September 16, 2014
the World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia 2015
Presented to the Pontifical Council for the Family in Rome
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. and Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia highlighted the spiritual
preparatory materials, now publicly available, in advance of this triennial global event
Rome, Italy (September 16, 2014) - Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. today presented the preparatory catechesis, prayer, and iconic image for the World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia 2015 to the Pontifical Council for the Family (PCF) during a press conference at Sala Stampa in Rome, Italy. He was joined by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the PCF, as well as Mr. and Mrs. Tom and Barbara Riley. The Rileys are parishioners from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and spoke at the news conference about their five children, the impact of their faith on their daily lives as parents and why the upcoming World Meeting of Families is so significant.
The catechesis, prayer and iconic image formally presented today were inspired by the conference theme, "Love is our mission: the family fully alive," publicly announced in May 2014. Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia accepted these preparatory materials, which will form the spiritual and contextual foundation for delegates worldwide.
"I am greatly pleased to share these important preparatory materials for the World Meeting of Families with the Pontifical Council for the Family and the world," said Archbishop Chaput. "We have worked diligently to create spiritually resonant, relevant and accessible content for everyone who will join us in Philadelphia next year. It is my deepest hope that not only Catholics, but all people of good will might connect to our theme through reading, discussion, prayer, and reflection based on these preparatory materials."
Inspired by the words of the early Church father, St. Irenaeus, "the glory of God is man fully alive," the theme for the 2015 World Meeting of Families - "Love is our mission: the family fully alive" - reflects the central role of the family in teaching people how to receive and give love. Serving as a unifying concept for its portfolio of preparatory materials, the theme drives catechetical content and programming for the World Meeting of Families, which will be held September 22-27, 2015 in Philadelphia.
The preparatory catechesis is traditionally developed by the host diocese for the World Meeting of Families and reflects authentic Catholic beliefs about human dignity, human sexuality, marriage, and the family. Like the World Meeting of Families conference itself, the preparatory catechesis is intended for people of all ages and aims to address the issues and challenges facing families around the world. It not only forms the basis for programming and discussion at the World Meeting of Families but also is used to create lesson plans for elementary and high school students in Catholic schools so that they may engage these materials in an age-appropriate manner. The complete book is available in both English and Spanish and can be purchased online from its publisher, Our Sunday Visitor.
The official prayer for the World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia 2015 is meant to aid delegates around the world in their spiritual preparation for this momentous event. Accessible via the 2015 World Meeting of Families' web site in 18 languages including American Sign Language, the prayer is meant to serve as a vehicle of hope and faith for families. Widespread daily recitation for the success of the event and for personal intentions is encouraged. The prayer is foundational to both the conference's theme and its planned content.
Lastly, the World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia 2015 has produced a definitive iconic image for the event. This image is a religious work of art meant to encourage both reflection and prayer. For the 2015 World Meeting of Families, artist Neilson Carlin, based in Kennett Square, PA, was commissioned to create an oil painting of the Holy Family depicting Mary, Joseph, and Jesus, as a small child, as well as Mary's parents, Saints Anna and Joachim. The four-by-five foot canvas was formally unveiled and blessed on September 7th and is on display in the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia, PA, now through the conclusion of the 2015 World Meeting of Families. Those coming to the view the iconic image at the Cathedral are encouraged to pray for families around the world by reciting the official prayer and lighting a votive candle at the Marian Shrine.
Said Archbishop Chaput, "With the World Meeting of Families just one year away, I believe that the preparatory catechesis, prayer and iconic image can begin to help focus all of us on the family in deep and meaningful ways. The discussions of September 2015 will, without doubt, be thoughtful, insightful and robust. These materials, as guided by our theme, will give purpose and direction to these important forthcoming conversations."
For more information about the World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia 2015, please visit worldmeeting2015.org.
in Jesus, your Son and our Savior,
you have made us
your sons and daughters
in the family of the Church.
May your grace and love
help our families
in every part of the world
be united to one another
in fidelity to the Gospel.
May the example of the Holy Family,
with the aid of your Holy Spirit,
guide all families, especially those most troubled,
to be homes of communion and prayer
and to always seek your truth and live in your love.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, pray for us!
The World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia 2015 Iconic Image
Kenneth A. Gavin
Director of Communications