By Junno Arocho
MILAN, June 4, 2012 (Zenit.org).- At the conclusion of the VII World Meeting of Families, Pope Benedict XVI announced that the next encounter will be in Philadelphia, PA in 2015.
The announcement was made before the recitation of the Angelus.
The Holy Father first thanked those responsible for the Milan event, where over 1 million people gathered for the closing Mass. "I wish to extend my thanks to all who have contributed to the success of this World Meeting of Families, particularly to Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, to Cardinal Angelo Scola, to the Archdiocese and City of Milan, and to the many people from Italy and abroad who have prayed and worked so hard to make this Meeting a time of grace for all," he said.
"I now have the joy of announcing that the next World Meeting of Families will take place in 2015 in Philadelphia in the United States of America. I send my warm greetings to Archbishop Charles Chaput and to the catholics of that great city, and look forward to meeting them there along with numerous families from all around the world," the pope said.
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia was in Milan for the announcement. As part of the Milan event, Archbishop Chaput received the icon of the Holy Family, which is the symbol of The World Meeting of Families. "I am so grateful to the Holy Father that he has chosen Philadelphia and excited that we will host the 2015 World Meeting of Families," he said. "It's fitting that this gathering, which celebrates the cornerstone of society, will take place in America's cradle of freedom. The Holy Father's choice is a gift to the local Church in Philadelphia and to the whole nation."
"The family is founded on a deep and loving union between one man and one woman for mutual support and the nurturing of children," the archbishop continued. "This meeting in Philadelphia will be a wonderful opportunity to highlight the family as the basic evangelizing unit of the Church. Every effort to promote marriage and the family serves not only the Church, but also the common good."
In a statement released yesterday, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia expressed its anticipation in hosting the international event and "continuing the good work done at the meeting this year in Milan."