UPDATE!The Catholic Register is carrying my story on the petition.
Here's your opportunity to make your voice heard if you want Pope Benedict XVI to come to Quebec City for the 2008 International Eucharistic Congress next June.
This event, which coincides with the founding of Quebec City 400 years ago, could be a watershed moment sparking a revival that could spread not only through Quebec but also through the rest of North America, as Quebec is the cradle of evangelization of the whole continent.
Former Quebec Justice Minister Marc Bellemare has started a petition that he hopes Cardinal Marc Ouellet will bring with him when he goes to meet with Benedict at the end of this month.
You can sign it electronically via this website: www.pape2008.com
You can also click on a button to download the petition so you can bring it to your parish. At the bottom of each page, there is information on where to send the filled-out petitions.
If you have trouble with the fact that the petition and website are in French-only, Suzanne Fortin of Big Blue Wave
has provided a translation.
The petition says:
JE SOUHAITE LA VENUE DU PAPE BENOÎT XVI À QUÉBEC EN JUIN 2008, À L'OCCASION DU 49e CONGRÈS EUCHARISTIQUE INTERNATIONAL.
Translated: I wish for Pope Benedict XVI To come to Quebec in June 2008 during the 49th International Eucharistic Congress.
Courriel: Email address
Sign it now. The time is short.
And....even if you are not Catholic....you might want to consider signing this.
In July 2006, I interviewed Ron and Fran Parker, who founded the National House of Prayer.
This is part of what I wrote back then for Catholic papers:
OTTAWA (CCN)—In the summer of 2005, graffiti adorned the stone front of the former convent for Les Soeurs de la Sagesse (Sisters of Wisdom) in Ottawa and a few of its windows were broken. It had been vacant for three years.
Built in the 1920s as a rectory for priests, it had been turned into a convent where, in the 1970s, some of the sisters became involved in the charismatic renewal and mentored those who needed a Catholic framework for their new spiritual experiences.
Time passed, the sisters grew older and the Ottawa archdiocese eventually sold the building to a developer. But zoning regulations and limited parking prevented the company from turning the imposing stone structure into condos. The former convent went up for sale again with a $1.8 million asking price.
Rob Parker , a former Baptist minister, and his wife Fran discovered the building and put an offer on it last summer, even though they had little money of their own.
By the fall of 2005, through a strange set of circumstances and odd coincidences some might describe as miraculous, the Parkers were able to buy the building for $900,000.
They call it the National House of Prayer. With the help of small and large ministry partners who help with the mortgage and operating costs, the building sports a new roof, restoration is underway inside and out, and the National House of Prayer is already housing and training teams from across Canada that are committed to praying for political leaders and for Christian revival.
For Rob, the building has come full circle. “They had a passion for Jesus, these nuns, and reaching out for the Gospel,” he said in an interview. “It already was a house of prayer.”
Rob believes that a Canada is on the threshold of a Christian revival. He said he and others sense “it’s coming from the Catholic Church. In Quebec, even.” He has noticed the passion for Christ among the younger generation in the Catholic Church.
Also, when I interviewed well-known evangelical pastor Dr. Neil Anderson last summer, he told me he was reading the Pope's latest book Jesus of Nazareth.Here's an excerpt:
How does he like it?
“Good!” he said, in a telephone interview from his home in Nashville, Tenn., where he is promoting the 15th anniversary re-release of The Bondage Breaker, a book that has sold more than 1.2 million copies worldwide. He also has a new book out, Restored: Experience Life with Jesus.
Anderson said any evangelical would find the pope’s book “very good.”
“He’s very conservative,” he said. “It’s interesting to see what impact he is going to have.”
He also had no objections to the pope recent liturgical reforms, even though his most of his readership may not come from liturgical traditions. For Anderson, throwing out some of these liturgies may be part of the problem.
“We’ve dummied down the church so much,” he said, noting everywhere he goes, he finds people who can remember saying the Nicene Creed every Sunday years ago. “Now almost nobody is.”
“That should be the fountain of our faith,” he said. “The deity of Christ is core Christianity to me. And yet somehow or another we just walked away from it. I think we’re taking a toll for that as a church internationally.”
Labels: Pope Benedict XVI, the Eucharist