Becoming a marriage-building parish: 8 strategies for success

Local marriage and family life director offers practical ideas at world meeting By Joe Towalski The Visitor Strengthening marriage and family life in today’s secular culture is no easy task, says Chris Codden, director of the Office of Marriage and Family in the Diocese of St. Cloud. But parishes that are willing to consider multiple…

Adventure to see pope leads to deeper realization about church

By Joe Towalski Editor/The Visitor It’s hard to match the excitement of seeing the pope in person and up close. He is, after all, the vicar of Christ on earth, a leader beloved by billions who serves as the conscience of humankind. Who else can claim that? So, when you get the chance, you don’t…

Serve, care for each other, pope tells families at closing Mass

By Dennis Sadowski Catholic News Service Pope Francis urged the hundreds of thousands of people gathered for the closing Mass of the World Meeting of Families to serve and care for each other as freely as God loves the human family. The pope called upon the faithful to embrace signs that the Holy Spirit can…

Local pilgrims see pope, listen to spontaneous talk on families

For Mary Jo Ruhland of Assumption Parish in Eden Valley, the four-hour wait on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia to catch a fleeting glimpse of the popemobile as it went by Sept. 26, was definitely worth it. “It is the steadfastness that people have in their hearts to wait for that moment when he…

Understanding marriage can lead to healthier society, speakers assert

PHILADELPHIA (CNS) — The first symbol of God’s creative love is when he said, “Let there be light,” because light encourages good and darkness encourages evil, Cardinal Robert Sarah said at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. Light brings order out of darkness and love out of chaos, he said in a Sept. 23…

Attendees of World Meeting of Families help break Guinness world record

PHILADELPHIA (CNS) — As confetti rained down and cheers filled the air on the final day of the World Meeting of Families Sept. 25, a family from Argentina applied brushstrokes to a mural depicting Pope Francis — pushing the number of contributors to the paint-by-numbers mural past 2,263 and into the Guinness Book of World…

Church leaders affirm commitment to family as world meeting kicks off

PHILADELPHIA (CNS) — Known as the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia will be “the city of family love” and the “world capital of families” during the four-day World Meeting of Families, said Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family. The largest-ever World Meeting of Families opened in Philadelphia Sept. 22. More…