Pondering Papal predicament

Jack Magargee

The Papal visit to Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families in September 2015 will be the first since St. John Paul II came in 1979. This will also be Pope Francis’s first visit to the Americas since he was inaugurated.
Malvern is still in the process of deciding whether or not any sponsored trips will be made to the World Meeting of Families.

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This Papal visit will be a part of The World Meeting of Families. This is held every three years and sponsored by the Holy See’s Pontifical Council for the Family, according to the event’s website. This year’s event is scheduled Monday, September 21 – Sunday, September 27.

The theme of the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia is “Love Is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive.”

The website indicates that keynote speakers and breakout sessions scheduled Monday through Friday will take place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

According to the website, details for the Papal Visit have not yet been confirmed. The Holy Father is expected to be in attendance on September 26-27 for a Festival of Families and Papal Mass.

According to a CBS report, all Philadelphia archdiocesan schools will be closed Wednesday, September 23 through Friday, September 25. The public school district of Philadelphia will be closed on Friday, September 25 due to anticipated crowds and street closures.

Unlike these schools, Malvern will remain open throughout the week of the World Meeting of Families.

“It is a conference for families so if people want to go with their families they will be excused from class that day,” said Director of Augustinian Identity and Mission Father Chris Drennen.

“It’s not something we want to put on a burden on everyone on account of price, and I’m not sure everyone has that interest,” Drennen said.

According to the registration page on the website, prices for attending the World Meeting of Families range from $95 for early registration for ages 6-17, to $400 for on-site registration for adults.

Mr. Algeo said, “Our first initial reaction was to close school, but we surveyed other schools – girl’s schools in particular such as Villa and Notre Dame because students tend to have siblings there and families will be looking for a nice match. I believe Villa Maria is not giving any time off.”

“Our decision was not based off theirs, but we try to stay as close to them as we can,” said Algeo.

Though no sponsored field trips have been confirmed, on-campus involvement may still be an option. Administrators have a desire to incorporate topics spoken about by the Ppe in Malvern classes.

“There have not been (talks) yet, but I would be shocked if there aren’t in the near future,” said Algeo.