Manila: fourth world meeting of families

 The Fourth World Meeting of Families, promoted by the Pontifical Council for the Family, starts today in Manila, the Philippines, on the theme chosen by Pope John Paul: 'The Christian Family: Good News for the Third Millennium.' The Pope's special envoy to the five-day encounter is Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, council president. The three previous meetings took place in 1994 in Rome, 1997 in Rio de Janeiro and again in Rome during the Jubilee Year 2000. A communique from the pontifical council states that massive numbers of participants are expected at the encounter, whose logistics are being taken care of by the archdiocese of Manila. Delegates from 75 countries have registered: The largest number is expected to come from the Philippines. January 22-24 will be dedicated to an International Pastoral Theological Congress on the theme of the world encounter. A separate congress for children and young people, expected to draw 1,000 people, will be held at the same time. On Saturday, Eucharistic celebrations will be held for diverse language groups in 16 churches in Manila. That same afternoon there will be the encounter of witnessing and testimonials and the festival of families, including a live television linkup with Pope John Paul in Rome, who will address the families present in Manila. Cardinal Lopez Trujillo will preside at the concluding Eucharistic celebration on Sunday. Source: Vatican Information Service