.- More than 1,500 people — children preparing for the sacrament of confirmation, and their families — crammed into Montreal’s Mary Queen of the World Cathedral March 25 for a visit with the bishop.
The pews were filled to capacity; parents stood in the aisles; and children sat on the floor in front of the altar for a one-hour question-and-answer period with Bishop Anthony Mancini, vicar-general of the Archdiocese of Montreal, reported the Catholic Times.
“Meeting with young followers of Jesus Christ and their parents was a great experience,” the bishop told the Times. “It gave them the opportunity to be in downtown Montreal, and to visit the very large cathedral. For some, it was their first visit to such a large church.”
For the third consecutive year, children and their families were invited for a self-guided tour of the cathedral, from 1:30 p.m. to 4. Families worked together on a treasure hunt activity, which “allowed them to discover the hidden treasures and intricacies of the cathedral,” the bishop said.
About 15 children lined up behind a microphone to ask the bishop questions about his ministry, the cathedral and the faith. The bishop was dressed in his episcopal vestments, including his mitre, for the occasion.
“They asked questions that were both interesting and, at times, difficult to answer,” the bishop told the Times. For instance, one child asked why the bishop was not married, and one girl asked why she couldn’t become a bishop.
After the session, some parents gathered around the bishop to thank him and to ask some questions as well. Some families lingered in prayer and appreciation after the activities ended.
“It was a great event for the children, their parents and families, and for me,” the bishop said.
There are about 2,500 children being confirmed in the English region of the archdiocese this year.