World Meeting of Families Day One: Set Up Day
I arrived in the City of Brotherly Love late yesterday to be greeted by images and banners of the Holy Father everywhere; in the airport, on countless banners, in stores, and restaurants. There is great excitement for everyone whether they are local residents or attendees and it’s not just about the visit of the Pope which doesn’t happen until this weekend. Right now, it is the World Meeting of Familiesthat is getting all the attention with the theme of the event being “Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive.” And you get a real sense of just how alive the Church really is as Catholics from all over the world begin to register and are very excited about the theme as well as the scheduled talks on a variety of issues facing today’s diverse Catholic family. The conference officially opens tomorrow.
If we’re talking numbers, representatives of the local convention bureau say some 14 thousand Catholics have registered to attend the event, and some five thousand media representatives have applied for credentials to cover the presentations, press conference, and of course the Pontiff’s arrival here on Saturday. It would no doubt warm Pope Francis’ heart to know that the activity surrounding the meeting here and his visit will generate between four and five hundred million dollars for the local economy; no doubt helping in the continual effort to revitalize the city that has had its share of struggles.
Stay tuned to my Facebook page and catch Catholic Connection, co-produced byAve Maria Radio and EWTN, broadcasting live from the floor of the convention center all week long from the EWTN booth. Also stay tuned to EWTN TV’s live coverage by visiting www.ewtn.com.