Anne Lastman A Reflection “Peter,” The Holy Father, Pope Francis, without breaking the line of…
Well the world Congress of Families, Sydney, Australia, 2013 has come and gone and indeed what an amazing event it was. We know when something is amazing because on the final day there was a sense of sadness. A feeling of ending. A low feeling. A sense that we had to say goodbye to previously known friends from other nations and newly made friends also from other nations and from states within Australia.
I went to the Congress in Madrid in 2012 and it was so good that I wanted to repeat the experience however, after going to our own I definitely want to repeat it again in Russia in 2014.
The speakers were excellent each bringing an area of expertise in family issues, fatherhood, motherhood, family, its challenges, its joys and times its sorrows. The keynote speakers held the listeners enthralled, the various religious denominations mingled happily together each with the health and well being of family in mind.
In Sydney over 600 delegates over three full days listened to a authoritative speakers on family, marriage and related issues. Dr Carlson (Founder of Congress) and other international keynote speakers such as Bradford Wilcox, Janice Shaw Crouse, Steve Mosher, Patrick Fagan, Miriam Grossman, Ian Grant, Larry Jacobs, Ted Baehr, and Bob McCoskrie. Fr “Jay” Szymczak (Poland) and others.
Australian keynote speakers included His Eminence Cardinal George Pell, Bishop Peter Elliott, The Hon. John Anderson AO (former member of parliament) Ian Harper, Patrick Parkinson and others. A further large number of Australian and other nation speakers were also included in conurrent sessions, Sharon Slater, William May, Warwick Marsh, Rabbi Shimon Cowen, Peter Westmore, Pat Byrne, Paige Patterson, David Phillips, Miranda Devine, David van Gend, John Ballantyne and Bob Day.Byron & Francine Pirola, Bill Muellenburg and many many more including yours truly.
Congratulations to Babette and the late Charles Francis for the Lifetime award for their work for the family and other life issues.
The theme of this WCF was “Happy Families, Healthy Economy: A New Vision for National Prosperity and Social Progress.” Each and every speaker in one way or another showed how the well-being and health of families leads directly to the well-being of nations. Healthy, functioning men and women creating happy families make for healthy, functioning societies, while broken dysfunctional families result in volatile economies, volatile generations and countries in decline.
Attending a congress of this nature helps to make clear our need to reclaim, relearn, and renew what we know as family. It helps us to understand that the future always depends on the “now” and how the “now” is treated.
Congratulations to the organisers headed by Mrs Mary Louise Fowler and her very able colleagues for bringing together this really spectacular Sydney 2013 World Congress of Families and best of luck and best wishes to the Russian delegates who took home to Russia the banner to prepare for the next congress in 2014 in the Kremlin. Imagine! where once not so nice things came out of the Kremlin, next year the Kremlin will host World Congress of Families.
Indeed miracles do happen.
If possible please buy any of the talks which might be of interest to you. They are really worth hearing.
As a PS: The entertainment was also distinct and magnificent. Meet and greet cocktail, formal dinner overlooking dalring harbour(with Ken Duncan putting on a display of his work) the screening of Return to the Hiding Place with producer and star there, singing by Tongan youth choir, singing of Congress theme song, fashion parade (beautiful) so there was something for all.