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Pope to visit US and the Philippines in 2015

Pope Francis confirmed he will be attending the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in the US next year shortly after the programme for his visit to the Philippines was announced.

“I wish to confirm according to the wishes of the Lord, that in September of 2015, I will go to Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families,” the Pope said on Monday. “Thank you for your prayers with which you accompany my service to the Church. Bless you from my heart.”

The Holy Father was speaking at the beginning of a colloquium on Complementarity of Man and Woman happening in Rome that was sponsored by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The World Meeting of Families takes place September 22-27, 2015, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and has as its theme Love is Our Mission: The Family fully alive.

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, who was on hand for the announcement in Rome, expressed excitement about the Pope’s planned visit in a statement released by World Meeting of Families.

“I am overjoyed by Pope Francis’ announcement that he will join with us for the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia next year,” the archbishop said. “A hallmark of his papacy has been a keen focus on the many challenges that families face today globally. His charisma, presence and voice will electrify the gathering.”

Over the weekend the Vatican also released the schedule for Pope Francis’ visit to Sri Lanka and the Philippines in January. The Pope will leave Rome on January 12, returning on January 19.

After departing Rome on the evening of January 12, 2015, the Holy Father will arrive in Colombo, Sri Lanka the following morning, where he will be met with an official welcoming ceremony and afterwards meet the bishops of the island.

While in Sri Lanka the Pope will also pay a courtesy visit to the country’s president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, hold a meeting with leaders of different religions, and will Canonise Sri Lankan Blessed Giuseppe Vaz.

He will leave Sri Lanka on Wednesday, January 15. Upon his arrival to the Philippines, Pope Francis will have an official welcome at the Air Base where he lands. The official welcoming ceremony will take place the following morning. Later that day he will celebrate Mass with bishops, priests and religious in Manila’s cathedral, and afterward will hold an encounter with families. He will leave on January 17, for Tacloban.

On his last full day in the Philippines, the Pope will hold a brief encounter with interreligious leaders, followed by a meeting with the youth in the afternoon. He will have a farewell ceremony the morning of Monday, January 19 at Manila’s Air Base before returning to Rome, where he will arrive at roughly 6pm.


—Read the full version of this story in Nov 21 edition of the SCO in parishes from Friday.




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