World Meeting of Families plans activities for young people

 Catholic school students applaud the news in November that  Pope Francis would be in Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families, a conference held every three years in a different city to celebrate the importance of family. (AP file photo)

Catholic school students applaud the news in November that Pope Francis would be in Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families, a conference held every three years in a different city to celebrate the importance of family. (AP file photo)

With more than a million people expected to pour into Philadelphia for the pope’s visit next month, planners are making sure young visitors will stay busy.

The World Meeting of Families’ Youth Conference is planning a week of Catholic-themed events leading up to Pope Francis’ arrival; activities include praying with paint, video game bowling with bishops and sacramental scavenger hunts, said director of programming Mary Beth Yount.

Concerts geared toward youth also are planned before Pope Francis lands in Philadelphia 9:30 on the morning of Sept. 26

“It is going to be so fun. And such a chance for people to engage with children from families of other cultures. Just to broaden their experience. But also just to celebrate together as a community,” Yount said.

The World Meeting of Families Congress is expecting around 15,000 participants, and the Youth Congress is planning for 3,000 young people.

A quarter of those participants are coming from outside the U.S., Yount said.

“So we have youth participants from all around the world, a large Vietnamese population, for example,” she said.

Coinciding with the adult meetings, the Youth Congress will take place in a secure area of the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

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