There is plenty of optimism in the group that just got back from Rome for an audience with Pope Francis.
Mayor Michael Nutter says the delegation feels even more confident now that the pope will come to Philadelphia next year.
“After the full presentation to the pontifical council and after having the opportunity to greet him, shake his hand, talk to him for a few he seemed not only joyful to see us but he was quite well aware of why we were there,” he said.
Nutter says Philadelphia will prepare for Pope Francis to attend the World Meeting of Families here in 2015 even though it will likely be months before Rome decides.
“We should anticipate without knowing the pope may come because with good planning you’ve already taken into account the potentiality of the visit,” he said. “That takes security and a whole host of other issues to an entirely different level.”
Nutter displayed everything from a coin set to rosary beads given to him by Pope Francis and others during his trip to Rome.
The mayor says the next step is raising the millions of dollars needed to put on the event.