Quest for 10,000 Papal volunteers begins

The World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia 2015 announced on Monday, April 27, that its online volunteer registration is now officially open to the public.

With more than 10,000 volunteers needed for the World Meeting of Families Congress (Sept. 22-25) and Papal Visit (Sept. 26-27), individuals 18 years of age and older can now register at for the opportunity to play a crucial role in this once-in-a-lifetime event, said a press release from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

More than 100 volunteer opportunities need to be filled throughout the week of the World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia 2015, including opportunities related to the Festival of Families and Papal Mass. More volunteer options will likely be added upon the announcement of a formal itinerary for Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia. That announcement is anticipated in early summer.

Partnered with Verified Volunteers, the World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia 2015 volunteer registration site provides registrants with a simple yet secure platform to complete an online volunteer application form and a required Level Three background check, in accordance with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's volunteer protocol.

The background check typically takes 24 to 48 hours to process. The World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia 2015, will assume the cost although registrants will have the option to donate the $28 fee back to the event.

With a wide variety of volunteer opportunities available throughout the week - ranging from bilingual and multilingual skills for translation purposes to greeters at Philadelphia International Airport to social media support - the World Meeting of Families volunteer registration site will offer registrants the option to select different assignments as well as specific days and times. The average time to complete the form is estimated at 4 ½ minutes.

"The single most frequently asked question we receive is ‘how can I help?’” said Donna Crilley Farrell, executive director of the World Meeting of Families. “With today's official launch … we can finally and happily say ‘volunteer.’”

To ensure an organized volunteer infrastructure, all approved volunteers will participate in formal training programs throughout the summer. During the event, they will be outfitted in colorful, easy-to-identify, branded volunteer uniforms provided by Aramark, a global food provider headquartered in Philadelphia.

In addition to serving as the official uniform provider for the event, Aramark will also provide corporate volunteers for the events beginning on Tuesday, Sept. 22. Additional corporations have also committed volunteers, notably Campbell Soup, Independence Blue Cross and Torcon. And several local colleges and universities have also committed volunteers for this international event, including Cabrini College, Neumann University, St. Joseph's University and Villanova University.

Co-sponsored by the Holy See's Pontifical Council for the Family and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the World Meeting of Families is a triennial global event that seeks to strengthen the sacred bonds of family across the globe and highlight its intrinsic value to the good of society. This international gathering will welcome Pope Francis to the United States for the first time in his Papacy. For more information, visit



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