The largest World Meeting of Families to date opened in Philadelphia on Tuesday, September 22nd with a welcome from local Archbishop Charles Chaput , Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family and Mayor Michael Nutter. More than 20,000 are registered for the Pastoral-Theological Congress that precedes the larger Papal events, representing over 100 countries around the world.
“Welcome to the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection,” said Archbishop Chaput. “This is a week to experience joy and fellowship. All of you share an intimate gift that crosses borders and generations: the love of spouses and children. God remakes the world through the people who love him. May God pour his love, joy and peace into all of your hearts! Let us begin!”
“We have come from all over the world with all our different questions,” said Archbishop Paglia. “But all of us feel at home because we are all united in one father, one spirit of love, one passion, for the family. No family can live for itself alone, our mission is to make the world a better home for each family, especially those in need. Our meeting will follow closely the path that our Popes have shown us since the Second Vatican Council. A grand dream that we must make come true: to turn the world into one big family. Our meeting is also one of the most important events that will influence the synod discussions. These, our days of meeting, are like a dawn of a new day. We call on the Lord to shine on the world the gospel of the family. My friends, your work awaits you!”
“Thank you,” said Mayor Nutter, “for the honour of being the first city in the United States to host the World Meeting of Families. Love is our mission: the family fully alive. There is no better place to celebrate that love than in the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection.”