WASHINGTON (March 1, 1999) -- Registration booklets for the largest meeting for justice in the history of the Church in the United States have been distributed nationwide.
The meeting, titled "Open the Doors to Christ: A National Catholic Gathering for Jubilee Justice," will take place July 15-18 in Los Angeles.
More than 60 national Catholic groups will sponsor the event which will feature several noted speakers. They include
- Anti-death penalty activist Sister Helen Prejean
- Nobel Peace Prize-winner Bishop Carlos Felipe Ximenes Belo of East Timor
- McArthur grantee Father J. Bryan Hehir
- Veteran actor Carroll O'Connor
- PBS and CNN commentator Mark Shields.
Organizations planning the meeting include Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Relief Services, Conference of Major Superiors of Men/Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, National Black Catholic Congress, National Council of Catholic Women, National Conference of Catholic Bishops' Secretariat for the Third Millennium and Jubilee Year 2000, National Organization of Catechists for Hispanics, Pax Christi and several units of the U.S. Catholic Conference, including the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, Department of Social Development and World Peace, Department of Education and Migration and Refugee Services.
In a letter in the 24-page registration booklet Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles, Honorary Chairman of the gathering, urged participation in "this momentous convening of Church leadership."
"This event promises to be a significant and meaningful opportunity to lift up in a very public way the Catholic Church's rich social tradition and teaching that is embodied each day in your work and in the work of those with whom you share your ministry," he said.
"In declaring 1999 the Year of Charity, Pope John Paul II has made it clear that a commitment to justice and peace is an integral condition for the preparation and celebration of the Jubilee."
Co-chairs of the event, Annette Kane, Executive Director of the National Council of Catholic Women, and Father Robert Vitillo, Executive Director of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, wrote that the meeting is a response to the Pope John Paul's call for Catholic to prepare for the Jubilee Year 2000.
"We will do this by highlighting the good work being done in the Church, by seeking a deeper understanding of jubilee spirituality and Catholic social teaching, by sharing and learning new skills, and by pledging ourselves to carry the work of charity, justice, and peace into the new millennium."
Persons seeking copies of the registration booklet can contact Rich Fowler at (202) 541-3195. Information on the meeting also can be found at www.nccbuscc.org/jubileejustice.