ICCFM 9th World Assembly/13th General Assembly * July 28, 2004 - August 1, 2004
"Family...Artisans of An Evolving Society" * Santa Clara University * Santa Clara, CA, USA
  Materials Download

"Family...Artisans of An Evolving Society" is the theme for the ICCFM 9th World Assembly/13th General Assembly. The ICCFM World Assembly will use the Cardijn methodology of OBSERVE-JUDGE-ACT to discern the role of married couples as authentic partners and co-creators with God in a constantly evolving society. It will focus on the true meaning of the Christian marriage relationship and its responsibility for addressing the challenges of a contemporary society being transformed in a post-modern age. Specifically, the assembly will reaffirm the value of marriage and the Christian family in the critical examination and redirection of society's shift in a technological era.

The participants in the World Assembly will Observe by hearing speakers who will present the facts and issues related to the theme. There will be:

  1. a presentation on the historical and philosophical analysis of the work and writings of Cardinal Joseph Cardijn
  2. speakers on marriage theology and family sociology and
  3. an exposure experience that will provide both the authentic partnership models of marriage and family life and examples of dysfunctional family situations that negatively affect family life in the post-modern age

Opportunities will be provided for the participants to present facts related to their country. Small discussion groups at the Assembly will also provide input. The Assembly will then Judge the Observes and prepare Action plans for their own country or organization.

As a participant in the Assembly, you are asked to prepare in advance your observations on the status, trends and issues regarding marriage and family life in your country. Specifically:

  • In your country, what are the cultural-specific reasons that people marry?
  • What is the role of marriage and family life within the culture of your country?
  • What is the impact of Christian marriage on your culture?
  • What impact do government, church and culture have on marriage and family life in your country?
  • What do you think marriage and family life will be like in the future?
  • What is the true meaning of Christian marriage?

In addition to the membership Observes and the expert input, the Observe process will also include an exposure experience in the San Francisco area. Participants will have the opportunity to Observe the effects of dysfunctional family life. Other exposures are also being considered as well for the Thursday afternoon program.

Each continent will break down into language groups to Judge the input from the Observes. The continents will compile the facts from the Observes and evaluate them based on gospel values. Each country will then develop a series of action statements that will be prepared and presented to the Assembly body and carried home for Action. It is important that every country in the movement participate in this process.

Assembly Photos

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Attendee Photo Mission Santa Clara de Asis
Click above photo to see the full-size group photo of the attendees. It is a BIG file--996kb! It will open in a new window. Mission Santa Clara de Asis, Santa Clara University, site of Closing Mass. Click above photo to see the full-size photo of the Closing Mass. It is a BIG file--969kb! It will open in a new window.
Assembly Resolutions

Summary of the Resolutions by the six Workshop Groups.

Group I: Emphasize family spirituality through personal relationships with Christ and through prayers. Start praying with the family. Share resolutions through the ICCFM website.

Group II: Pray as individual and as couples. Witness to others. Trust God.

Group III: Learn more about Church teachings and be more responsive to communities, to become more effective, to initiate collaboration between clergy and laity.

Group IV: Be authentic, faithful and in solidarity with the Church.

Group V: Review the OJA Methodology, strengthen and update materials and explain to the whole community (CFM). Strengthen the education of children in the family.

Group VI: Affirm the value of human life advocate against all violence, especially domestic violence.

Click here for the final consolidated ICCFM resolutions.


Most speeches appear on the Downloads web page.

Most Reverend Patrick J. McGrath, Bishop of the Diocese Of San Jose, California, USA will welcome the ICCFM Worldwide Delegates to the United States and to the Diocese of San Jose in an opening address during the Parade of Nations on Wednesday, July 28th.

Bishop Patrick Joseph McGrath became the second bishop of San Jose upon the retirement of Bishop Pierre DuMaine on November 27, 1999. Bishop McGrath was born June 11, 1945 in Dublin, Ireland where he attended Catholic schools of the Sisters of the Holy Faith and Marist Fathers. He entered St. John Seminary, Waterford, Ireland in 1964 and was ordained to the priesthood in Waterford June 7, 1970 for the Archdiocese of San Francisco. In 1977 he earned his doctorate in canon law at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome. In 1979, Bishop McGrath became Officialis of the Archdiocese of San Francisco and was appointed Rector and Pastor of Saint Mary Cathedral in 1986. Ordained Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco on January 25, 1989, he then served the Archdiocese as Vicar for Clergy, Moderator of the Curia and Vicar for Parishes. On June 30, 1998 he was named by Pope John Paul II to be Coadjutor to the Bishop of the Diocese of San Jose and was formally received into the diocese at a Mass of Welcome on September 17, 1998.

Paul and Jane Leingang, Executive Directors of the Christian Family Movement in the United States, will deliver the keynote address which will discuss the philosophy and values of Cardinal Joseph Cardijn. This will help the delegates to understand his work and to be familiar with the basis upon which the Assembly will study the theme on marriage and family in the modern world.

