World Meeting of Families will include archdiocesan travelers
Among the 2 million people expected in September at Pope Francis’ papal Mass at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia will be travelers from the Archdiocese of Omaha and the Diocese of Des Moines.
Already two buses – one for an extended pilgrimage of 12 days and another for a six-day tour – are booked through the dioceses’ tour arrangements with Legacy Tour and Travel of Fort Dodge, Iowa. And it’s early, said Bob Oliver, Legacy Tour’s sales manager.
"I think as more information becomes available and more people become aware of the event there will be many more bookings," Oliver said. "We’ll add buses as necessary."
The Catholic Voice also is offering a trip – five days, by airplane – through Pentecost Tours Inc. of Batesville, Ind.
All three trips include tours of Philadelphia, nearby Hershey and Lancaster, and the Sept. 27 closing Mass with Pope Francis. The dioceses’ extended pilgrimage includes keynote speakers and breakout sessions at the Sept. 22-25 World Meeting of Families.
Keynote addresses by cardinals and other church leaders will highlight the international gathering, which was established by St. John Paul II in 1994 and meets every three years in cities around the globe. Talks include "Living as the Image of God for Joy and Love," "Creating the Future: the Fertility of Christian Love," "A Gift from God – the Meaning of Human Sexuality," and "The Family – a Home for the Wounded Heart."
It is a historic event – the first World Meeting held in the United States, Pope Francis’ first visit to this country and an opportunity for people to see in a new way the richness of the church, said Valerie Conzett, director of the archdiocese’s Family Life Office.
"It changes people’s lives, when they see how global the church is," Conzett said. "Faith-filled people lining up at confessionals, celebrating Mass and each other. You feel part of this church that is so much bigger than we often imagine."
Not everyone can attend the World Meeting, but they can pray for the gathering, follow the events on the news and attend activities parishes are planning centered on the family, Conzett said.
People can learn more about the World Meeting, the archdiocese’s travel plans and archdiocesan and parish-by-parish events on the family in the coming months at archomaha.org/familyevents2015. The World Meeting website is worldmeeting2015.org.
WANT TO GO?
World Meeting of Families
» Sponsored by Archdiocese of Omaha and Diocese of Des Moines.
A Journey of Faith Extended Pilgrimage Tour
Cost: $2,259 to $3,079 per person, depending on numbers per room.
Family Express Tour
Adult Fares: $949 to $1,199 per person, depending on numbers per room.
Children’s Fares: $799 per person, no charge for up to age 2 if not occupying own seat.
Contact: Legacy Tour and Travel, 877-776-1700 or P.O. Box 911, Fort Dodge, Iowa, 50501.
» Offered through the Catholic Voice.
Cost: Register before June 15, $1,999 per person, after June 15, $2,099.