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Pope’s Announced Visit To Philadelphia Puts Wheels, And Mission, In Motion

By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The announcement that Philadelphia will host the Catholic Church’s World Family Day in 2015 (see related story) means a lot of preparations in the months and years ahead.

Although Pope Benedict XVI indicates that his health may be a barrier to his coming here three years from now, the choice of Philadelphia brings to mind the 1979 visit of Pope John Paul II (below right), with its throng for Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

pope mass in philly 1979  roz Popes Announced Visit To Philadelphia Puts Wheels, And Mission, In Motion

(File photo: Pope John Paul II visits Philadelphia in 1979. Credit: Bill Roswell)

Father Dennis Gill, director of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Office for Divine Worship, says guidance for an event such as this can come from the one just completed in Milan, and the Pontifical Council for the Family, with an eye toward highlighting a bedrock Church value.

“The sole purpose of this World Meeting with Families is to put in relief what is the work of the Church all the time, to encourage and support the Christian family and marriage,” Gill tells KYW Newsradio.

He says it’s like the way an anniversary celebrates a marriage.

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