Celebration of Family to Be Dedicated to Pope

ROME, APRIL 14, 2005 (Zenit.org).- «Familyfest 2005,» which will be celebrated in 77 countries this Saturday, will be dedicated to John Paul II, «the Pope of the Family.»

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The event, presented to the press Wednesday at the headquarters of Italian Radio and Television (RAI), will have the Piazza del Capitolio in Rome as its focus.

The initiative was prepared some time ago by New Families, an association that arose within the Focolare Movement, with the help of other associations, and civil and religious institutions.

After the Pope’s death, the idea arose to dedicate this celebration to the model of the family he proposed, according to organizers.

About 150,000 participants are expected for Familyfest 2005. Satellite connections will link participants in Tokyo; Tehran, Iran; Algiers, Algeria; São Paulo, Brazil; Manila, Philippines; Johannesburg, South Africa; Krasnojarsk, Siberia; Toronto; and Zagreb, Croatia.

The program will be broadcast in 37 countries.

«The Familyfest wishes to make visible a type of family that believes in values and becomes a basic cell of a renewed society,» explained Maria Zanzucchi, an organizer with New Families.

The meeting will include testimonies about engagement, marriage, and the adoption of children with difficulties.

Chiara Lubich, founder of the Focolarini, will give the final address.

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