Today, the World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia 2015 (WMOF) and Mercy Vocational High School unveiled the commemorative Mercy Prayer Cross designed and constructed for the World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia 2015 Youth Congress.
The Mercy Prayer Cross stands ten feet high with a width of four and half feet. It was handcrafted by Mercy Vocational High School's Carpentry Teacher, Steve Hove, and carpentry students and finished with white paint to complete the beautiful design. Originally designed by the Venerable Catherine McAuley, Founder of the Sisters of Mercy, the contemporary version of the Mercy Cross forms a cross-within-a-cross, symbolizing dedication to the work of God and service to others through the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.
During the World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia 2015 Youth Congress, participants will join together to write notes of love and petition to Jesus on colorful pieces of paper, which will then be adhered to the sides of the cross, creating an ever-growing testament to the virtues of love and the power of prayer.
"We are excited and very grateful that Mercy Vocational High School took it upon themselves to dedicate their time and energy into creating this beautiful Mercy Prayer Cross, a daily focal point of the Youth Congress that will help stimulate thoughtful discussions around prayer and the importance of family in our lives," said Donna Crilley Farrell, Executive Director of the World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia 2015. "In keeping with the Sisters of Mercy mission of living the Gospel in word and action to promote service to others, the commemorative cross will serve as a lasting symbol of the Youth Congress' positive impact on our next generation of world leaders."
The World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia 2015 Youth Congress occurs simultaneously with the Adult Congress within the Pennsylvania Convention Center (PACC). The Youth Congress has a universal design and is accessible to all young people ages 6 to 17, who are registered and attending with their family. The Youth Congress is an interactive program designed around building, creating, playing, listening, serving and embracing the Mission of Love that brings Families Fully Alive.
"Inspired by the theme of World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia 2015, Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive,' our Building Trades staff and students joined together to handcraft and paint the Mercy Prayer Cross as we excitedly await the start of the Youth Congress and historic visit of Pope Francis to Philadelphia," said Sister Rosemary Herron, President of Mercy Vocational High School. "The cross has a strong Catechesis Connection, virtues of love...is a lifelong project which builds upon habits of prayer' (#67). I am grateful that we have had the opportunity to create this centerpiece of prayer, joining together with pilgrims from around the world to celebrate love and family."
Co-sponsored by the Holy See's Pontifical Council for the Family and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the World Meeting of Families is a triennial global event that seeks to strengthen the sacred bonds of family across the globe and highlight its intrinsic value to the good of society. This international gathering will welcome Pope Francis to the United States for the first time in his Papacy. Being held in the United States for the first time ever, the official theme for the 2015 World Meeting of Families is "Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive."
For more information regarding the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, visit www.WorldMeeting2015.org.
For more information regarding The Holy See's Pontifical Council for the Family, which co-sponsors the World Meeting of Families, visit http://www.familiam.org/famiglia_eng/00002554_HOME_ENG.html.
You can also engage the World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia on Facebook (World Meeting of Families 2015) (Encuentro Mundial de las Familias - Filadelfia 2015), Twitter (@WMF2015) (@WMF2015ES) and Instagram (WMF2015).
About World Meetings of Families
Beginning with 1994, The Year of the Family, the Pontifical Council for the Family has been responsible for organizing the World Meetings of Families in Rome (1994); Rio de Janeiro (1997); Rome (2000); Manila (2003); Valencia (2006); Mexico City (2009); Milan (2012); and now, Philadelphia (2015). Since its inception by Saint John Paul II, the World Meeting of Families has sought to strengthen the sacred bonds of family across the globe.
About Mercy Vocational High School
Within a 21st century learning environment, we provide a Catholic education and a comprehensive, academic, career and technical school experience which prepares students for the workforce and/or post-secondary education. In the Mercy tradition, we live the Gospel in word and action and promote service to others. The Mercy Vocational High School graduate is a highly competent, compassionate, contributing member of the global community.