Duhawks join 1.5 million to welcome pope to Philadelphia

Duhawks join 1.5 million to welcome pope to Philadelphia

The ecumenical event World Meeting of Families (WMOF), was held in Philadelphia from Tuesday, Sept. 22, through Friday, Sept. 25, and consisted of world-renowned speakers, interactive activities, and discussions. Ten Loras College staff and students flew to join 750,000 families from around the world to celebrate the meaning of love.

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The opening mass at the World Meeting of Families Photo by Catherine Tooze

The event’s theme was “Love is our Mission: The Family Fully Alive” and some break-out sessions included: “Saintly Couples: Models on the Road to Sanctity,” “Called Together: Interfaith Marriage,” “The Complementarity of the Sexes: an Obstacle or a Gift?,” “No Strings Attached: Responding to the “Hook-Up” Culture” and “Loving on the Edge: Healing the Hurts of Damaged Relationships.” All of the speakers incorporated what it means to love into each of their talks from loving family members to our enemies.
Following the conference, 1.5 million people convened for the Festivals of Families in which Pope Francis partook and celebrated two Masses for the people that were in attendance.

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Loras students and chaperons pose for a picture at the World Meeting of Families Convention in Philadelphia. Photo by Haley Roberts

“I really enjoyed the atmosphere. Everyone was in a communal place and they were willing to talk about what it means to be a family and to love,” reflected sophomore Catherine Tooze.
“Give every person the look of love they crave,” declared Pope Francis.

Catholicism is built on the founddation of love: Love God, love others and love yourself. This meeting helped rejuvenate and ignite a fire within the people attending, no matter their religion or beliefs, to spread mercy throughout the world by choosing to love in every word and action.

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