The New York Encounter and its theme of experiencing freedom enveloped Manhattan this past weekend in the Hammerstein Ballroom Jan. 18-20. The topic of liberty was present within the art exhibits, musical performances and public speakers.
While not labeled a “Catholic” event, the New York Encounter was witness to monks, priests, a Holy Mass celebrated by His Eminence Cardinal Edward M. Egan, speakers who are fighting for religious freedom and exhibits depicting the Martyrs of Mexico, among others.
Made up completely of volunteers, the Catholic movement, Communion and Liberation, and the Crossroads Cultural Center organized the annual three-day public, cultural festival based upon Pope Benedict’s claim that “the intelligence of faith has to become the intelligence of reality.” One of the highlights of the New York Encounter was speaker Paul Bhatti, brother of a murdered Roman Catholic in Islamabad.
Paul Bhatti brought “Freedom in Politics: The Story of Shabaz Bhatti” to the New York Encounter Saturday evening. The outspoken critic of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, Shabaz Bhatti, a Roman Catholic, who served as first Federal Minister for Minority Affairs in Pakistan was gunned down by Tehrik-i-Taliban for “refusing to relent on his fight for the freedom of Christians and other minorities in Pakistan.”
The beautiful events and poignant speakers of the NYE are unfortunately too vast to list, however another standout depiction of the fight for Freedom was the photographic exhibit “Viva Cristo Rey! – Cristeros: The Martyrs of Mexico (1926-1929), which documented the persecution and martyrdom of men, women and children who defended the Church and Catholic faith against the hostile Mexican government of the time.
The New York Encounter may be based in the Catholic tradition, but the cultural festival is an event for all to broaden horizons and promote a society full of truth and love.
Deirdre Haggerty, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this article may be reproduced without prior written permission and consent from the author or Clarity Digital Group LLC, DBA Examiner.com.