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March 24, 2014

Leadership Delegation Arrives in Rome in Advance of
Planning Meetings and Private Audience with Pope Francis for
World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia 2015

Rome, Italy (March 24, 2014) - A special leadership delegation led by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput O.F.M. Cap., Governor Tom Corbett (Pennsylvania) and Mayor Michael A. Nutter (Philadelphia), arrived in Rome , Italy, this morning to commence planning meetings for the Eighth World Meeting of Families, which will be held in Philadelphia, PA in September 2015. Joined by corporate and civic leaders from the Philadelphia region, this delegation prepares for three days of public and private events across the Eternal City as the group engages in discussions of logistics and "best practices" in planning this triennial global event.

The first official event scheduled for the delegation in Rome will be a private reception, held Monday evening, at Villa Richardson, the home of Mr. Kenneth F. Hackett, United States Ambassador to The Holy See. At this event, Ambassador Hackett will officially welcome the Pennsylvania Delegation to Rome and remarks will be offered Archbishop Chaput and Governor Corbett.

Tuesday's agenda for the delegation is robust, beginning with a reception and meeting at the Pontifical Council for the Family (PCF) at 9:15 a.m. (4:15 a.m. EST). Hosted by PCF President Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, this meeting will include remarks from Archbishop Paglia, Archbishop Chaput, Governor Corbett and Mayor Nutter, followed by a ceremonial contract signing for the World Meeting of Families between the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the PCF. A press conference will follow this meeting at 11:30 a.m. (6:30 a.m. EST) at La Sala Stampa, The Press Office of the Holy See. At this time, Archbishop Chaput and Archbishop Paglia will officially announce the theme of the 2015 World Meeting of Families.

The visit culminates on Wednesday when the delegation will visit Domus Sanctae Marthae at 8:30 a.m. (3:30 a.m. EST) for a private Audience with Pope Francis. During this meeting, the delegation will ask Pope Francis to attend the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. Immediately following this private audience, the delegation will then attend the weekly General Audience in Saint Peter's Square at 10:30 a.m. (5:30 a.m. EST), where the 24-person delegation will enjoy reserved seating in close proximity to Pope Francis.

For more information regarding the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in September 2015, please visit or You can also follow the visit to Rome on Facebook (Eighth World Meeting of Families), Twitter (@WMF2015M) and Instagram (WMF2015).

About 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 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.


Kenneth A. Gavin
Director of Communications

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