14 - 15 October
The Third International Meeting of the Holy Father with Families takes place within the Jubilee Year as a special "jubilee of families" on Saturday and Sunday, October 14 and 15 in Rome. The theme of the event is Children, Springtime of the Family and Society. The Holy Father chose this theme mindful of the holy family of Nazareth which welcomed the Child Jesus and from which "a ray of hope also shines on the reality of families today".
The two principal moments of this Jubilee Meeting of Families, which will take place in St. Peter's Square, will be on Saturday afternoon, October 14 a festive gathering with testimonies, songs and prayers from families around the world with the Pope and on Sunday morning, October 15 the solemn celebration of the Eucharist, with the Holy Father presiding, and the celebration of marriage for twelve couples from twelve countries chosen from the five continents.
In addition to these two events, there will be a chance for pilgrims to gather by language group on Saturday morning, October 14 for a prayer and penitential service. The English language group will meet in the Basilica of St. Mary Major.
Transportation and Lodging:
You may make your own arrangements or you could travel in a group to Rome. Group travel is usually priced as a package consisting of air and ground transportation, accomodations, some meals, sightseeing, and miscellaneous costs. A tour company which is arranging group travel for the Jubilee of Families is:
25 South Service Road, Suite 240
Jericho, NY 11753-1065
Trips will depart from New York on October 12 and return on October 18. A typical price is $1545 per person. Departure from other cities is an additional charge. The company has packages priced at various levels and can accomodate different needs.
If you want to make your own arrangements for accomodations in Rome, you should contact a special agency set up to locate housing (hotels, religious houses, youth hostels).
Tel: 011-39-06-696-221; Fax: 011-39-06-699-24853
Participation in the events of October 14 and 15 is free. However, you must notify the Pontifical Council for the Family of your intent to participate. There is a form to complete for this purpose. It is available on the internet at www.vatican.va under Jubilee events: families. If you don't have internet access, you can get a copy from the U.S. Catholic Bishops Committee on Marriage and Family by calling 202-541-3040 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Pontifical Council has prepared a reflection and discussion guide on twelve topics related to Children, Springtime of the Family and Society in English, Spanish, French, German and Portuguese. Texts can be found on the internet at www.vatican.va under Jubilee events: families and downloaded for publication. A single copy in English or Spanish can also be requested from the U.S. Catholic Bishops Committee on Marriage and Family by calling 202-541-3040 or e-mail email@example.com.
For more information: Richard McCord -- 202-541-3040/3043 or firstname.lastname@example.org
International Theological and Pastoral Congress
This two-day event, October 12 and 13, precedes the Jubilee Meeting of Families. It is intended for those people, laity and ordained, in roles of leadership and ministries. The Bishops Conference, dioceses, and apostolic movements and associations can send delegates. The theme of the congress is the same as the jubilee meeting, Children, Springtime of the Family and Society. It begins on Thursday, October 12 at 8:30 AM and concludes at 6:30 PM. The same schedule is followed on Friday, October 13. Location is the Paul VI Hall in Vatican City.
Information about registration for the congress and a copy of the preliminary program can be obtained from the U.S. Bishops Committee on Marriage and Family Life by calling 202-541-3040 or e-mail at email@example.com.