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March 7, 2014

Leadership Delegation to Visit Vatican for Papal Audience and
Planning Meetings for World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia 2015

Led by Archbishop Charles Chaput and Honorary Co-Chairs Governor Tom Corbett and Mayor Michael A. Nutter,
the delegation will include key business and civic leaders who will lend support in planning this triennial event.

Philadelphia, PA (March 7, 2014) - The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced today that a leadership delegation led by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput O.F.M. Cap. and Honorary Co-Chairs for the Eighth World Meeting of Families, Governor Tom Corbett and Mayor Michael A. Nutter, will travel to Rome in preparation for the September 22-27, 2015 event. The delegation will spend March 24-26 in Rome in planning meetings and events related to the World Meeting of Families. The visit will officially conclude with a Papal Audience between the delegation and Pope Francis.

Announced concurrently with the planned visit to Rome was the lay leadership who will serve as public ambassadors for the World Meeting of Families and the City of Philadelphia during the next 18 months. Mr. Robert J. Ciaruffoli, Chairman and CEO of ParenteBeard LLC, will serve as President of the World Meeting of Families, the 501(c)-3 established to oversee comprehensive planning, logistics and financials for the event. Mr. Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation; Mr. Joseph Neubauer, Chairman of ARAMARK; Mr. David L. Cohen, Executive Vice President of Comcast Corporation; Mr. Daniel J. Hilferty, President and CEO of Independence Blue Cross; and Mr. James J. Maguire, Sr., Co-Principal of The Maguire Foundation; will serve as Co-Chairs of the Executive Leadership Cabinet, which will support the World Meeting of Families in outreach to the broader corporate and philanthropic community. Mr. Ciaruffoli, Mr. Neubauer, Mr. Hilferty and Mr. Maguire will be members of the official delegation to Rome.

"We are delighted to have such an esteemed delegation represent the World Meeting of Families- Philadelphia 2015 at the Vatican," said Archbishop Chaput. "I have always welcomed the World Meeting of Families as an event that has the power to transform, in deeply positive ways, not just the spirit of Catholic life in our region, but our entire community. I am grateful to so many civic and business leaders- representing many different faiths - for their willingness to undertake this endeavor with the Archdiocese. Their recognition of the World Meeting of Families as a gift not only to the City and Commonwealth but to the nation gives me great confidence as we move forward in planning. I look forward to sharing these important updates and our momentum with Pope Francis."

Echoing Archbishop Chaput's sentiments, Mr. Ciaruffoli commented, "There is much to be done in planning and executing such a significant global event. We are equal to the task. We've developed an organizational structure that encourages meaningful participation at many levels. We are working closely with the City of Philadelphia on all the ways this event can positively affect our city and region. Our upcoming visit to Rome will give us another way to more deeply engage the planning process and better understand the full scope of this event."

The 2015 event in Philadelphia marks the first time the United States will welcome this event, which was last hosted by Milan, Italy in June 2012. The three-day visit by the delegation to Rome will focus upon fact-finding and high level discussions regarding the City's preparation for the World Meeting of Families, which is expected to draw tens of thousands from more than 150 nations. The delegation's projected itinerary currently includes:

Monday, March 24: A reception at Villa Richardson, the personal home of the United States Ambassador to the Vatican, Mr. Kenneth F. Hackett
Tuesday, March 25: A meeting with representatives from the Pontifical Council for the Family to discuss logistics and timeline for the September 2015 event
A news conference featuring Archbishop Paglia, President of the Holy See Pontifical Council for the Family, and Archbishop Chaput at La Sala Stampa (The Vatican Press Office)
Wednesday, March 26: A Papal Audience with His Holiness, Pope Francis

"Philadelphia is a world-class city with a long tradition of inter-faith cooperation," said Mr. Neubauer. "Strong families benefit our city, our state and our nation. The opportunity to present our plans to Pope Francis - a leader whose vision has captured the imagination of Catholics and non-Catholics alike is inspiring. As a member of this delegation and Co-chair of the Executive Leadership Cabinet, I look forward to collaborating with business and civic leaders to make sure that Philadelphia shines on the world stage."

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 now, Philadelphia (2015). Since its inception by Blessed John Paul II, 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 official theme for the Eighth World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia will be announced at the March 25 press conference at La Sala Stampa.
For more information regarding the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in September 2015, please visit or


Kenneth A. Gavin
Director of Communications

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