Up Front and Personal

Diocese Prepares for World Family Meeting

By Theodore Musco

You probably already know that Pope Francis will be visiting the United States in September. Besides visiting Washington, D.C., and New York, the pope will visit Philadelphia for activities and Mass on Sept. 26 and 27, to mark the end of the Eighth World Meeting of Families Congress.

The theme of the gathering is “Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive.” From Tuesday, Sept. 22, through Friday, Sept. 25, hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world will gather in Center City, Pa., to pray, study and share family experiences. The seven previous international family meetings give us reassurance that when families come together on such a large scale, faith is strengthened and renewed.

The Diocesan School of Evangelization has been planning for this meeting for several months already. Plans are in place for a one-day pilgrimage to Philadelphia on Wednesday, Sept. 23. Coach buses will leave from four locations in the diocese.

We have already held two preparatory presentations at St. John’s University (SJU), led by the SJU faculty, and the final one is scheduled for May 12 at 7 p.m. Following the World Meeting, a Diocesan Family Day will be held on Saturday, Oct. 3, at Xaverian H.S., Bay Ridge. This day of prayer, worship, music, theatrical performances, conversation, and community-building activities will be the first of a series of gatherings to follow up on the themes presented in Philadelphia.

We are pleased to announce that ValLimar Jensen, a college/university professor, a leader of worship and prayer, and a workshop presenter at conferences across the U.S., will lead the day. Our hope is that families from all over Brooklyn and Queens will join us. For information regarding diocesan offerings and event registration, please go to www.dioceseofbrooklyn.org and click on “Get Involved.”

The official Eighth World Meeting of Families Congress website is www.worldmeeting2015.org. Information will also be available through your local parish and school/academy and from the diocesan School of Evangelization.

In December of 2014, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio and the Diocese of Brooklyn’s School of Evangelization introduced a four-year Evangelization and Renewal Springboard Plan called “The Joy of Encountering Christ: The Family’s Hope.” This Eighth World Meeting of Families Congress is the first major event of this plan.

Please make every effort to participate in diocesan and parish/school/academy activities and encourage others to do the same.

Theodore Musco is the executive director of the Diocese’s School of Evangelization.