The Archdiocese of Philadelphia and local organizers of the World Meeting of Families announced Monday the creation of 15 committees to coordinate the international gathering in September, which will feature a visit to Philadelphia by Pope Francis.
The committees will develop programming and coordinate efforts on such topics as music, "visitor experience," liturgies, youth events, parish preparation, and papal events.
Sponsored by the Vatican and hosted by the archdiocese, the six-day gathering will feature a four-day congress of lectures and workshops at the Convention Center.
The archdiocese expects about 10,000 to 15,000 visitors from around the world to attend the congress, which begins Sept. 22.
Francis is due to arrive Sept. 26 and appear at a festival on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Church and city officials estimate the gathering will draw one million people.
Francis will also celebrate Mass on Sept. 27 at an altar on the Parkway. Officials expect as many as two million people to attend.
Security and some logistical planning for the papal visit are being prepared by city, state, and federal protection agencies in conjunction with World Meeting of Families Philadelphia 2015, a nonprofit created by the archdiocese to raise funds and coordinate planning. It announced the chairs of its special committees would be:
Eustace Mita, CEO of Achristavest, for development and fund-raising.
Karen Dougherty Buchholz, senior vice president of Comcast Corp., and Josephine Mandeville, president of the Connelly Foundation, cochairs for for papal events.
Steve Fera, senior vice president of Independence Blue Cross, for government outreach.
Tod J. MacKenzie, senior vice president for corporate communications at Aramark Corp., for communications.
Meryl Levitz, CEO of Visit Philadelphia, and Sharon Pinkenson, executive director of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, cochairs for "Go Philadelphia."
Sister Mary Scullion, executive director, Project HOME, for hunger and homelessness.
Jerry M. Francesco, chairman, board of trustees, Visiting Nurse Association, for health resources.
The Rev. Paul Kennedy, pastor of St. Katherine of Siena parish in Philadelphia, for housing of Vatican officials and other dignitaries.
The Rev. Dennis Gill, director of the archdiocesan office for divine worship, for liturgy and liturgical music.
Meghan Cokeley, director of the archdiocese's office for the new evangelization, and Christopher Mominey, archdiocesan secretary for Catholic education, cochairs for parish and school preparations.
The Rev. Bruce Lewandowski, vicar for the archdiocese's cultural ministries, for visas and immigration.
Alison Grove, principal of Grimm & Grove Communications, for volunteers.
Jack Ferguson, president, Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, for the welcome committee.
The Rev. Stephen P. DeLacy, chair of the archdiocese's vocations office, for the Youth Congress.
In a statement this week, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia thanked the committee chairs and members for their willingness to volunteer.
He predicted they and many others would "create a a beautiful and memorable week for our families here in the Philadelphia region - and for families from around the world."