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Thousands Answer Pope Francis' Call to Be a 'Church on the Streets' During Annual Cultural Festival

NEW YORK, Jan. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The 2014 New York Encounter, a three-day public cultural festival featuring panel discussions, artistic performances, and exhibits, will take place January 17-19 at the Hammerstein Ballroom of the Manhattan Center (311 West 34th street). Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, said the event "will help to promote a society of truth and love." Organized by members of the Catholic lay ecclesial movement Communion and Liberation since 2008, the goal of the New York Encounter is to witness to the flourishing of new life generated by faith.

The theme of the 2014 New York Encounter, From "I" to "We": The Time of the Person. The Origins of a People, was praised by Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan, when he said "Your focus on the nature of the human person, and the flourishing of the human person in belonging to a people, is very much in keeping with Pope Francis' exhortation that, 'it is vitally important for the Church today to go forth and preach the Gospel to all […] The joy of the Gospel is for all people: no one can be excluded.'"

The diverse array of presentations will feature speakers from all walks of life: artists, scientists, business managers, educators, lawyers, and philosophers. Highlights include:

  • Saturday, January 18, 2014, at 10:00am Hoping Against Hope: An eyewitness account by Fr. Samir Khalil Samir of the current suffering and challenges facing Christians in the Middle East and their role in overcoming hatred and division. Fr. Samir is Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Saint Joseph, Beirut.
  • Saturday, January 18, 2014, at 9:00pm An evening of traditional folk songs performed by choirs from  Italy, Nigeria, the Philippines, Poland, and the Ukraine.
  • Sunday, January 19, 2014, at 11:00am "Go Out, Head for the Periphery": A conversation with Sean Cardinal O'Malley, Archbishop of  Boston, on Pope Francis' provocative exhortations to the Church and the world.
  • Sunday,  January 19, 2:00pm  Abraham: The Birth of the "I," the Birth of a People: A Jewish and Catholic perspective on the correlation between belonging and individual identity, with David Flatto, Associate Professor of Law, Religion, and History at Penn State Law, and Fr. Richard Veras, author and pastor.
  • Sunday, January 19, 2014, at 5:00pm From "I" to "We": The Time of the Person. The Origins of a People: A dialogue between Fr. Peter Cameron, O.P., Editor-in-Chief of Magnificat, and Fr. Julián Carrón, President of  the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, on understanding the human person.

For a full program of events visit www.newyorkencounter.org

Featured exhibits:

  • The Face of Jesus, a journey through the miraculous portraits of Christ, especially the Veil of Manoppello.
  • Humanity, the Strangest Thing in the Cosmos, an exploration of Walker Percy's fascination with humanity.

"When we began this event five years ago, we wanted to  shed the light of faith on to every aspect of human reality," said Maurizio Maniscalco, President of New York Encounter. "Our goal was to provide a forum where people could share and discover expressions of the human need for truth, beauty, and justice.  We believe that the festival has become just such a place."

All events are open to the public. Credentialed media are welcome. For interviews with speakers or organizers, contact the New York Encounter Press Office at: [email protected]  or (920) 541-7872

SOURCE New York Encounter

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