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. Each World Meeting of Families has a theme that energizes and enlivens the event while adding great depth of meaning to our understanding of families. The theme of the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 is, “Love Is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive,” emphasizing the impact of the love and life of families on our society.
Three of our own Mercy families embarked on a journey last week not only to attend this dynamic conference, there was an added bonus of a very special guest who just happened to be in town at the time, Pope Francis. The Hermanns, the Lairds, and the Romeros, with kids in tow, arrived in Philadelphia on Monday, September 21 via planes, trains, and automobiles to hear reassuring messages that the family is the source of light in the darkness. Nationally renowned speakers, Dr. Greg Popcak and his wife Lisa advised young families, “the key to evangelization is wasting time, i.e. playing with your kids.” An echo to the words of Pope Francis who said to an August 12 audience, “we must never be slaves to work but rather its master.” The Holy Father went on to explain in the same address that the different rhythms of family life should shift and focus on celebration, work, and prayer.
During the World Meeting of Families, the Popcaks went on to encourage realistic views of family life. “Family life is not always easy; we are teaching our children that love is in fact demanding but through loving each other in a family, we learn how to love others in the world.”
The ultimate message of the conference – Love truly is our Mission. Let us learn how to give of ourselves for the sake of others, loving and caring for the weak and learning discipline and mercy.