Mar 4, 2013 / 5:41 pm
A media centre was being set up Monday in the hometown of Canada's presumed papal contender, as the tiny community prepares for a journalistic invasion during the upcoming vote to choose the next pontiff.
With Marc Cardinal Ouellet considered among the papal front-runners, people in this northwestern Quebec village of 439 people began transforming the basement of his old church into a media room.
Ouellet was baptized and eventually ordained as a priest in La Motte's St-Luc Church, in the heart of town. Today, the building serves primarily as a community centre after years of dwindling church attendance.
Village officials expect dozens of journalists, and several satellite TV trucks, will descend on La Motte during the upcoming conclave to choose the next pontiff. The farming community is nearly 600 kilometres northwest of Montreal in the province's Abitibi region.
The village does not have a restaurant or motel so, with the help of its two full-time office employees, La Motte is taking steps to make its influx of guests feel welcome.
Workers were busy Monday in St-Luc's basement, where they opened up a wireless Internet connection, established cable TV hookups to allow journalists to follow the conclave live, and set up rows of tables and dozens of chairs.
Members of Ouellet's family, who still live in the area, are scheduled to hold a post-conclave news conference on the main floor of the building, near the altar.
They are expected to make public remarks, regardless of the vote outcome.
A date for the conclave has not yet been established by the cardinals, but an announcement is expected in the coming days.
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