Families invited to World Meeting this fall

World-Meeting-of-Families-2015-Logo-wBy Marnie McAllister, Record Editor

The Archdiocese of Louisville is organizing a pilgrimage Sept. 22 to 27 to attend the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.

The trip will include a week of workshops and presentations on the theme “Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive.”

And at the end of the week, pilgrims will have the opportunity to attend events with Pope Francis Sept. 26 and 27 during his visit to the United States.

The World Meeting of Families, held every three years, was established in 1994 by St. John Paul II as a way “to look at strengthening the sacred bonds of the family unit across the globe,” according to the event website, www.worldmeeting2015.org.

Sue Brodfehrer, the director of the archdiocese’s Office of Family Ministries, is organizing the Louisville pilgrimage. She sees the meeting as an opportunity for families to realize their role in the church.

“Marriage and family have been at the core of passing on our faith tradition,” she said. “Pope Francis has called for this meeting of the families. He has reminded us of the responsibility of the family in our faith tradition and in our society.”

Brodfehrer said she encourages people considering the trip to ask themselves, “Do I feel called to do this? And if I do, why?

And pray about it and then move on it.”

“It’s an opportunity to recognize our struggles and celebrate our strengths,” she added.

The event will feature six keynote speakers. They are:

  • Father Robert Barron of the popular Word on Fire Catholic Ministries and host of the documentary CATHOLICISM.
    Cardinal Seán O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston.
  • Helen Alvaré, a professor of law at George Mason University School of Law and consultant for both the Pontifical Council of the Laity and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
  • Drs. Juan Francisco de la Guardia Brin and Gabriela N. de la Guardia, physicians from Panama.
  • Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Archbishop of Manila.
  • Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum” and Archbishop Emeritus of Conakry, Guinea.
    The meeting also will include about 15 breakout sessions on a variety of topics, programs for children ages 6 to 17 and evening events with family entertainment.

The meeting also will include about 15 breakout sessions on a variety of topics, programs for children ages 6 to 17 and evening events with family entertainment.

Organizers expect 8,000 to 12,000 people to attend the conference and more than a million people to attend the papal events.

The pilgrimage organized by the Archdiocese of Louisville will include round-trip transportation by “deluxe motor coach” and six nights in the Sonesta Hotel in downtown Philadelphia (one mile from the meeting site).

The cost is $2,225 for one person; $2,400 for a couple and $2,750 for a family of four.

The registration deadline is Feb. 27 and an $800 deposit is due then.

For more information about the pilgrimage, visit www.archlou.org/worldmeeting or call Brodfehrer at 471-2127.

Pilgrims must register for the World Meeting of Families separately and there are two different registration packages from which to choose. Adult packages range from $250 to $325. Registration for children ranges from $125 to $199.

For more information about registering for the meeting, visit www.worldmeeting2015.org.

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