Learn what it takes to prepare for the visit of Pope Francis to Philadelphia this September during a discussion Thursday, March 19 at 2 p.m. at Neumann University.

The university’s Center for Community Leadership Development and Entrepreneurship will host a panel discussion on the preparation, promotion and planning needed for the estimated 1 million people visiting the city Sept. 26-27, following the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia Sept. 22-25.

The discussion will consider the faith, logistics, economics, security and legal aspects of the planning effort. It will also examine the millions of dollars in economic impact on the region and the orchestration of a week of activities, plus the Mass celebrated by the pope on Sunday, Sept. 27.


The panel will consist of leaders with the World Meeting of Families including Executive Director Donna Crilley Farrell; Director of Content and Programming Dr. Mary Beth Yount; Vice Chair of the Communications and Marketing Committee Jay Devine; and Director of Human Resources Danielle McNichol.

“Our panelists will discuss the importance of communications, coordination and teamwork in producing an event this magnitude,” Jonathan Peri, director of the Center for Leadership and general counsel at Neumann University.

The World Meeting of Families is expected to draw a global audience. Issues including financing, transportation, housing, security, communications, building of structures, volunteer management and planning for possible weather-related problems are just a few of the concerns facing the organizers.

The Seventh World Meeting of families held in Milan in 2012 represented 153 nations, 350,000 attendees for the Feast of Testimonies and hosted more than 1 million participants at the Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI.

The panel will discuss how public and private leaders prepare for a global event and the importance of a clear plan and vision. The panel will also discuss the “what if” scenarios to deal with unforeseen surprises that may affect the event.

See more information and register for the program here.