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World Meeting of Families: Philadelphia, September 2015

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In September 2015, Philadelphia will have the honor of hosting the 8th World Meeting of Families, an international event organized by the Pontifical Council for the Family. Here’s a brief Q&A about the 8th World Meeting of Families, along with some helpful links.

What is the World Meeting of Families?

The World Meeting of Families is an international event of prayer, catechesis, and celebration that draws participants from around the globe. It seeks to strengthen the bonds between families and to witness to the crucial importance of marriage and family to all of society.

What is the Pontifical Council for the Family?

The Pontifical Council for the Family is part of the Roman Curia. It was instituted by Bl. John Paul II in 1981, replacing the Committee for the Family which was created by Pope Paul VI in 1973. As explained on its profile page, the Pontifical Council for the Family “is responsible for the promotion of the pastoral ministry and apostolate to the family, through the application of the teachings and guidelines of the ecclesiastical Magisterium, to help Christian families fulfill their educational and apostolic mission.” The Pontifical Council for the Family has its own regularly updated website. (It is in Italian but can be accessed in English by clicking “Eng” in the upper toolbar.)

When and where is the 8th World Meeting of Families?

The 8th World Meeting of Families will be held September 22-27, 2015, in Philadelphia. This decision was announced by Pope Benedict at the 7th World Meeting of Families in Milan in 2012, and confirmed by the Vatican on February 25.

Where have the other World Meetings of Families been held?

Previous World Meetings of Families have been held in Rome (1994 & 2000); Rio de Janeiro (1997); Manila (2003); Valencia, Spain (2006); Mexico City (2009); and Milan, Italy (2012). The 8th World Meeting of Families will be the first time this event has been held in the United States.

Will the pope attend the 8th World Meeting of Families?

No one knows for sure, since Pope Benedict’s successor has not yet been elected, but it is certainly possible that the new Holy Father will attend the 8th World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. If so, it could also be the new pope’s first visit to the United States.

How many people attend the World Meeting of Families?

Attendance varies depending on the location. Most recently, hundreds of thousands of people attended the 7th World Meeting of Families in Milan, and one million attended Pope Benedict’s mass at that Meeting.

Does each World Meeting of Families have a theme?

Yes. For example, the theme of the 2012 World Meeting of Families in Milan was “The Family: Work and Celebration.” The theme for the 2015 World Meeting of Families will be chosen by the new pope after he is elected.

What has Archbishop Charles Chaput, Archbishop of Philadelphia, said about hosting the 8th World Meeting of Families?

In a letter published on February 25, Archbishop Chaput said, “I believe that this event has the power to transform, in deeply positive ways, not just the Catholic Church, but our entire community. We look forward to welcoming you and your family to Philadelphia for this important event in September 2015.”

How do I sign up to attend the 8th World Meeting of Families?

No specific registration procedures have yet been announced, but you can sign up for notifications on the 8th World Meeting of Families website (bottom right corner).

Helpful links:

9 Responses to “World Meeting of Families: Philadelphia, September 2015”

  1. Bill King says:

    Don’t jump the gun on this “Family” Meeting Philadelphia is not open to a Family Meeting that does not include Gay and Lesbian and Single Parenthood Families” and rightly so

    • samwise says:

      outlandish definitions of the family actually help to better define what the nuclear family is. Exceptions to the rule show that there is a ‘rule’, an ideal, a standard,etc. That rule is: one father, one mother, and their children. Deviations from this rule are many, yet, they do not objectively deserve to supplant the rule and standard.

    • Erin Esterly says:

      Bill, Philadelphia is not open or you are not open?

  2. Dennis Wingfield says:

    The “King of Kings” will have the last word on this event.

    • Bill King says:

      What is “The “King of Kings” will have the last word on this event” suppose to mean ? If Philadelphia says No it’s No

  3. Farzan Jacob says:

    I passed 20 years in marriage life with my wife and i have four kids 2 sons and 2 daughters by the grace of God i feel happy to know about the meeting
    I will lucky if i get chance to attend the meeting with my family. Waiting for reply

  4. MariaGise Hitcher-Mago says:

    I am so glad to know about this event. Since now, I am preparing myself, first in pray, and then economically. I will delight a group from my parish or my apostolship.

    I will be attentive when the registration be open.

    I am sorry about my English. I am still learning this beautiful lenguage.

    God bless you all.

  5. Mary W.Kimathi says:

    Thanks.I would love to attend with my spouse of 28 years.We attended the 5th World Meeting of families in Valencia – Spain in 2006 and were very happy ,Blessed and informed in so many matters of the family.We felt so blessed in the midst of so many families from different parts of the world.
    God Bless all those who plan to attend.

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