The Holy See
back up



The Holy Father, John Paul II, at the Sunday Angelus on the Feast of the Holy Family on December 29, 1996, announced the Second World Meeting with Families with these words: "ÂÂ…the Second World Meeting with Families is being prepared which will take place in Rio de Janeiro from October 4-5, 1997. It will be a great feast for the families of Latin America and the whole world which will renew the message launched at the First Meeting that took place here in Rome on the occasion of the International Year of the Family".

We would now like to offer some more detailed information about the World Meeting with Families.

Preparation for such an important event will require involving families and workers in pastoral care of the family on the diocesan level, in parishes as well as in various family and pro-life groups, associations and movements for real and proper awareness building regarding the urgency of a new evangelization of the wonderful yet dramatic reality of the family.

In this process of preparation, the Pontifical Council for the Family has prepared Pastoral Aids, i.e., catechesis for assimilation of the major themes regarding married and family life. These Aids should be distributed on all levels, among all those who are concerned about a better quality of family life. This material has been sent to the Episcopal Conferences asking them to reproduce it locally.

All families are invited to take part in this preparation, including those who will not be able to go to Rio de Janeiro. This is also an important occasion for evangelizing families in the light of the great Jubilee of the Year 2000. The families who will go to Brazil will thus be the expression of their whole local Christian community which will join spiritually, and through the communications media, in the Rio celebrations.

We would also like to inform you that the Meeting will be broadcast via satellite in Worldvision.


The World Meeting will consist of two parts:(1)

1. The Festive Meeting with the Holy Father with testimonies from families. This will take place in Maracana Stadium in the afternoon of Saturday, October 4, 1997. Families from the different continents and cultural contexts will present experiences of Christian life together with artistic performances.

2. The Eucharist Celebration(2) on Sunday morning, October 5, 1997, in Aterro do Flamengo, presided by the Holy Father, with the participation of all the families convened in Rio, will constitute the central and culminating moment of the Meeting.

International Theological and Pastoral Congress

From October 1-3, 1997, an International Theological and Pastoral Congress will take place at the Rio Center, an important Convention Center where the United Nations World Conference on the Environment and Development took place in 1992. Married couples involved in pastoral care of the family who are delegated by the Episcopal Conferences and family and pro-life Associations and Movements are invited to the Congress. Some Bishops, priests, men and women religious, professors of moral theology and pastoral care, seminarians and persons working in areas connected with pastoral care of the family (doctors, lawyers, psychologists, etc.) will also participate.

In this regard, each Episcopal Conference is asked to designate a married couple to represent it as participants in the Congress. Family and pro-life Associations and Movements are requested to do the same. Only the delegates confirmed by the Pontifical Council for the Family will take part in the Congress. The number of participants should be approximately 1,800.


Organizational Secretariat in the Vatican

At the Pontifical Council for the Family, a Secretariat has been set up for the organization of the Second World Meeting of the Holy Father with Families:

Pontifical Council for the Family
General Secretariat for the Second World Meeting of the Holy Father with Families
00120 Vatican City
Phone: (39 6) 698 87254; (39 6) 698 87243
Fax: (39 6) 698 87278; (39 6) 698 87272

Organizational Secretariat in Rio de Janeiro

In the offices of the Archdiocesan Curia of Rio de Janeiro, a special Secretariat has been set up for local organization. Therefore, with regard to technical and practical organization of pilgrimages of families to Rio for the World Meeting from October 4-5, 1997 (reservations, accommodations, local transportation), and for practical information concerning the Theological and Pastoral Congress, we ask you to place contact this Secretariat directly:

Rua Benjamin Constant, 23-3º andar - Glória
CEP 20241-150 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil
Tel: (55 21) 532 7300; (55 21) 292-3132 - Extensions 484 or 345
Fax: (55 21) 533-7200


In an enthusiastic response to the Holy Father's invitation, it is very important for the Episcopal Conferences to promote the greatest participation possible by families in the World Meeting in Rio by organizing pilgrimages. In the Dioceses, Movements and Associations it would be desirable to form teams for promoting and organizing not only the voyage to Rio, but also the preparatory catechesis.

The Archdiocese of Rio is preparing hospitality with local families who will offer accommodations in their homes to families coming as pilgrims. This hospitality, which is a sign of Christian unity and solidarity, is also providential because in this way families will not have to pay for lodging.

Therefore, those organizing pilgrimages are asked to please inform the organizational Secretariat in Rio about the number of families and of their members using the attached form.

This form, which can be reproduced, should be sent by fax or mail before May 15, 1997 to the organizational Secretariat in Rio. It can also be sent to the electronic address that appears on the principal page of the Home Page by choosing the heading, "Informaçoes gerais" and then "inscriçoes".

Lastly, it would be good for the Churches to organize liturgical celebrations for reflection on the family for those who will not be able to take part in the Rio Meeting. These celebrations might take place in the cathedral, presided by the Bishop of the diocese, on the same days of the Rio de Janeiro meeting.

February 1997

(1) Participants in the World Meeting with the Holy Father are suggested to bring a transistor radio with earphone to follow the Pope's message and the testimonies in their own languages.

(2) If priests wish to concelebrate, they are asked to please bring their camise and white stole.


Rio de Janeiro, October 4-5, 1997


(Please send before May 15th by fax , mail or E-mail to the Executive Secretariat in Rio de Janeiro)


( ) Episcopal Conference ( ) Diocese ( ) Movement ( ) Other

____________________ ________ ___________ _____________

NAME of the director or person in charge: _______________________________________________

Address __________________________ City __________________ Country __________________

Phone ( )___________________ Fax ( ) ____________________ E-mail ___________________


Total number __________________: Children (under 12) _____________ Adults ________________

Date of arrival in Rio de Janeiro: _________________________________

Date of departure from Rio de Janeiro: _____________________________


( ) With a family ( ) Religious Institute ( ) First class Hotel ( ) Second class Hotel


( ) Full board ( ) Half board ( ) Bed and Breakfast


a) Arrival and departure planned by: ( ) Plane ( ) Ship ( ) Own bus

b) Request for private bus during stay in Rio de Janeiro: ( ) Yes ( ) No

Please send this form to:

Coordination, Organization Commission and Executive Secretariat
Rua Benjamin Constant, 23 - 3º andar - Glória
CEP 20241 - 150 RIO DE JANEIRO - RJ - Brazil
Fax: (55 - 21) 5337200 Phone: (55 - 21) 5327300

N.B.: The above services are assured on the basis of availability at the moment of reservation.