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 Vilnius, February 25–27: Conference “Family in XXI century. Challenges and Tendencies”

The conference “Family in XXI century. Challenges and Tendencies” (2005 02 25-27) took place in the Pastoral center of Vilnius Archdiocese and gathered ca. 200 workers and volunteers of Lithuanian Family centers. It was the traditional annual meeting providing formation and fostering community of 52 Lithuanian Family centers. The volunteer team provided simultaneous program for the children.

The program included reports of diocesan Family centers, presentation of the National Association of Parents, established in 2004, speeches of politicians and representatives of the Government. Dr. A. Stasiulevičiűtë talked about the transmission of faith to young generation. Dr. G. Vaitođka analyzed the criteria of family happiness.

The meeting was under the patronage of Cardinal Audrys Bačkis, the President of Lithuanian Bishops’ Conference (LBC) and the President of the Family council of LBC. Cardinal Bačkis shared his insights on the mission of Family centers. Cardinal Bačkis emphasized integral vision of evangelization combined with family pastoral. He also insisted on institutional cooperation with catechetical and youth pastoral centers. He emphasized the need of formation for those who realize marriage preparation courses. He also signalized the need of methodical materials and handbooks for particular programs. Cardinal encouraged pastoral programs for divorced persons.

The guest speaker Mario Zivkovic, director of Family Center in Zagreb, spoke about the common sense arguments defending the Christian vision of the family life. The Croatian speaker appealed Lithuanian families to reverse the negative demographic tendencies. In 1991 Mr Zivkovic, while being the member of Pontifical Council for the Family, helped to start first pro-life initiatives and family centers in Lithuania.

The conference “Family in XXI century. Challenges and Tendencies” was financially supported by German Catholic Solidarity Action “Renovabis”.

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