Catholic Charities sponsoring families to attend World Meeting in Philadelphia

Catholic Charities sponsoring families to attend World Meeting in Philadelphia

This is the logo for the eighth World Meeting of Families. The international gathering, inaugurated by Blessed John Paul II in 1994, will be held in late September in 2015 in Philadelphia. (CNS/courtesy of Archdiocese of Philadelphia) (Feb. 26, 2013)

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Camden is sponsoring individuals and families from each of the six counties served by the Diocese of Camden to attend the World Meeting of Families’ four-day congress.

The congress, held from Tuesday, Sept. 22 through Friday, Sep. 25, includes sessions for both adults and youth on the theme “Love Is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive.”

In accordance with its mission to serve and strengthen families in the Diocese of Camden, Catholic Charities is accepting applications from families who could benefit from the meeting, but find the cost prohibitive. Their goal is to award tickets to one family from each of the six southern New Jersey counties served by the Diocese of Camden.

“We’ve spent the last year reflecting on the family and its central role in our work as Catholic Charities,” said Kevin Hickey, executive director. “As we end our celebration of the Year of the Family, it seemed appropriate that we help families in our diocese participate in this historic spiritual encounter with other families from around the country and the world coming together to discuss the challenges and joys of family life.”

Held every three years and sponsored by the Holy See’s Pontifical Council for the Family, the World Meeting of Families is the world’s largest Catholic gathering of families.

“The Adult Congress includes daily Mass, devotions, keynote addresses and multiple breakout sessions. Engaging, internationally-known speakers will offer practical tips for families on how to improve family life and strengthen their relationship with God,” according to the World Meeting of Families website. “Families will have the opportunity to interact with others about the joys and challenges in their lives, while learning new strategies for a richer life.”

A complete listing of speakers and topics is available at

The Youth Congress occurs simultaneously with the Adult Congress. Young people ages 6-17 who are registered with families attending the Adult Congress are admitted to the Youth Congress. A schedule of Youth Congress Activities is also available on the World Meeting of Families website.

Catholic Charities welcomes individuals as well as couples to apply. Families with children old enough to attend the youth congress may also be awarded youth congress tickets for their child or children.

Recipients will be chosen based on various factors including: written expression of a desire to attend the Congress and an understanding of its purpose; ability to attend the entirety of the congress, or a significant portion; and financial need. The deadline for submissions is July 31.

Please note that tickets to the World Meeting of Families are not tickets to see Pope Francis or attend papal events. The pope will not be in attendance at the congress, but will arrive in Philadelphia on the Saturday following the congress to finish the World Meeting of Families with the Festival of Families and Papal Mass. Both of the papal events are open to the public and do not require tickets.

Applications can filled out and submitted online or printed and are available in English and Spanish at

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