The 2008 Eucharistic Congress underway

The 2008 Eucharistic Congress opened its doors to Catholic pilgrims from around the world on Sunday.

The Congress is offering special programs open to both teenagers 12 to 17 and families this coming weekend, from June 20 to 22.

Youth can enjoy workshops that will help develop their understanding of the saints as well as the recognition of God in their own lives and how He can be shared with others.

Families will be treated to a day of renewal on Saturday with Father Antoine Thomas of the Community of Saint John and other guests.

The Congress’s closing ceremonies and mass will take place at 9 a.m. Sunday, June 22 on the Plains of Abraham.

The theme of the Congress is “The Eucharist, Gift of God for the Life of the World.” In a statement on the Congress’s website, the Archbishop of Quebec, Cardinal Marc Ouellett explains, “The Eucharist ... testifies to the gift of love which the Son gives of himself for all humanity, a gift of love for the Father and for us which seals the New Covenant.”

The Congress, in conjunction with the anniversary of the founding of Quebec, celebrates the arrival of Catholicism in Quebec in 1615.