8th World Meeting of Families in PhiladelphiaTuesday, September 22 2015
(CCCB – Ottawa)… The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is the host of the 8th World Meeting of Families, September 22 to 27, 2015. Pope Francis will participate in the closing celebrations during his Apostolic Journey to Cuba and the United States (Washington, New York and Philadelphia). The theme of the World Meeting, chosen by the Pope, is “Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive.” The official delegation from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) is composed of the Most Reverend Douglas Crosby, O.M.I., Bishop of Hamilton and President of the CCCB, the Most Reverend Lionel Gendron, P.S.S., Bishop of Saint-Jean-Longueuil and Vice President of the CCCB, the Most Reverend Richard Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton and Chairman of the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF), and Mrs. Michèle Boulva, Director of COLF. Approximately 15 other Canadian Bishops are also present, including His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, and His Eminence Gérald Cyprien Cardinal Lacroix, Archbishop of Québec and Primate of the Church in Canada. In addition, 90 Canadian couples representing 47 dioceses and eparchies are participating in the World Meeting, a number of them with their children.
Some Canadian dioceses are also sending groups to Philadelphia by bus or train, either for the full week or for the weekend celebrations with Pope Francis. These include the Diocese of Hamilton which is sending a group of 175 participants, the Archdiocese of Edmonton with 26 delegates, and the Archdiocese of Québec with 400 delegates, as well as the Archdioceses of Toronto and Montreal. In total, approximately 1,000 Canadians will participate in the World Meeting of Families. In Canada, a large gathering in communion with Pope Francis and the World Meeting will take place September 26-27 at the Shrine of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, near Québec City.
The program for the gathering in Philadelphia will include catechesis, conferences, Eucharistic celebrations and moments of celebration for families. Cardinal Lacroix and the Most Reverend Michael Miller, C.S.B., Archbishop of Vancouver, as well as Mrs. Boulva from COLF, are among the guest speakers. Pope Francis will arrive in Philadelphia on September 26 where he will meet with members of religious communities from Philadelphia at 10:15 am, followed by a meeting with the Hispanic community and other immigrants at 4:15 pm. In the evening he will preside at a prayer vigil for families as part of the World Meeting’s Festival of Families at 7:15 pm. On Sunday, he will address the Bishops participating in the World Meeting, followed by a visit to a corrections facility. At 4:00 pm, Pope Francis will preside at the Mass on Benjamin Franklin Parkway which officially concludes the 2015 World Meeting of Families.
Salt and Light TV, the Canadian Catholic television network, will provide a live broadcast of the entire program of the Holy Father’s visit to Philadelphia, as well as to Washington and New York. Salt and Light’s coverage is also being carried on the homepage of the CCCB website. The complete texts, including in French and English, of the addresses and homilies by the Holy Father during his Apostolic Journey to Cuba and the USA are published on the Holy See’s website. News reports are available (in English only) on the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The last World Meeting of Families took place in 2012 in Milan, Italy. These international meetings are under the responsibility of the Pontifical Council for the Family.