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FAMILIES-PHILADELPHIA Jun-3-2012 (320 words) With photos. xxxi

Philadelphia to host World Meeting of Families in 2015

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

MILAN (CNS) -- The Archdiocese of Philadelphia will host the next World Meeting of Families in 2015, an event attended by hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world. It will be the first time the event, established by Blessed John Paul II in 1994, will be held in the United States.

Pope Benedict XVI made the announcement June 3 before reciting the noonday Angelus to 850,000 people gathered at Milan's outdoor Bresso Park.

"I send my warm greetings to Archbishop Charles Chaput and to the Catholics of that great city, and look forward to meeting them there along with numerous families from all around the world," he said. "God willing," he would take part, he added.

The pope would be 88 in 2015 and it would mark his second trip to the United States, his first to Philadelphia, as pope.

Archbishop Chaput went on stage to greet the pope, and there they embraced and chatted briefly. The pope, who chooses the venue for each world families' meeting, thanked the archbishop for his willingness to host.

The international gathering, which celebrates and aims to help families live their Christian vocation, is held every three years and is organized by the Pontifical Council for the Family.

Pope Benedict did not attend the sixth world meeting in Mexico City in 2009 and spoke to families after the concluding Mass via live satellite link-up. Blessed John Paul did a similar satellite broadcast message at the concluding Mass when he could not attend the event in Manila in 2003 due to his limited physical mobility at 82.

The first world meeting was held in Rome in 1994. Since then it has taken place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1997; Rome in 2000; Manila in 2003; Valencia, Spain, in 2006, and Mexico City in 2009. Almost every meeting has drawn more than a million people.

MORE TO COME



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