March 20, 2007


The ARK OF THE NEW COVENANT in the Archdiocese of Ottawa
from March 28th to April 4th 2007

The Ark of the New Covenant will be in the Archdiocese of Ottawa from March 28th to April 4th. It will allow the faithful to expand the horizon of their understanding of the Eucharist and will serve as a springboard for a wide variety of activities related to the main objectives of the International Eucharistic Congress to be held in Quebec City in June 2022. The ark will visit all the dioceses of Canada en route to the Congress.


March 29 -visit to the following English schools: John Paul II Elementary School, St. Michael Elementary School and Lester B. Pearson High School
-7:30 p.m. Holy Hour presided by His Grace Archbishop Marcel Gervais, Archbishop of Ottawa, at Notre Dame Cathedral (corner of Sussex and St. Patricks)
March 30th -activities at Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Parish and at St.Thomas Aquinas High School in Russell
March 31st -activities at Good Shepherd Parish, Blackburn Hamlet for the youth of the diocese; entitled SHOUT (starts at 7:00 p.m.). Please see for more information.
April 1st activities with the youth of the diocese (French) at Très-Sainte-Trinité Parish in Rockland
April 2nd -activities in English schools: St. Anne Elementary School, St. Luke (Barrhaven) Elementary School and Sacred Heart High School
April 3rd -activities at Collège catholique Samuel-Genest (Carson Rd, Ottawa)

Symbolism of the Ark

The Ark of the Covenant (i.e., chest) was kept in a large tent and served both as a seat and a container. The Ark of the Covenant, also known as the Ark of Witness, is mentioned more than 200 times in the Old Testament. It was at one and the same time the throne of the God of Israel and a reliquary. The reliquary, or chest of gold, contained the proof of the Covenant that God had made with his people, the two tables of the Law that Moses received from God at Mount Sinai.

The Ark of the New Covenant is a visible sign travelling from diocese to diocese across Canada to encourage participation in the international Eucharistic Congress. The ancient Israelites, the people of God, carried the Ark on their march. The Ark of the New Covenant will be carried in processions from various places of religious significance, e.g. from one diocese to another or from one church to another. It is intended as a symbol to accompany the march of the church, the people of God. It too is an Ark of Witness.

The base of the Ark is in the form of a boat. It brings to mind Noahs Ark, the vessel that God commanded Noah to build. The term New Covenant refers to the New and Everlasting Covenant made possible by the coming of Jesus and marked by the Paschal Mystery of his death and resurrection, as celebrated in the Eucharist.

The Ark: A Work of Art

It is the work of Mr. Alain Rioux, carpenter and sculptor, a resident of LAncienne-Lorette, Quebec. It is sculpted out of five different types of wood. The use of more than one type of wood symbolizes the universality of the Church and indicates that the Good News of the Gospel is for all nations, which are called to be one in Jesus Christ. Eight icons, drawn by Romanian monks, are incorporated into the Ark. They represent the Last Supper, the passion and death of Jesus, the vigil of Mary, the resurrection of Jesus, the multiplication of the loaves, the wedding at Cana, the washing of the feet and the disciples of Emmaus.

Source: Gilles Ouellette, Director of Communications, 738-5025, ext. 238

          Diocesan Activities: Fr. Doris Laplante (613-738-5025, ext. 241)
          Youth Ministry: Ted Hurley (613-738-5025, ext. 231)
          Pastorale Jeunesse: Manon Chevalier (613-738-5025, ext. 219)