WASHINGTON (September 27, 2000) -- Bishop Anthony J. O'Connell of Palm Beach, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops'
Committee on Marriage and Family Life, will lead a group of thirty-six to represent the bishops at a special jubilee meeting of the Holy Father with families on October 14-15 in Rome. In addition to this delegation there will be several hundred other U.S. participants at the event, according to Mr. Richard McCord, who staffs the Marriage and Family Life Committee along with Mrs. Sheila Garcia. Both will travel to the meeting with their spouses.
The bishops' group consists of married couples who lead national family life associations, such as the Christian Family Movement (CFM), or who work in diocesan family life and pro-life offices. Members also include those who work with young people, engaged couples, and separated or divorced persons. Other participants in the jubilee meeting have made plans to come on their own or are members of a diocesan group or a national association, like the Apostolate for Family Consecration, headquarted in Bloomingdale, Ohio.
The theme of the meeting is "Children, Springtime of the Family and Society."
"In a year which marks our entrance into a new millennium, it is important and fitting to celebrate the gift of children and to reflect on what kind of a future we are preparing for them," said Bishop O'Connell.
The meeting program features language-based prayer services in the major basilicas of Rome, a festive gathering of witness talks, songs, prayers and an address by the Holy Father in St. Peter's Square, and concludes with Mass concelebrated by the Pope and bishops of the world on Sunday, October 15.
Prior to the jubilee meeting the Pontifical Council for the Family will sponsor a Pastoral and Theological Congress for leaders in family and pro-life ministries on October 11-13. Twenty-nine members of the U.S. bishops' group, including Bishop O'Connell, will participate in the congress.