The Words of the Zoehrer Family
True Family Award Banquet
December 2, 2007
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 organizations of the Unification Movement of Austria, the Universal Peace Federation (UPF), the Family Federation for World Peace and the Womens 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 Middle East.
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. Czernys 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 the Far East", pointing out the importance of the parent-child relationship, filial piety and respect for the elder in Confucian ethics. He pointed out that these are values which need to be revitalized in todays western society.
Rev. Peter Zoehrer 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. Zoehrer 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 practicing true family values was a great inspiration for everybody in the room.
Among the awardees were families from various cultural and religious backgrounds, i.e. from the Coptic Church, the Allevians, the Syrian- Orthodox Church, the Islamic Community as well as Catholic families. Some of them have 8 and 10 children on their own and still find time and energy to invest themselves for people outside their family. One lady, mother of 10 children, said: "One important lesson our children have learned is: not everything you do for others can be paid for with money!"
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."