This post was submitted by Marie and Andre Brunet of Winnipeg. They will be providing blogs from Milan during the World Meeting of Families.
In a matter of days, my husband André and I will be leaving on a pilgrimage - one of many we have embarked on in our lives. Long before we were married, I was a pilgrim at World Youth Day in Paris, France. Even before that, André had journeyed with others to World Youth Day in Denver. Together, one month after our engagement, we experienced World Youth Day in Toronto. After we were married we somehow no longer considered ourselves “youth pilgrims”. Maybe it was our unwillingness to sleep on another school floor, or to follow a group through a grueling schedule of attempting to make it to as many events as possible without collapsing from heat exhaustion…or perhaps it was that we felt called to other types of pilgrimages…
In 2008, we marked our fifth wedding anniversary with a pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi. This was a personal pilgrimage – just the two of us, praying together, and relishing in the experience of discovering more intimately the history of our Church and the saints. As we prayed for others, we also prayed especially for God to grace us with the gift of children.
In the years that have followed this last pilgrimage, we have still struggled with infertility, however I do believe that one of the fruits of our prayers (and many others’ prayers!) has been the grace we have received to recognize that even without children, we are a family. We can be fruitful in many other ways, be it in being actively involved in our parish within music ministry, or being able to be there for friends and family.
This next pilgrimage that we are undertaking is to the 7th
World Meeting of Families in Milan which will be held from May 30th
to June 3rd
, with the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. I am very excited to take part in this experience, which will be a new one for us, but is actually not a new event. Pope John Paul II instituted the World Meeting of Families in 1994, during the Year of the Family, and it takes place every three years. For me, having understood that World Youth Day and the World Meeting of Families were the two major events that Blessed John Paul II initiated is so meaningful. I think it is clear that JPII had a heart for youth, but also for married couples and families. He gifted us with his teachings on the Theology of the Body and reminded us of our call to holiness in our vocations.
For me, the 7th
World Meeting of Families means an opportunity to learn more about how to live out this call to holiness in our married life through all the struggles and joys. The theme of this year's meeting will help: "The Family: Work and Celebration." I also feel that it will be an opportunity for André and I to be strengthened in our marriage, our vocation, through the experiences of the meetings in which we will take part and through the words that we will hear from the Holy Father.
I know that the fruits of this event are meant to share, and I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to share this experience with all of you. I hope and pray that many couples and families will be inspired in their vocations as spouses and parents and that they will be strengthened as well through this World Meeting of Families!
Check back here during the 7th
World Meeting of Families in Milan for more blogs...and share it with others. Also, visit www.family2012.com
, the official website for the event. Lastly, join us in praying the official prayer for the 7th
World Meeting of Families found here: http://www.family2012.com/static/19865-preghiera_en.pdf
Marie and André Brunet
Photo Courtesy of Marie Brunet