However, it refers more to the boat of Peter. Ever since the institution of the New Covenant, the boat has been a symbol of the Church, the people of God who are journeying together.
The New and Eternal Covenant: Its name “Ark of the New Covenant,” of Biblical origin, refers to the spiritual experience of the people of Israel and the pact they concluded with God in the time of Moses in Sinai. Since that time, Jesus signed the New Covenant with the people of the Old Covenant. The expression “New Covenant” refers in fact to the new and eternal Covenant, which came from Jesus Christ, marked by the Pascal Mystery of his death and resurrection and celebrated in the Eucharist.
Mary, Ark of the New Covenant – A Marian Title: T he title, “Ark of the Covenant” was bestowed on the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus.
What do the icons at the top of the Ark represent?
At the top of the Ark are four large icons, representing moments in the Paschal Mystery, or the Paschal Triduum:
- Last Supper
- Passion and Death of Jesus
- Vigil of Mary, Jesus’ mother
There are other smaller icons that also bring to mind various aspects of the Eucharist, the table of the New Covenant:
- Multiplication of loaves
- Wedding at Cana
- Washing of the feet
- Disciples at Emmaus