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IEC Day Three: St. Hubert and St. Mike, pray for us!

Mary Rose Bacani Valenti

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

There’s close to 20 of us from Salt + Light at the 49th International Eucharistic Congress in Quebec. We all have our different responsibilities, so we are scattered around. It’s at dinner time, which is around 8 or 9 pm by the time we’re done, that we’re all together in one place.
Imagine how difficult it is booking a time that we can keep for a restaurant that can take a group our size! I thought I’d blog about our meal times together during the Eucharistic Congress, because hey, isn’t partaking of the Eucharist about breaking bread together? We certainly indulge in community life during dinner!
Our first dinner together on Saturday night was in old Quebec. The technical crew left for Quebec last Wednesday, June 11th, to get everything set up. The rest of us took the train and got to Quebec this past Saturday, June 14th. We were ready for dinner in a great restaurant in old Quebec. Fr. Tom treated us to ice-cream, too. A good start!
I don’t really know of any St. Hubert, but we went to St. Hubert’s for dinner on Sunday night, June 15th. Kris Dmytrenko led the blessing, and at the end, he says, “St. Hubert, pray for us!” We talked about our crazy and chaotic day. For the live commentaries in the morning, we had Matthew Harrison doing live commentaries in English, Sebastien Lacroix in French, and Pedro Guevara Mann in Spanish. All in the same place and with lots of commotion around. So we all deserved a break.
The next night, Monday, June 16th, we went to Mike’s Restaurant. I jokingly said at the end of our blessing, “St. Mike, pray for us!” A group of 4 ladies from Thunder Bay came over to us, saying they recognize some of us on Salt + Light. One lady came to me and said she prays the Rosary with me every morning!!! (For those of you who tune in every morning for when I and a group of Salt + Lighters pray the Rosary in the Holy Land, you know what she means…) I teased her for missing out on our Rosary appointment that morning. “Well,” she says, “I had good reasons. I’m at the Eucharistic Congress!” She also promised to send Salt + Light a donation on her birthday in December. In exchange, I promised to send her a Rosary!
Tonight, I am beat and am going to bed early. We’ll be covering events till late at night every night for the rest of this Congress, and I am going to treasure every precious hour of sleep I have left.
Before I go, a few words about the shoot I did today for tomorrow’s Zoom program in English. In the Pavillon Francois de Laval, there is a Youth Space. It is just fabulous and so colourful. Debra Violette, Director of Youth Space, told me that the Congress’ vision of Youth Space was to give youth a venue to express their artistic and spiritual interests. What a fun place it is! There’s a stage where they tape a talk show live before an audience, there’s a cybernet café, and my favourite is the Parlour. From far away, it sort of looks like a castle in the middle of the floor, and through the windows you can see couches where young people gather around and listen to members of religious communities share their stories in the morning, and where they listen to Cardinals give witness talks in the evening. There’s lots of colour, music, and youthful chatter everywhere. I really enjoyed my time there, and I was also serenaded by members of Youth Service, young people who have been at the Congress for at least three weeks now, helping out in whatever way they can. Wonderful!
I’m looking forward to bringing you more stories about the Congress. Stay tuned to Zoom!
Over and out -- St. Hubert and St. Mike, pray for us!

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