World Meetings - Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF)

Every three years since 1997, Catholic families from around the globe have been invited to a World Meeting of Families. The goal of the World Meetings is simple: to strengthen and promote the sacred bonds of family and the vital role that the family plays as the fundamental building block of society. Regardless of their specific cultural backgrounds, participants in the World Meetings consistently describe their experiences as “life changing”. Perhaps nowhere is the universality and vitality of the Church more evident than at the World Meeting of Families. Several great cities have had the privilege of welcoming World Meeting pilgrims: Rome (1994 and 2000); Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1997); Manila, Philippines (2003); Valencia, Spain (2006); Mexico City, Mexico (2009) and Milan, Italy (2012) and, most recently, Philadelphia (2015).

For the Pontifical Council for the Family, which sponsors the World Meeting, the event provides a global forum for the promotion of the Catholic Church’s vision of life and family. Since its establishment by Saint John Paul II in 1981, the Council has been entrusted with the mission of promoting the Church’s pastoral ministry to the family. The Pontifical Council for the Family "sustains and coordinates initiatives in defense of human life in all stages of its existence, from conception to natural death” and “coordinates pastoral efforts related to the issue of responsible procreation.” Through every means at its disposal, the Council upholds the rights and dignity of the family both in the Church and in civil society, working for a deeper understanding of the Church’s teaching and encouraging studies on the spirituality of marriage and the family.