True Family Award Banquet 2007
Sonntag 2. December 2007; Vienna Marriott Hotel
In the afternoon of Sunday, 2nd of December, more than 220 guests gathered at the Hotel Marriott in Vienna in order to participate in the second “True Family Award Banquet” , organized by the peace organisations of the Unification Movement of Austria, the Universal Peace Federation (UPF), the Family Federation for World Peace and the Women’s Federation for World Peace.
Christmas carols and
spirituals, presented by the “Vienna Peace Choir” prepared the atmosphere for
the first speaker, Mrs. Marie-Therese Kiriaky. Her
topic: “Oriental Christmas”. As the President of the Arabic Women of Vienna and
the Vice President of the Oriental Christians of Vienna she was most authentic
to give insight in the life of the Christians of the
The presentation of the second speaker, Dr. Wolfgang Czerny, picked up the topic on purity before marriage as preparation for a stable family life. Dr. Czerny’s initiative “Pure Love Alliance” offers a chance for young people to join this idea.
In her speech, Mag. Caroline Klade, owner of the “Communications’ Academy” and professor at the University in Krems, made us all reflect on our way of communicating with our spouse or children.
The next speaker,
Mag. Herbert Wolf, explained about “Family ethics in
Rev. Peter Zöhrer introduced the guest speaker of the evening, the Rev. Dr. Joong Hyun Pak, president of UPF- Central Europe. As the initiator of the “True Family Award Banquet”- project in Austria, Switzerland and Italy, he explained and summarized the idea behind, stating that “ Tonight, we are promoting a marriage culture, where marriage is encouraged, supported and expected, where marriage means strength and perpetuity. Marriage and family are in crises today, and we want to guarantee that it is not the institution of marriage that is blamed and finally sacrificed, but the failed application that needs adjustment.”
After his speech “The four realms of love” Rev. Pak and his wife, as well as Rev. Zöhrer and his wife presented the “True Family Award”- plaque to 10 exemplary families. The MC introduced each one of them, explaining why they had been chosen for the award. The highlight of the evening was when these families gathered on the stage, some with their beautiful children. Their lively example of practising true family values was a great inspiration for everybody in the room.
Among the awardees were
families from various cultural and religious backgrounds, from the Coptic
Church, the Alevits, the
After the Award-Ceremony dinner was served and there was time for sharing among the guests. The program ended with Christmas-songs by the “Vienna Peace Choir”, which was greatly appreciated by the audience.
As we left, we could see the purpose of the evening fulfilled: “Tonight we are strengthening our network of marriage and family culture and we feel great joy in being able to honor those who have worked so hard for it. “Family” is the cornerstone of an ethical and moral society and is the most natural way for each family member to fulfill their greatest potential and joy in life.” (excerpt of Rev. Pak’s address)
Mag Elisabeth Cook
2006: Christmas celebration and True Family Award Banquet
for Chechen orphans in
On December 16th 2006 the Universal Peace
The Viennese Peace Choir created a beautiful Christmas atmosphere through their Christmas songs. An Ambassador for Peace from the Aramaic Syrian-Orthodox tradition gave an insight how Christians who speak the original language of Jesus prepare themselves through a special time of fasting for the birth of the Lord. Then a Catholic lady from the Caribbean Island of Trinidad convinced the audience that the happy people in her part of the world know best how to celebrate the joy of Jesus` birth.
Among the 200 attending guests were the former
Ambassador of Libya to
The Christmas program was closed by the choir and led
to the True Family Award Banquet. Mr. Josef Gundacker,
the director of Family Forum
After a festive banquet meal, Rev. Dr. Pak, the
president of the European region including
The couples who received the True Family Award were Ambassadors for Peace who have exemplary families and some Unificationist families who have been campaigning for family values since many years.
Rev. Peter Zöhrer, president of FFWPU–Austria, announced that from now on every year around Christmas time, the True Family Award Banquet will be held in order to strengthen the families and family oriented NGOs. “We wish you a merry Christmas” by the Vienna Peace Choir concluded the program.