Dr. Frank Sicius, historian from St. Thomas University in Miami, Florida, USA, will discuss the historical and sociological evolution of marriage and the family to the present day as suggested by the theme statement in the announcement. He is an author of many publications.

Frank Sicius was born and raised in Kellyville, Pennsylvania in the Philadelphia suburbs. He received his doctorate form Loyola Univesity of Chicago in 1979 and since that time has been teaching American and modern European history at St. Thomas University in Miami. Within those parametrs Frank has taught classes on American Catholicism , Spanish Colonial Catholicism , and Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker movement. Frank's specialty is American Catholic social history and he has published numerous articles , contributed a number of chapters to books and published two books of his own on various aspects of the Catholic Worker Movement.His particular emphasis has been on the Catholic Worker's message of peace. Emphasizing it's message for peace within the family , and the community. Frank is married to Isabel Valenzuela and they have three girls, Laurie-Anna, Paulina and Lucia.

Dr. Julie Hanlon Rubio, from St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri, USA will speak on the subject of her latest book which is entitled "Christian Theology of Marriage and Family". In her book she discusses how, in a changing society, family contributes to community. This is directly associated with the theme of the Assembly. Her book will be available in March 2004. Dr. Rubio will hold a book signing for her book at the Assembly.

Dr. Rubio is currently Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics at St. Louis University, where she has taught courses in marriage, religion and society, and social justice since 1999. She earned her M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School in 1991 and her Ph.D. in Religion and Social Ethics from the University of Southern California in 1995. From 1995 until 1999, she taught part-time at California State University, Long Beach and Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Her articles on family ethics have appeared in Theological Studies, the Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics, INTAMS, and The Living Light. Julie Hanlon Rubio has received a Catholic Press Association award in the family life category. Her first book, A Christian Theology of Marriage and Family, was published by Paulist Press in 2003. Current research projects include an assessment of family leave policies at Christian universities and an attempt to move beyond the liberal-conservative divide on contraception. Dr. Rubio lives in St. Louis with her husband and three sons.

President's Letter

Dear Everyone,

Congratulations and thank you 9th ICCFM World Assembly Organizing Committee for having organized such a successful World Assembly which has definitely attained our highest goals. We had prayed very hard to make it the "best ever" and it was.

Of course the general preparations had left nothing to chance, with the World Assembly information posted on the ICCFM website well ahead of time—fruit of advance work done by the thinkers, the writers, the translators, the site committee, the webmaster and others. Arrangements for and at the Assembly showed detailed planning; each task had a CFM / MFC member responsible for it. Airport pick-up and other transportation arrangements went smoothly, and the hospitality of the host families and the Beverly Heritage Hotel made our stay truly happy. We were grateful for all the lovely meals provided which greatly cut our expenses. It was obvious that the organizers had planned for the needs of the participants thoughtfully, generously and lovingly.

The Assembly program was another thing to be proud of, with the theme gradually coming to light through the provoking ideas shared by guest speakers of great expertise and convictions. Then there were the exposures which so clearly illustrated that great service to society can be done by ordinary people with a cause—like us, CFM / MFC members. Inspiring!

That all of us participants were truly stimulated by the program could be seen at the workshops. We were fully engaged and personally involved to the point that we wanted each one of our six groups’ resolutions recorded in full, notwithstanding the impossibility of the task! Through Fr. Ken Weare and his committee’s thought-processing efforts, though, the essence of our four-day’s journey towards the theme were fully embodied in two main resolutions grounded on promoting the vision, values and virtues of Christian marriage and family:

First, to be worthy as God’s artisans, we need to be as like our Master as possible by cultivating the divine part of our nature through PRAYER in the family, in the Church and in society.

Second, to keep above the changing challenges of an evolving society, we need ACTION. We cannot afford to be complacent; we have to be pro-active crusaders to win our cause in the family, in the Church and in society.

Daily Mass, daily picnics in the parks, roses, landscaped gardens, the Mariachi Band, the Gala dinner, Elvis Presley, time for conversations, the Santa Clara Mission Church and many other special things made this World Assembly unique and memorable. Everyone felt a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction at having been part of it. How could we ever express our thanks for your having afforded us such an experience?

After we have settled to our normal pace and spent time for reflection, we will work hard to implement our resolutions—we have received so many graces at this World Assembly! Through constant prayer and determined action, may God grant us a greater awareness of our divinity in our partnership with Him so that we may approach our mission with a clearer vision and attain higher goals the next three years.

Thank you very much again, and may God specially reward you for all the good you have done.

Nop and Elma

Assembly Photos

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Photos of Santa Clara University
Mission Santa Clara de Asis. Inside Mission Santa Clara de Asis.
Mission Santa Clara de Asis.Inside Mission Santa Clara de Asis.
Old Adobe Lawn. Mission Gardens.
Old Adobe Lawn.Mission Gardens.
Kenna Lawn. Benson Center, site of conference
Kenna Lawn.Benson Center, site of conference.

© 2004 ICCFM