Pastor's Corner

2015 07-26 The 2015 World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia

Written by:

From our pastor, Father Neil Herlihy
As you may know, Pope Francis has plans to visit the United States in September. He will be visiting Washington, D. C., New York City, and Philadelphia. He will be meeting with the President of the United States and will address the Congress of the United States and the United Nations General Assembly. He will also meet with certain cardinals and bishops and will celebrate Mass for the World Meeting of Families.
Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, welcomed the news of the Pope’s visit. He stated, “The presence of Pope Francis at the World Meeting of Families in our country will be a joyful moment for millions of Catholics and people of goodwill.” It is a blessing to hear the Pope himself announce the much anticipated news.
The World Meeting of Families is the largest gathering of Catholic families in the world. It was started in Rome by Pope Saint John Paul II in 1994 to strengthen the sacred bonds of the family. It occurs every three years. This year it will be held in Philadelphia in September. It will be one of several conventions that will serve as a forum to evaluate issues to be discussed at the ordinary Synod of bishops on the family which will occur in October.
Vatican Radio reported that in a homily during his first year as Pope, the Holy Father challenged families to pray together and to live lives of Christian witness. He spoke of the Christian family as an institution that prays, keeps faith, and experiences joy. He reflected on the joy of living as a Christian family. He stated, “The family which experiences the joy of faith communicates it naturally.” He added, “That family is the salt of the earth and the light of the world, it is the leaven of society.” It is anticipated that he will express similar sentiments during his visit to the United States.
The following World Meeting of Families Prayer reflects the call for family unity and fidelity:

God and Father of us all, in Jesus, your Son and our Savior,
you have made us your sons and daughters in the family of the Church.
May your grace and love help our families in every part of the world
be united to one another in fidelity to the Gospel.
May the example of the Holy Family, with the aid of your Holy Spirit,
guide all families, especially those most troubled,
to be homes of communion and prayer and to always seek your truth and live in your love.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, pray for us!

We are invited to pray for the strengthening of the family unit as we wait in joyful anticipation for the visit of Pope Francis.

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