Although a full schedule allowed him to participate only briefly in the 49th International Eucharistic Congress in Quebec City, Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien said it was important to be present to show his support.
The June gathering attracted thousands of Catholic bishops, priests, religious and laypeople to study and celebrate the sacrament of Holy Eucharist.
Archbishop O’Brien concelebrated Mass June 16 with Quebec Cardinal Marc Ouellet.
“There was a very full arena, and the people were very fervent and joyful at the same time,” said Archbishop O’Brien, who arrived in Quebec June 15 and left on June 17 to attend a meeting in Chicago related to the Pontifical North American College in Rome, which he serves as chair of the college’s board of governors.
“There were a lot of young people and families present, and it was a good reminder of the universality of the church and that the Eucharist is at the center of what we believe,” he said.
The archbishop said he is hopeful the congress will “do a lot to renew the faith in that part of Canada.”
In mid-June, the archbishop participated in the U.S. bishops’ meeting in Orlando, Fla., returning to Baltimore to participate in a June 14 reunion of youths who attended papal Masses during Pope Benedict XVI’s U.S. visit. He helped break ground on a new visitor center June 15 at St. Mary’s Spiritual Center in Baltimore.