This past Saturday, June 2, under cloudy skies, I was one among ten Montrealers who travelled to Quebec City in order to participate in the second annual Marche Chrétienne - Walk Alongside with Jesus.
We met at Mary Queen of the World Cathedral in downtown Montreal, and after the 7:30 a.m. mass, filled two cars and drove three hours to the provincial capital.
The rendez-vous location in Quebec City was appropriately The Plains of Abraham. It was here back on September 13, 1759, that the Battle of Quebec took place, pitting French forces against the English.
On this Saturday, three centuries later, a different battle was being fought. We came to defend the Christian roots of our society from the forces of laicisation.
On so we gather with the Cross as our standard.
The difference with ages ago is that music and speeches replaced the retorts of canons and muskets.
At about 2:15 p.m. the crowd assembled behind the twelve-foot high cross that would lead our way out onto Grande Allée avenue, towards the provincial legislative building.
At about 2:30 p.m., the 650 or so people who had braved this day began the walk. Along the way, I spoke with peoples from different parts of the province - Gatineau, Victoriaville, Laval, Trois-Rivières, la Beauce, ...
Throughout the walk the skies remained overcast, yet no rain fell. Below, we are on Grande Allée avenue, looking towards the Plains of Abraham, about mid-way along the 1.6 km trek.
We walked five to six abreast, speaking among ourselves or greeting on-lookers.
Arriving at the provincial legislative building, the skies finally opened. Despite this, music was played and speeches given. Finally, the proceedings ended at around 4:30 p.m., when our group retired to a comfortable restaurant before returning to Montreal.