On Feb. 20, the Ninth Annual Interregional Gathering took place at La Reina High School in Thousand Oaks, bringing together the five regional pastoral councils from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to discuss marriage and family.

The event’s theme was the Joy of Marriage and Families, with Archbishop José H. Gomez giving the keynote address. The event centered on a prayer of Pope Francis, where he said, “The human heart desires joy.”

“We all desire joy, every happiness,” he continues. “But what is the joy that the Christian is called to live out and bear witness to? It is the joy that comes from the closeness of God, from his presence in our life.”

The daylong event began with a special performance by the La Reina High School God Lead Singers and welcoming remarks by Auxiliary Bishop Robert E. Barron from the Santa Barbara Pastoral Region.

The day’s events culminated with recommendations for Archbishop Gomez derived from the discussion groups.