Bishops urging parishes to join World Meeting of Families celebration

Parishes across Australia will soon receive kits to help them participate in the World Meeting of Families celebration with Benedict XVI being held in Spain in July.

The kits include prayers and resources as well as a personalised video message from Bishop Eugene Hurley, the Chairman of the Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life.

According to yesterday's media release from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, more than 40 people from Australia are making the pilgrimage to Valencia, Spain, which is being led by Bishop Hurley along with Professor Ron and Mrs Mavis Pirola.

The Pirolas, who have been members of the Pontifical Council for the Family since its inception 25 years ago, said the Council had become well known over the years for its initiatives in promoting and defending family life.

"The council has become a byword for the proclamation and defence of Church teachings regarding marriage, the family and the transmission of life," they said.

Looking ahead, they said that a major challenge for the Council was to express truth with compassion, especially in the area of sexuality.

They said that in his address to the General Assembly, Benedict XVI called on married couples to be counter-cultural.

"He emphasised that when married couples commit themselves to each other unconditionally, in a love relationship that is open to new life, they help society to appreciate authentic human values," they said.

Ron and Mavis said that more than one million people are expected to attend the World Meeting of Families in Valencia from 1-9 July 2006.

The theme of the gathering is "The Transmission of the Faith in the Family". Among those attending from Australia will be Genevieve and James McCaughan, parents of 10 children, from Sydney.

Ron and Mavis said that those who cannot travel to Valencia to join the celebration can still take part in the occasion through the parish kits.

"The purpose of this material is to encourage a sense of solidarity in Australian parishes with the World Meeting and to stimulate reflection on the importance of the family in passing on the faith," they said.

Parishes encouraged to take part in World Meeting of Families celebration (Australian Catholic Bishops Conference 30/5/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Fifth World Meeting of Families
Harvest Pilgrimates | World Meeting of the Holy Father with Families
Bishops' Committee for the Family and for Life (recently renamed Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life)
Letter of His Holiness Benedict XVI to the participants in the Fifth World Meeting of Families

Pope to travel to Spain for July Families meeting (CathNews 17/5/06)
Bishops announce delegates to World Meeting of Families (CathNews 24/3/06)

31 May 2006