World Meeting of Families

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The Pope Arrives in Philly Saturday morning!

Posted: October 02, 2015

Got a good night's rest, grabbed a bite to eat (there was a breakfast buffet set up that the organizers weren't aware of), got on a school bus and wound through residential areas in New Jersey to catch the train (PATCO) to Philly. We went through security check and were guided throughout the terminal by very hospitable security and police personnel. Once we reached our stop, we walked through downtown Philly headed back to our conference hotel (about a mike since the downtown area has been secured for pedestrian traffic only). The excitement continues to build... The lobby was jammed with additional guests who were also getting ready to start their day. When we reached our floor,  there was another breakfast buffet awaiting us!  

Today's keynote is from Cardinal Peter Turkson, appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, who has been working with PICO and supporting its initiative for the Year of Encounter (YOE).  YOE is a series designed for parishes to enter into dialogue about those who are excluded in fully participating in society. Some areas of focus include: how our economy, immigration system, criminal justice system and racism excludes people. The first part of our day includes presentations, testimonials, and small group discussion and reflection about these very issues. We were able to secure passes to attend the Pope's immigration speech as a group (our group numbers over 300 and includes groups from around the U.S. - including Hawaii)!   Stay tuned...

 

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On board the commuter train headed to downtown Philly!

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The hotel that our summit is taking place is in the shadow of the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter & Paul, where Pope Francis celebrated Mass with clergy, religious and invited guests the morning of Saturday, Sept. 26th.  While the majority of the main floor lobby has cleared (invited guests were being ushered into the church), you can still see the Clergy vesting area on the second floor...