Cross-Canada Pilgrimage Counted on Knights

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5/8/2008

Pope John XXIII Assembly in Penticton, B.C., provided an honor guard for the Ark of the New Covenant during its visit to St. Ann’s Church.

Pope John XXIII Assembly in Penticton, B.C., provided an honor guard for the Ark of the New Covenant during its visit to St. Ann’s Church.

Members of Henry Maurice Assembly in Chilliwack, B.C.,process with the Ark of the New Covenant during its visit to St. Mary’s Church.

Members of Henry Maurice Assembly in Chilliwack, B.C.,process with the Ark of the New Covenant during its visit to St. Mary’s Church.

Father George Summut blesses the Ark of the New Covenant during its visit to St. Patrick’s Church in Caledonia, Ont.

Father George Summut blesses the Ark of the New Covenant during its visit to St. Patrick’s Church in Caledonia, Ont.

The Ark of the New Covenant, the symbolic centerpiece for the 49th International Eucharistic Congress  (IEC) to be held June 15-22, is on its final leg of its trip to Quebec.

It is scheduled arrive in Quebec City, site of the congress, on May 25, the solemnity of Corpus Christi.

The Knights of Columbus has pledged $1 million in support for the congress.

Since Pope Benedict XVI blessed the wooden chest decorated with icons in Rome in 2006, it has been taken to more than 65 dioceses across Canada, often by Knights of Columbus.

“The Knights of Columbus have been doing an amazing job for the past 18 months transporting the Ark through the Canadian dioceses,” said Jerry Grzadka, project manager for the Pilgrimage of the Ark of the New Covenant. “I have personally witnessed this through the past five months of working with the Ark.”

The Ark of the New Covenant has been carried throughout Canada to build awareness of the eucharistic congress and to solicit prayers for its success. At parishes, the Ark has been used for catechesis and with eucharistic adoration.

Grzadka was previously involved with the pilgrimage of the World Youth Day cross from Montreal to Toronto in 2002. The Knights of Columbus was also instrumental in that project.

The last leg of the pilgrimage started at the National Canadian Martyrs Shrine in Midland, Ont. The Ark will travel nearly 1,000 miles with stops at four other Canadian shrines before its scheduled arrival in Quebec City.

Grdzadka said the pilgrimage especially needs volunteers who can accompany the Ark – often on foot and for up to 15 to 20 miles a day — or take part in its remaining visits to parishes and at the shrines.

The last time an International Eucharistic Congress was held in Canada was in 1910 in Montreal.

An article in the October edition of the Knights’ magazine, The Columbiad, that year reported that 2,000 Knights “marched in solemn procession of the Blessed Sacrament” at the congress.