.- In anticipation of their meeting with Pope Benedict on June 3rd in St. Peter’s Square, leaders and members of the various ecclesial movements will gather for a conference May 31-June 2 at Rocca di Papa, Italy to discuss the theme, “The beauty of being Christians and the joy of communicating it.”
Organized by the Pontifical Council for the Laity, the conference will bring together over 300 leaders and members of the new ecclesial movements to discuss the theme that was inspired by the words of Pope Benedict XVI in his inaugural homily on April 24, 2005: “There is nothing more beautiful than being reached, than being surprised by the Gospel, by Christ. There is nothing more beautiful than knowing him and communicating his friendship to others.”
Organizers said the conference would provide an opportunity to reflect on the very nature of the Christian experience and how it is lived out in the different ecclesial movements and associations.
Among those expected to speak at the conference include Christoph Cardinal Schönborn of Vienna, Alba Sgariglia of Focolare, Kiko Argüello of the Neocatechumenal Way, Giancarlo Cesana of Communion and Liberation, Patti Mansfied of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, and Father Laurent Fabre of the Chemin Neuf Community,
Others scheduled to speak at the conference include Marc Cardinal Ouellet of Quebec, who will address the conference on “The beauty of being Christian,” Vittorio Messori, who will talk on witnessing to the beauty of Christ in contemporary society, and Luis Fernando Figari of the Christian Life Movement, who will speak on bringing the faith to young people.
The event will conclude with a Mass celebrated by Archbishop Josef Clemens, secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity.
More information on the conference can be found at: http://www.laici.org