An initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

World Meeting of Families: Philadelphia, September 2015

wmf8 logo

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:

46 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.

      • Bill King says:

        There was a old wrestling group use to open there shows by saying “The Rules there are no rules”

    • 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.

  6. Ruben Concepcion Rala says:

    I am a Filipino living and working here in KSA with my family. We are planning to attend this Meeting of Families 2014 event. Is there any
    way you can help us or referral letter to US Embassy – Riyadh so we can apply now for visitor’s visa. I am now ready for the other requirements needed for the application of Visit visa. Thank you and more power. God bless us all!

  7. Sharon M Helms says:

    Looking forward to coming. Please send updates about the 8th World Family Meeting.

    Thank you, Sharon

  8. Muna Atonio Tupa says:

    I am from Tonga, South Pacific. My husband is the Director for the Catholic Diocese of Tonga Christian Family Life. We are interested to attend but would appreciate notification of update. Thanks.
    PS. Thank you for the good work and from our end, you and your people are blessed to have such opportunity to host this important conference for the good of all our families and for the good of all the world. God bless and good luck with all preparations!

  9. Anthony Bang Uong says:

    I attended the 7th World Meeting of Families in Milano and was so blessed and happy. I am looking forward to attending the coming one in Philadelphia. Please send me updates about it.
    Thank you
    Anthony Bang

  10. Carla Schneider says:

    Will the agenda of “no gay marriage” be part of this gathering?

    Will active Catholic families who have a son who is gay (and neither flamboyant nor “in the closet”) be made welcome?

  11. Rosemary Rios says:

    We are very interested in attending any info on how to get tickets would be greatly appreciated.

  12. Regis Choto says:

    Please. Keep me updated on this conference

  13. Dear servant of God please sen
    t me the of the meeting then i will plan to atend thankyou

  14. It’s so very important for the people as a marriage and family site and refreshing their spirituality and mind
    Blessing the vision

  15. I would like information on how to organize a group that could attend the Family meeting conference, from my church in south Louisiana.
    Please forward upcoming conference info to me through email
    ( or postal mail.

    In God’s Love,
    Margaret M.

  16. Lourdes M. Alvarez says:

    I would like information about the dates of the Pope’s visit to the World Meeting of Families and if you have any blocks of rooms in near by hotels available for those attending. Thanks, Lourdes

  17. Charlotte Martinez says:

    I’ve been trying, unsuccessfully, for about 2 weeks to get more information on the World Meeting of Families 2015 from the official web site, but, the web page is not available.

    Any suggestions?

    God Bless You!

  18. Gendia Cyprian says:

    Am looking forward to celebrate together with other families all over the world, It is a great opportunity that am greatly longing for, Family should not change it remain Nuclear and Extended family (Africa it is respected).

  19. Roopa Mariam says:

    Hi ! I am Roopa Mariam adn I am from Pakistan but I am living in Cambodia since last six months .Me and my father want to attend this meeting so could you please help us to know what is the procedure for applying a visa for meeting from Cambodia.

  20. Dear Fellow Brothers and Sisters in Christ

    Greetings from South Africa, we are a Catholic travel Company. We have some families interested in travelling to Philadelphia to attend the World meetings on family.
    I have tried to log on to the website but I was not abl to go in and got a message the website was hacked.
    Please assist with how to register and the address where the event will be so I can arrange accommodation for my clients. Is there accommodation close to the event ? If so please advise. God bless and Many thanks Michelle Jardim

  21. marcia morton- lupton says:

    I would like to sign up as a volunteer .

  22. Muna Atonio Tupa says:

    When is the registration close pls?

  23. I would like to come to see pope..

  24. Kashif Daud says:

    hi sir my name is kashif and im from pakistan i want to know just im a family man of three baby if i apply alone so is it possible i can attend the family meeting?yes or is nessary to apply with family

  25. Maureen says:

    Will there be any forums or discussion about families with special needs and the stress it has on famiiies especially those with children who are autistic. I would like to see more emotional support for these families.

  26. Imran robert says:

    It is good effort to build up a godly families .

  27. Wolf Maslo says:

    My company, MazzPac LLC intended to donate 30,000 tubes of hand sanitizer to the Philadelphia area commemorating the Pope’s visit. As a christian family we wanted to make our unique contribution to this historical event. We had these tubes custom printed stating:
    Philadelphia welcomes Pope Francis!

    We contacted a outside contractor working with World Meeting of Families organization & the mayors about 6 weeks ago indicating our intentions. They indicated a interest, but,we were told the “committee” will have final say in this. We continued to pursue this thinking why would they not accept this generous offer and the Pope’s visit at this time. We supplied product samples, list of ingredients as well as a few proto type samples of what the finished tubes will look like. As of yesterday, about 1 1/2 weeks before this great event, with over 16,000 filled tubes, this “committee ” has not had the decency to even call me back now and let me know if they will take them!
    We have gone to plan “B” and distributed these free tubes through out the Wilmington, Delaware area and found that even some of the local parishes were indecisive or unwilling to accept these tubes. Out of all this frustration and shaken belief I must say we have meet a great bunch of local business and non profits groups who were extremely grateful for our donations.

    I can say with all honesty that God does work in mysterious ways and maybe the intent was for these tubes to end up where they are now .
    We hope all those attending will have a great, enjoyable visit, and to all our new found friends these last few days, we hope you enjoy our hand sanitizer.
    MazzPac LLC

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.