This weekend in Mexico City, there will be a meeting led by the Pontifical Commission for Latin America and co-sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, to discuss the role and mission of the Catholic Church in North, South and Central America.
The conference will be held at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City from Nov. 16 to 19.
The conference, titled “Our Lady of Guadalupe, Star of the New Evangelization on the American Continent,” will pay special attention to the important role of Mary’s apparition at Guadalupe in the subsequent — and ongoing — evangelization of the American continent.
The event will be co-sponsored by the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, the Knights of Columbus, the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and the Instituto Superior de Estudios Guadalupanos.
Building on a similar event held last year in Rome, this conference has a special significance in light of the election of the first pope from the American hemisphere.
Inspired by Blessed John Paul II’s exhortation “Ecclesia in America” (The Church in America), which was published in the wake of the Synod for America held in 1997, the conference will include addresses by Cardinal Marc Ouellet, president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America and former primate of Canada; Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson; Msgr. Eduardo Chavez, director of the Instituto Superior de Estudios Guadalupanos; Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York; Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley; newly elected president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville; in addition to other leading members of the clergy and laity from throughout the hemisphere.
The conference will focus on the Church’s continental mission in light of Our Lady of Guadalupe’s important place as Mother of the Church in America and in the wake of the election of Pope Francis, whose impact within the region — and beyond — will be the subject of discussion.
Pope Francis will address the group via a video message on opening day, Nov. 16, following words of welcome by Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, archbishop of Mexico City, and Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the Vatican’s apostolic nuncio in Mexico.
“At Guadalupe, Mary’s message was one of love and reconciliation, which can be seen echoed in Pope Francis’ efforts to reach out to the poor and marginalized, to the fallen-away and those who have never really followed Christ,” observed Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, who will address the gathering on the Church’s New Evangelization in a talk on Sunday, Nov. 17. “Pope Francis has focused on the New Evangelization with a model that is clearly related to the American model embodied by Our Lady ofGuadalupe — a model based on loving outreach, on charity and on concern for the spiritual and physical well-being of all.”
The conference can be followed on twitter @GuadalupeEvent.