A month ago, I told you that the World Meeting for Families would bring people from around the world to Philadelphia in September 2015.
And two weeks ago, I told you that the Holy Father had been invited to address a joint session of Congress during his expected U.S. trip.
I added that Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput would lead a delegation to Rome from Philadelphia, including Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. The group will meet personally with the Holy Father to extend a personal invitation to their city for the September event, which is expected to draw up to two million people to the City of Brotherly Love.
Well, today’s the day! This morning in Vatican City, there was a press conference to present the World Meeting for Families.
Headlining the event was Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family.
Also speaking was Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, archbishop of Philadelphia.
And among the U.S. delegation at the session were the honorary co-chairs for the World Meeting of Families, Mayor Michael Nutter and Governor Tom Corbett.
In his address, Archbishop Chaput promised that the Meeting would bring together “the best experts we can enlist to address the pastoral, social, economic and cultural challenges that families now face. In the end,” he said, “our goal is simple. We want to help families strengthen their family life in very practical ways.”
He thanked Pope Francis for confirming Philadelphia as the site for this important meeting, and reiterated his hope that the Holy Father would be able to attend in person. He spoke of Philadelphia’s unique history, and of the work that lie ahead in planning to make this a rich and meaningful event for Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
One of the surprises that caught my attention was Archbishop Chaput’s announcement that there is a Preparatory Catechism being developed. The archbishop said:
“…We are working on a Preparatory Catechism, not just for our Catholic faithful, but also for all people of good will, as we underline the beauty and truth of family life which, as the most privileged place of love, provides for a dynamism of reciprocal human affection that fills every home and family member with a unique and invigorating light and warmth.”
There’s more. Vatican Radio has released the full text of the archbishop’s remarks.