Funds raised for World Meeting of Families stand at $30 million so far

PHILADELPHIA (CNS) — Officials for the World Meeting of Families this year in Philadelphia announced Feb. 20 that $30 million in cash and in-kind donations has been raised to support the four-day event Sept. 22-25, capped by the visit of Pope Francis. The congress will welcome top speakers and participants, Catholic and non-Catholic, from across…

Canadian bishops issue synod questionnaire, will keep results private

OTTAWA, Ontario (CNS) — The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has invited dioceses to prepare for the worldwide Synod of Bishops with a set of questions on marriage and family life, but the conference said any questionnaire results will remain private. Msgr. Patrick Powers, conference general secretary, stressed that the questionnaire — slightly rearranged and…

Pope approves synod members elected by U.S. bishops, other conferences

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis formally approved the delegates to October’s synod on the family elected by 28 bishops’ conferences, including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; other conferences have yet to elect their delegates or have done so only recently. The pope approved the U.S. bishops’ election of: Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of…

Family conference looks ahead to Synod

(Vatican Radio) An international conference of movements, groups and associations on family and life is currently underway here in Rome. The meeting sponsored by the Pontifical Council for the Family is looking at the Vocation and mission of the Family in the Church and the Contemporary World  in the lead up to the Synod on…

Residents’ extra rooms needed for millions coming to Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (CNS) — Thousands of people have already registered for next year’s World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, according to the event’s organizers, so the approximately 11,000 hotel rooms in Philadelphia, Southeastern Pennsylvania, the Lehigh Valley, South Jersey and Delaware are going fast. Residents in those areas who live within 120 miles of center city…

Norbertine priest writes text of World Meeting of Families official hymn

DE PERE, Wis. (CNS) — Norbertine Father Andrew Ciferni normally tries to avoid large crowds, but he may be willing to endure them next fall in Philadelphia when Pope Francis makes his first visit to the United States. Father Ciferni wrote the text for “Sound the Bell of Holy Freedom,” the official hymn for the…

Announcing new series of talks about family, pope reviews synod

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The October extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family was not the scene of “a clash between factions, but of a debate among bishops,” a work that will continue with the 2015 general synod “for the good of families, the church and society,” Pope Francis said. Announcing a new series of…

Sacramental marriage brings grace to share God’s love, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — With the strength of the grace that comes from the sacrament of marriage, Catholic families are called to proclaim God’s love to the world, Pope Francis said. God’s love gives birth to the family, and that love must be “the center of all its human and spiritual dynamism,” the pope wrote…

Vatican sends bishops preparatory questionnaire for 2015 family synod

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — To help set the agenda for the 2015 Synod of Bishops on the family, the Vatican is sending the world’s Catholic bishops’ conferences a list of questions on a range of topics, including matters of marriage and sexuality that proved especially controversial at the 2014 family synod. Together with the final…

Tale of two synods’ emerged from Vatican, says USCCB president

BALTIMORE (CNS) — October’s extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family was just one event, but “a tale of two synods” emerged from it, according to the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Speaking to reporters Nov. 10 after the morning session of the USCCB’s annual fall general assembly in Baltimore, Archbishop Joseph…