Cardinal Seán Brady, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, welcomes the announcement today by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, that His Eminence Cardinal Marc Ouellet (69) has been appointed Papal Legate for the 50th International Eucharistic Congress.  The Congress will take place in Dublin between 10 – 17 June.

Cardinal Brady said “I gladly welcome the news that Pope Benedict has appointed Cardinal Marc Quellet as Papal Legate to represent him at the 50th International Eucharistic Congress to be held in Dublin next June.   It is yet another indication of the Holy Father’s care and concern for the Catholic Church in Ireland at this time.  I attended the last international Eucharistic Congress in Quebec in 2008 as a pilgrim and Cardinal Ouellet, then Archbishop of Quebec, hosted an outstanding Congress.  Today’s announcement is a timely invitation to all of us to do our best to promote the aims of the Congress which are to increase awareness of the central place of the Eucharist in the life of the Church and to help improve our understanding of the liturgy and of its social dimension.”

The Papal Legate is the special envoy of Pope Benedict XVI.  The Papal Legate will be present throughout the Congress and his principal public roles will include presiding at the opening Mass on Sunday 10 June at the RDS and the Statio Orbis (concluding Mass) in Croke Park on Sunday 17 June next.

Before the Eucharistic Congress begins Cardinal Ouellet will also formally open and deliver the keynote address at the International Theology Symposium which takes place at Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, from 6 June until 9 June (see details below).  Earlier this year Cardinal Ouellet led the penitential liturgy during the Towards Healing Conference which took place at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in February.

Life and Ministry of Cardinal Ouellet

Cardinal Marc Ouellet PSS (Society of Saint-Sulpice) is the Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and concurrently president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America since his appointment by Pope Benedict on 30 June 2010.  Previously, he was archbishop of Quebec, Primate of Canada.  He was appointed cardinal by Blessed John Paul II on 21 October 2003.

Born on 8 June 1944 in La Motte near Amos in Abitibi, he is one of eight children born to a school principal father and a homemaker mother.  He received his primary education from 1950 to 1956 in his home parish. There he also began his secondary education (1956-1958) in order to finish them at the Berthier College (1958-1959), and undertook his college education as well as two years of philosophy at the École Normale of Amos (1959-1964), earning a Bachelor of Pedagogy degree from Laval University in 1964.  After his theological studies at the Grand séminaire de Montréal (1964-1968), where in 1968 he received a licence in theology from the University of Montreal, he was ordained priest for the Diocese of Amos on 25 May 1968 in his home parish, and appointed curate in the St-Sauveur Parish of Val d’Or (1968-1970).

After a few months of studying the Spanish language at the end of 1970, he taught philosophy at the Major Seminary of Bogotá in Colombia, directed by the Sulpicians, and decided in 1972 to join the Society of Saint Sulpice doing the Solitude at the Seminary of Philosophy in Montreal.  Then he continued his studies in Rome where he obtained a licence in philosophy from the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas in 1974, while studying German in Innsbruck, Austria during this period.  Assigned in 1974 as a member of the formation team and professor at the Major Seminary of Manizales in Colombia, in 1976 he was recalled to Canada to fulfill the same functions at the Major Seminary of Montreal. Returning to studies in 1978, he obtained in 1982 a doctorate in dogmatic theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, also continuing his studies of German in Passau. Assigned in 1982 as a member of formation team and professor of the Major Seminary of Cali, Colombia, in 1983 he became rector of the Major Seminary of Manizales, and in 1988 first consultor of the Canadian Provincial Council of Sulpicians (a position he held until 1994) as well as a member of the formation team and professor at the Major Seminary of Montreal.  He assumed the rectorship there in 1990, to pass, in 1994, to that of Saint Joseph’s Seminary in Edmonton. He also taught at Newman Theological College in 1996-1997 and was a lecturer at the John Paul II Institute in Rome. From 1995 to 2000 he was consultor of the Congregation for the Clergy, and in 1996 the consultor of the General Council of the Sulpicians.  Since 1997 he was Titular Professor of dogmatic theology at the John Paul II Institute of the Pontifical Lateran University.  In 2001 Cardinal Ouellet was consecrated a bishop and appointed secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.  In October 2008 Cardinal Ouellet was appointed the ‘relator-general’ of the 12th Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in Rome.

Cardinal Ouellet is a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Congregation for Catholic Education, the Congregation for the Clergy, the Pontifical Council for Culture, the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.  He is also a member of the Council of Cardinals for the Study of Organizational and Economic Affairs of the Holy See.  On 5 January 2011 he was appointed among the first members of the newly created Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation. On 29 January 2011, Cardinal Ouellet was appointed as a member of Secretariat of State (second section).  On 6 April 2011, he was named a member of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts by Pope Benedict.  On 7 March 2012 Cardinal Ouellet was appointed a member of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.