Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. and Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, along with World Meetings of Families—Philadelphia 2015, today announced the official theme for the Eighth World Meeting of Families: “Love is our mission: the family fully alive.” Inspired by the words of the early Church father, St. Irenaeus, “the glory of God is man fully alive,” the conference theme reflects the central role of the family in teaching people how to receive and give love.
Joined by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, Honorary Co-Chairs for the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015, the theme was unveiled to an audience of business and civic leaders at a press conference held at the Independence Visitors Center, overlooking Independence Hall – one of the world’s great symbols of religious freedom.
“His Holiness, Pope Francis embodies the message of mercy, joy and love that lies at the heart of the Gospel,” said Archbishop Chaput. “His compassion for the genuine needs of people around the world and his deep care for the institution of the family have inspired our theme. It not only reminds each of us that love should be our life’s ‘mission’ but that also it is the engine of life. Our goal for the 2015 World Meeting of Families is to create a moment of hope and celebration for all of the world’s families – a moment in which we hope Pope Francis will join.”
The role of the family has surfaced often within Pope Francis’ papacy. The theme will serve to drive catechetical content and programming for the World Meeting of Families, which will take place in Philadelphia from September 22-27, 2015. Nearly 100 speakers are expected to be part of this international conference, which typically draws thousands of attendees from more than 150 nations.
Archbishop Chaput further commented, “The Holy Father has stressed that our task in planning this event is to show the world God’s shining plan for families. ‘Love is our mission: the family fully alive’ is a theme that resonates not just with Catholics, but all people of good will. It underlines the beauty and truth of family life. The love that we cite in our theme is a love that we must ensure fills every home and all family members with a unique and invigorating light and warmth.”
Beginning with 1994, The Year of the Family, the Pontifical Council for the Family has been responsible for organizing the World Meetings of Families in Rome (1994); Rio de Janeiro (1997); Rome (2000); Manila (2003); Valencia (2006); Mexico City (2009); Milan (2012); and now, Philadelphia (2015). Since its inception by Saint John Paul II, the World Meeting of Families has sought to strengthen the sacred bonds of family across the globe.