Archbishop Chaput to Dedicate and Bless Donor Wall and Memorial Garden Commemorating the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 and Visit of Pope Francis

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. will preside at a Liturgy of the Word at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul to mark the second anniversary of the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 (WMOF) and the visit of Pope Francis to our city. All people of good will are invited to join WMOF donors, staff members, and volunteers at this special liturgy.

Immediately following, Archbishop Chaput will bless and dedicate the World Meeting of Families—Philadelphia 2015 Donor Wall and Memorial Garden, which is located near the corner of 18th and Race Streets adjacent to the Cathedral. Its purpose is to recognize the tremendous financial, temporal, and spiritual support exhibited by all those who made the WMOF and Papal Visit possible.

Thursday, September 28, 2017
Liturgy of the Word (5:00 p.m.)
Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul
18th Streets and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Blessing and Dedication of the Donor Wall & Memorial Garden (Approximately 5:30 p.m.)
Race Street in between 17th and 18th Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Background on the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 and the Papal Visit

The WMOF Congress and Papal visit took place in Philadelphia from September 22-27, 2015. In addition to WMOF and Archdiocesan staff, over 10,000 volunteers worked to make the experience a memorable one for visitors to the City of Philadelphia.

More than 20,000 registered delegates representing over 100 countries attended the WMOF Congress. That number of delegates was nearly triple the amount who attended the 2012 WMOF in Milan, Italy.

Approximately 1,000,000 people attended the Papal Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on Sunday, September 27th in addition to record crowds for Pope Francis’ other public events including an address at Independence Hall as well as the Festival of Families and three Papal parades on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

The WMOF stated fundraising goal was $45 million. Through the generosity of donors WMOF exceeded its goal and raised $45.8 million. $6.9 million of additional revues were realized, most of which resulted from registration and exhibit income related to the WMOF events held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center prior to the arrival of Pope Francis.

The WMOF Congress and Papal Visit saw 7,000 media members including journalists assigned to cover arrival and departure ceremonies at Atlantic Aviation, private Papal appearances at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility, and Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary as well as public Papal events held at Independence Hall and on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

As a result, the WMOF Congress and Papal Visit to Philadelphia resulted in more than one billion global media impressions (broadcast, print, radio, digital) and 84 front page newspaper placements in the United States alone on Monday, September 28, 2015.

Editor’s Note:

About the World Meetings of Families:
Beginning with 1994, The Year of the Family, the Pontifical Council for the Family has been responsible for organizing the World Meetings of Families in Rome (1994); Rio de Janeiro (1997); Rome (2000); Manila (2003); Valencia (2006); Mexico City (2009); Milan (2012); and Philadelphia (2015). Since its inception by Saint John Paul II, the World Meeting of Families has sought to strengthen the sacred bonds of family across the globe. September 2015, marked the first time the global gathering was held in the United States and featured Pope Francis’ first trip to the United States as Pontiff. At the conclusion of the gathering in Philadelphia, it was announced that the 2018 World Meeting of Families would be held in Dublin, Ireland.

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Contact: Kenneth A. Gavin
Director of Communications
215-587-3747