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June 30, 2015


"We've been eagerly anticipating today's news from the Vatican today since it was announced last November that Pope Francis would be with us for the World Meeting of Families.

I received formal word of the schedule for the Holy Father's two days in Philadelphia with great joy and I'm certain that countless individuals in our City, our Commonwealth, and our country share that emotion with me.

As the birthplace of religious freedom, Philadelphia is a city rich in history and diversity. This itinerary recognizes the importance of those qualities and the Pope's desire to witness them firsthand.

Pope Francis' plans for his visit to Philadelphia seamlessly integrate powerful public moments with more intimate gatherings that are deeply grace filled. It is an itinerary that says, 'I walk with you - and so does the Lord.' It says, 'Embrace your faith and embrace one another as children of God.' It says, 'God forgives.' And it says 'Come together in celebration.'

The Holy Father's time with us will be a true gift for all regardless of faith tradition. The many pilgrims present in September will experience a moment unlike any in the history of our city. The presence of the Holy Father will be electric and charismatic. It has the power to transform all of us in deeply positive ways. It will be our shared responsibility to take that gift and use all that we learn from it to build a better Church and a stronger society.

As the Holy Father has said, The World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia is the central reason for his visit to the United States. That's something we can all be proud of and I'm confident that the impression we leave will be lasting and positive.

Please join me in praying for all those working to ensure we will be ready to welcome Pope Francis to the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection in a few short months with open arms and joy filled hearts. Thanks be to God for the gift of Pope Francis!"

+Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop of Philadelphia


Kenneth A. Gavin
Director of Communications

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