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home : news : pastoral care of families December 11, 2017

World Meeting of Families includes special focus on and activities for youth

With 17,500 pilgrims from across the world gathering in Philadelphia for a conference on why families are important, the youngest members of families haven’t been forgotten.

A talk from a former volleyball player turned religious sister, opportunities to serve those in developing nations by assembling care packages, even a chance to go Wii bowling with bishops – children and teenagers attending the World Meeting of Families were able to deepen their faith and have fun while doing it.

Some of the activities that attendees were able to take part in included:

• World Mission Rosaries, where attendees could make a Rosary to take home and another that would be sent to children in need around the world

• Creating a time capsule to help remember the inspiration of the World Meeting of Families for the future

• A sacramental scavenger hunt, roaming the exhibit halls looking for sacramental treasures such as scapulars, medals and holy cards

• Creating a Pope Puppet to use to welcome the Holy Father to Philadelphia and learn more about the role and vestments of the Pope

• Catechism Quest, a trivia competition which tested knowledge of the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church

• Playing Wii sports and shooting basketballs with bishops, priests, and seminarians attending the meeting, and a dance party with the religious sisters in attendance

Speakers at the Youth Congress included:

• Steve Angrisano, the master of ceremonies, who has been featured at seven World Youth Days

• Chris Stefanick, the founder of Real Life Catholic and a syndicated columnist

• Jason and Crystalina Evert, who have spoken to more than one million people about the importance of chastity

• Jesse Manibusan, a singer, songwriter and founder of Over the Fence Ministries

• Array of Hope, including the CostaCrew and the Bosco Boys, two young seminarians who also rap

• Brian Butler, executive director of Dumb Ox Ministries and co-author of “Theology of the Body for Teens”

• Sister Miriam James Heidland, Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, a collegiate volleyball player who turned down an athletic scholarship to follow her vocation.

More information about the Youth Congress of the World Meeting of Families, including a free download of the official theme song of the gathering, “Love Is What We Need,” by Steve Angrisano, is available at

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