Published July 5, 2007
Keynote speakers Jeb and Columba Bush will highlight the 11th Youth and Family Encounter that will be held July 24-29 at the Georgia World Congress Center.
The former Florida governor and first lady will speak Saturday evening, July 28, at the conference, which is organized by priests of the Legionaries of Christ and members of Regnum Christi, an apostolic movement of laity, deacons and priests established by the order. The event is open to the public.
The Legionaries’ superior general, Father Alvaro Corcuera, LC, who is also director general of Regnum Christi, will also speak that evening.
“I always find my spiritual batteries recharged after the Youth and Family Encounter,” said Father Scott Reilly, LC, the Atlanta-based territorial director for the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi. “It’s a powerful combination of witness to the faith and inspiration to serve the Lord in a spirit of charity fostered by people who are there simply because they love Christ.”
The YFE was last held in Atlanta in October 1999, and some 12,000 people from throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Latin America and Europe attended.
Several independent Catholic schools in North Georgia are under the spiritual direction of the order and the Atlanta territorial outreach includes a variety of ordained, consecrated and lay apostolates.
Events begin on July 24 with the Friendship Tournament, a sports competition over several days for teams of boys or girls from schools and clubs competing in swimming, volleyball, soccer and basketball in three age divisions from 10 to 15.
The Encounter begins Thursday evening, July 26, with music by Sean Forrest and a performance by the Boehmers, the “world’s largest family of jugglers.” Father Reilly will offer the welcoming address, while Father Owen Kearns, LC, editor-in-chief and publisher of the National Catholic Register newspaper and Faith & Family magazine, will provide the keynote address.
The daytime program on July 27 features a Kids Encounter for children under 10, youth programs for those 10 and up, and a variety of tracks for adults on issues including bioethics, strengthening the family, and spirituality.
The YFE will also offer workshops in Spanish.
Friday evening features a youth rally, while a separate program for adults will include talks by Father John Bartunek, LC, author of “Inside the Passion,” Father Kevin Lixey, LC, director of the Vatican’s new Office for Church and Sport, and Dr. Gladys Sweeney, founding dean of the Institute for the Psychological Sciences, and musical performances by recording artists Kitty Cleveland and Joel Stein.
The morning program on Saturday, July 28, offers a choice of a marriage renewal retreat, a mass media track, a film festival, and insights on the new Sportsleader program for coaches. Saturday afternoon will include a screening of the film “Bella,” winner of the People’s Choice Award at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival. The film’s actors and producers will offer their insights on making this subtly pro-life production.
The Saturday evening program will feature the talk by the Bushes, a Pure Fashion show, which is an outreach for young women emphasizing style and modesty, and the address by Father Corcuera.
The morning of Sunday, July 29, there will be special vocational presentations and an address by FOX News commentator Father Jonathan Morris, LC, before the closing Mass.
Family registration is $395. Individual registration is $145 for those 19 and older and $95 for youth ages 3-18.
To register or for more information visit www.yfe.org. A special one-day pass for Saturday, July 28, is available for individuals, couples and families. To register for this pass, e-mail Denise Peabody at email@example.com.