Urbi et Orbi at Congress
Reflecting one of this week's Congress' more earthy emphases, an hourlong conference on "The Eucharist and the Environment":
The prelatial catechesis cited by multiple pilgrims as the winner of the week -- from Bishop Luis Antonio Tagle of Imus in the Philippines:
And, of course, what would a Eucharistic Congress be without a procession for 25,000 through the city streets? (NB: Commentary en Français)
On a related note, this Eucharistic Congress has seen its largest US contingent in attendance since 1994's gathering in Guadalajara.
While that's in large part due to the event's proximity to these shores, the gradual shrinking of the IEC over the last two decades took place in direct correlation to the rise of World Youth Day, which replaced the Congress as the global church's "Olympic event" thanks to the assured presence and direct patronage of John Paul II and, now, Benedict XVI. (To use one measuring stick, this year's comparably low Stateside delegation to next month's festivities in Sydney will, on its own, still exceed the entire cadre of 12,000 or so pilgrims in Quebec this week by a quarter; as of this weekend, WYD Central in Oz is reporting a US registration figure of over 15,000.)
Even so, the largest American group gone north -- from New Hampshire's statewide diocese of Manchester -- has given over part of its website to allow everyone at home to make a virtual pilgrimage.
With WYD less than a month away, the initiative's something the delegations headed Down Under might want to keep in mind.