By Anthony Barich
SYDNEY, Australia, JULY 11, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Members of the Regnum Christi movement in Australia are expected to gather for the first time as a family this weekend, days ahead of World Youth Day.
Some 400 participates are expected to attend the two-day Youth and Family Encounter in Sydney, which will end Sunday with a youth rally and a bioethics seminar. The theme of the event is “Witnesses … to the Ends of the Earth.”
The conference marks the first time Australian members of Regnum Christi have gathered since the movement’s foundation in Australia in 1983. There are 200 members of the lay movement in Australia and New Zealand, with more residing in the greater Oceania region.
Jo Grainger of Melbourne described the family encounter as a “very exciting” opportunity for the movement in Australia and its environs.
“It’s basically the first time Regnum Christi we’ve got together as a family under our charism to be inspired in faith formation,” she added.
Speakers at the event include ZENIT contributor Father John Flynn, a Legionary of Christ, who will reflect on the challenges of being a Christian witness in the modern world.
Legionary of Christ Father Anthony Bannon, who guided the foundation of Regnum Christi in the country, will speak in the evening Saturday to the entire gathering, and to the youth rally on Sunday.
Also featured will be Canberra-based Catholic educators Jonathan and Karen Doyle of Choicez Media, Australia’s largest provider of Values Based Sex Education, and Chris Meney, the director of the Marriage and Family Office for the Archdiocese of Sydney.
On Sunday Daniel diSilva of the U.S. Catholic funk band Crispin and Australian singer Gary Pinto, author of the World Youth Day theme song “Receive the Power,” will perform at the youth rally.
Regnum Christi was founded in Mexico by Father Marcial Maciel, the founder of the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ. The movement boasts of more than 70,000 youths, adults, deacons and priests in more than 30 countries.