Joan Frawley Desmond, is the Register’s senior editor. She is an award-winning journalist widely published in Catholic, ecumenical and secular media. A graduate of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies of Marriage and Family, she lives with her family in California..
"Love is our mission; the family fully alive." – Archbishop Chaput
Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia invited Catholics to the 2015 “Global” Celebration of Families, during a June 11 address at the U.S. bishops’ spring meeting in New Orelans.
The 2015 World Meeting of Families is scheduled to take place next year from September 22-27, and is expected to attract a worldwide audience, with an estimated 1 million people participating in the weekend events. Chaput said that state and local government and business leaders had stepped up to help with logistics and other issues.
And that's a good thing, because the cost of next year's meeting will easily run into the tens of millions of dollars.
I'm confident we can raise those resources. But we do need your help in publicizing the World Meeting of Families in your own dioceses, and encouraging families everywhere to attend.
Responding to persistent questions about the likely attendance of Pope Francis, Chaput appeared confident that the Argentinian pontiff would make the trip.
Obviously a papal visit is never official until the Holy See confirms it. And that rarely happens this far in advance. But we do have good reasons to believe that Pope Francis will take part in the meeting, and we're planning to welcome him wholeheartedly.
Families, of course, are welcome. And after studying “what worked and didn't work” about past world family meetings, Chaput vowed
We're committed to making our content engaging and our logistics simple and smooth. That means a wide variety of very practical speakers and breakout sessions on the real issues facing today's families, and also plenty of opportunities for enjoyment and entertainment.
Most of the congress activities will take place at Philadelphia’s new Convention Center, with simultaneous translation in major languages. Scholarships will be available to
representatives of poor dioceses from around our hemisphere and the world. And we're making a special effort to include the poor, the disabled and the elderly in the flow of all our events.
So why should U.S. Catholic families take a break from work and school and head to Philly?
World Meeting of Families 2015 comes at a time when the Church in the United States urgently needs an opportunity for joy and renewal. It's also a time of great confusion about the nature of marriage and the family.
Our goal is to exclude no one from the excitement of this meeting. Our goal is to offer the beauty of Catholic teaching about marriage and the family with confidence and a spirit of invitation to every person of good will.
Here's the website for the World Meeting of Famlies www.worldmeeting2015.org.