August 16, 2022

La Ronge Northerner

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Visit of the Pope: Very few believers in the plains

Hours before Pope Francis’ arrival, the faithful on the Plains of Abraham were becoming scarce.

• Read more: Papal Visit: Quebec is ready to welcome the Sovereign Pontiff

Some hundreds of pilgrims have taken their places through the fences, but it is much easier to get through the plains. NewspaperAround 1:45 p.m

Dozens of people took their places in front of the large stage where the Holy Father’s speech would be broadcast.

Photo QMI Agency, René Leclerc

Photo QMI Agency, René Leclerc

Just after 1:30 p.m., the Quebec City Police Service (SPVQ) noted that barriers had been put in place to accommodate the Pope’s motorcade. The Grande Allée is now closed between the streets Claire-Fontaine and Honore-Mercier.

However, the SPVQ notes that traffic is “fluid in the municipal road network”.

Grande-Alley is empty

By 2 p.m., the Grande-Allée was practically empty. Even the terraces of the restaurants, which are usually crowded on holidays, had few customers. However, it is an ideal place to watch the papal procession pass by very close.

Louise Larocque, Guy Hott, Hélène Rochon and Robert Larocque went to LaChute to see Pope Francis. They settled on the Grande-Allée with their chairs around 1:30 p.m., hoping to greet the Holy Father in his Fiat 500.

“He was the head of the church and we were eager to see him at least once in our lives,” explained Robert Larocque. The group arrived in Quebec last weekend to take advantage of the opportunity to visit the Sainte-Anne festival and see a large part of Quebec.

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A few believers on their way to the airport

Aline Cloutier and Yves Saucier from Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade

Photo by Jean-Francois Racine

Aline Cloutier and Yves Saucier from Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade

An hour before Pope Francis passed, the road to the airport was very sparsely crowded.

At most, there are about two to three hundred people per kilometer between Principal Street, which borders the airport, and the Jules-Verne intersection, further south. At this place, many of the visitors are citizens living nearby.

Photo by Jean-Francois Racine

“I went to the consecration of John Paul II in Rome. I am very religious and I hope many people will be. He is a humble and very unifying pope,” says Léopold St-Pierre.

“A pope is a pope. It’s very important to me. It’s like the baby Jesus, there’s only one,” said Aline Cloutier, who traveled from Saint-Anne-de-la-Pérade to watch the procession pass by and attend the mass in person. He would have liked to, but fear of Covid-19 and his lung cancer dampened his religious motivation.

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