Vatican's Sixth World Meeting of Families - Mexico

January 14-18, 2009

The Vatican’s Sixth World Meeting of Families (Encuentro Mundial de las Familias) convened in Mexico City today with over 10,000 participants.  Hispanic Outreach Director Fr. Victor Salomon is leading the Priests for Life delegation at the conference which includes Fr. Jim Heyd, Bob Lalonde, Michele Velasco, and PFL Canada Director Fr. Tom Lynch.

Upon arrival, the Priests for Life team immediately began meetings with pro-life leaders, bishops, and cardinals from around the world, especially Latin America.  PFL’s exhibit booth has already attracted a steady stream of visitors interested in PFL, Rachel’s Vineyard, and Silent No More Awareness Campaign materials in Spanish and English, and was even honored by a visit from Mexico’s First Lady.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

On the second day of the Vatican's Sixth World Meeting of Families in Mexico City, Priests for Life International Director Bob Lalonde met with bishops from Latin America and Africa while PFL Canada National Director Fr. Tom Lynch gave a workshop on threats to the Church.  At the exhibit hall, youth from neighboring schools surrounded PFL's booth to get "I say Yes to Life" smiley-face signs.  PFL also hosted a meeting of pro-life leaders from around the world, including most members of the Pontifical Council for the Family.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The third day of the Vatican's VI World Meeting of Families in Mexico City started with Michele Velasco, PFL's International Outreach Director's address to the full assembly on behalf of Fr. Pavone.  Introduced by Maronite Bishop Bechara Ray of Lebanon, Michele launched into a vibrant description of the evils of abortion and PFL's vigorous defense of life throughout the world (see full text of her talk). Michele was oft interrupted by applause and concluded by inviting the thousands of participants and television viewers to “Please, will you join me and say “Yes to Life!”?  Si a la vida!  Si a la vida!  Michele later had a special luncheon with several cardinals who praised her talk and invited her to speak in their countries. (see pictures).

The rest of the team's day was also filled by non stop meetings with cardinals and bishops (see pictures).

Saturday, January 17, 2009

On the fourth day of the conference, participants were treated to a festive event at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe where thousands gathered to hear talks and enjoy family music.  Our team took the opportunity to pray for all our supporters and their families at the shrine and later distributed PFL and Rachel's Vineyard brochures and Yes to Life (Si a la vida) posters to the thousands that were gathered.

What a tremendous impact the smiley face signs had had on the crowd.  People were fighting proudly displaying them for the cameras and the crowd. Clearly latin americans sympathize with this important cause. The smiley face poster is brilliant and message on both sides is the clever way to go for great pictures.

Click here for more information.

Click here for Fr. Frank Pavone's remarks to the conference.

See some pictures below and click here for an additional gallery of images.

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