Bookmark and Share

February 22, 2013


His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, announces the official dates for the Eighth World Meeting of Families, which will be celebrated in the United States for the first time in its history. It is expected to draw tens of thousands from around the world to the City of Philadelphia.

In a statement issued from Vatican City today, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has been officially confirmed as the host city for the Eighth World Meeting of Families to take place September 22-27, 2015. Selected as the host city by The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, in coordination with the Pontifical Council for the Family, this marks the first time the United States will welcome this event, which was last hosted by Milan, Italy in June 2012.

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. offered remarks expressing gratitude and excitement as Philadelphia begins to plan for the World Meeting of Families. "The World Meeting of Families is a gift not just to Catholics in Philadelphia, but to every person of good will in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the surrounding region and our nation. I am very pleased that our Archdiocese has been selected to host this important event. A gathering like the World Meeting of Families demands a great deal of planning, but it is an opportunity filled with grace. This event has the power to transform, in deeply positive ways, not just the spirit of Catholic life in our area, but our entire community. Our Archdiocese looks forward to welcoming visitors from around the world with a generous heart."

Since its inception by Blessed John Paul II in 1994, the World Meeting of Families has sought to strengthen the sacred bonds of family across the globe. Each World Meeting of Families has a theme, which aims to emphasize the good news of the family and highlight its intrinsic value to the good of society. The theme for the 2015 World Meeting of Families will be forthcoming following the election of a new Pontiff.

The Archdiocese also announced today that Governor Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania and Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia have graciously accepted Archbishop Chaput's invitation to serve as Honorary Co-Chairs of the 2015 World Meeting of Families.

Governor Corbett expressed his enthusiasm for the event saying, "I am deeply pleased to join with Mayor Nutter as Honorary Co-Chair of the World Meeting of Families. Philadelphia is the birthplace of religious freedom and our churches, synagogues, mosques and temples are places of both personal faith and civic freedom. But it is our families that grow up in these institutions that are the foundation of that freedom. This special event is not only an opportunity to welcome families from around the world but an opportunity to celebrate our distinctive religious heritage as a state and a nation."

Echoing the Governor's sentiments, Mayor Nutter said, "We are delighted and honored that Philadelphia has been selected to host the World Meeting of Families by The Holy Father. Family is the cornerstone of society and strengthening it serves all of our people in Philadelphia - Catholic and non-Catholic alike. I look forward to working with Archbishop Chaput, Governor Corbett and the citizens of Philadelphia to deliver a truly memorable event for the tens of thousands of families we will welcome to our city in September 2015."

The World Meeting of Families draws a global audience. In Milan for the Seventh World Meeting, 153 nations were represented, 350,000 attended the Feast of Testimonies and more than one million participated in the Mass celebrated by the Holy Father. Beginning in 1994, during The Year of the Family, the Pontifical Council 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 now, Philadelphia (2015).

For more information regarding the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in September 2015, please visit or


Kenneth A. Gavin
Associate Director of Communications

Back to Top