The Roman Catholic Church will be bringing its World Meeting of Families to the United States for the first time, and Philadelphia has been selected as the host city.
The Eighth World Meeting of Families will take place from Sept. 22-27, 2015. Tens of thousands of people from around the world are expected to attend.
Pope Benedict XVI, whose resignation takes effect on Thursday, selected Philadelphia, in coordination with the Pontifical Council for the Family.
“The World Meeting of Families is a gift not just to Catholics in Philadelphia, but to every person of good will in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the surrounding region and our nation,” said Archbishop Charles J. Chaput.
Pope John Paul II introduced the World Meeting of Families in 1994. It last took place in June 2012 in Milan, Italy, which welcomed people from 153 nations. More than one million people participated in a Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI.
Previous meetings took place in Rome (twice); Rio de Janeiro; Manila; Valencia, Spain; and Mexico City.
The theme of the 2015 meeting will be decided following the election of a new pontiff.
Chaput has asked Gov. Tom Corbett and Mayor Michael Nutter to serve as honorary co-chairmen of the meeting.
“Philadelphia is the birthplace of religious freedom, and our churches, synagogues, mosques and temples are places of both personal faith and civic freedom,” Corbett said. “But it is our families that grow up in these institutions that are the foundation of that freedom.”
For more information, visit www.worldmeeting2015.org ••