Fifth World Meeting of Families in July : Numerous Canadians Participating

Thursday, June 29 2006

(CCCB – Ottawa)… From 1 – 9 July 2006, in Valencia, Spain, Canadian couples and families will join thousands of others from different countries to take part in the Fifth World Meeting of Families organized by the Pontifical Council for Families, and attended by Pope Benedict XVI.


Many Canadian families will attend this celebration including a delegation of 30 people from the Archdiocese of Quebec and the Diocese of Saint-Hyacinthe. Auxiliary Bishop of Quebec, Most Reverend Gilles Lemay, will accompany the group.


Two of the families representing Canada are delegated by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) and the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF): Andrée Leboeuf and her spouse, Jean-Richard Lemay, from Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures, Quebec, along with Sharron and Tom McKeever, from Oshawa, Ontario. Mrs. Lebeouf and Mrs. McKeever are both members of the Board of COLF, jointly founded by the CCCB and the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus. Its objectives are to promote respect for human life, human dignity and the essential role of the family. Canada will also be represented by Guylaine Morin and André Belzile, from Quebec, members of the Pontifical Council for Families.


Four major activities will be included as part of the Congress: the International Family Fair, the International Theological-Pastoral Congress, the Vigil with the Pope, as well as the Closing Mass, presided by the Holy Father.


The International Family Fair will be 1 – 7 July. It will provide an occasion for different family associations to present their mission, activities and projects.


From 4 – 7 July, the International Theological-Pastoral Congress will focus on themes related on families and reflect on ways to pass on the faith within families, from various aspects (social, educational, legislative, demographic, legal, bioethical, etc…) and including round-table discussions, conferences, testimonies and celebrations.


Two other congresses will also be held during the week: the first hopes to gather 1500 youth aged 16 – 25, 4 – 7 July, and the second, 5 – 6 July, will be dedicated to grandparents and their irreplaceable role within families.


The arrival of the Holy Father in Valencia, on Saturday, 8 July, will mark the beginning of two major celebrations that will end the World Meeting. The festive gathering and testimonies will be on Saturday evening, and on Sunday the Eucharistic celebration will be presided by the Holy Father.


In previous years, the International Congress was held in Rome (1994 and 2000), Rio de Janeiro (1997) and Manila (2003).


Andrée Leboeuf Sharron McKeever
Andrée Leboeuf Sharron McKeever

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