|Photo by Teresa Siwak from The Way|
World Meeting of Families to be Held in Philadelphia in 2015;
Expectations are High that Pope Francis will Attend
Philadelphia, Pa.—September 22-27, 2015, the City of Brotherly Love will host the World Meeting of Families, which is expected to draw one million people and will be viewed around the world. The World Meeting of Families organized by the Pontifical Council for the Family, headed by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the council, is held every three years.
His Holiness, Pope Francis has been invited to the 2105 meeting and hopes are high that he will be able to attend. The last papal trip to Philadelphia was that of St. John Paul II in October, 1979, which included a visit to the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
The theme of the 2015 meeting was announced at a press conference held Tuesday, May 13 on the veranda at the Independence Visitor Center at the site of the Liberty Bell.. With Archbishop Paglia, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia, joined by Metropolitan Stefan Soroka, of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia, Governor of Pennsylvania Tom Corbett and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter announced that the theme is “Love Is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive.”
Archbishop Paglia commented that "I would like that this event would be an international event, an ecumenical event, and an interreligious event. . . I think it is really important that the next World Meeting of Families will be held in Philadelphia. The city, the nation and the world would celebrate the importance of family . . . for all people."
During his brief three day visit to Philadelphia, Archbishop Paglia visited religious and historical sites in Philadelphia as possible locations for events during the 2015 meeting and for an expected papal visit.
Included in his itinerary was a visit to the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on Franklin Street in North Philadelphia. Archbishop Paglia offered prayers for peace in Ukraine, joined by his delegation and members of the chancery staff. He greeted all with the Paschal greeting Христос воскрес! Khrystos Voskres!
Some of the other sites he visited included the Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul, the Shrine of St. John Neumann, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where on the steps he struck the iconic Rocky pose.
After leaving Philadelphia, his travels took him to New York City to visit the United Nations.
Video by Teresa Siwak from "The Way"