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Can’t Spell WMOF Without NU

World Meeting of Families
World Meeting of Families
Sr. Mary Ann McCarthy and student volunteers hold a Pope Francis bobblehead before they serve meals at the
World Meeting of Families

Neumann University is fully integrated with the World Meeting of Families (WMOF) and subsequent papal visit to Philadelphia. The university’s influence and support are everywhere.


Dr. Rosalie Mirenda, Neumann’s president, is on the WMOF’s board of directors and, additionally, coordinates the support that the organization needs from all the other Catholic institutions of higher education in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Mary Beth Yount, PhD, an assistant professor of Pastoral and Theological Studies, has been on loan to the WMOF for the last year. She is the director of content and programming for the global event that the Roman Catholic Church hosts every three years. Dr. Yount has been responsible for leading the development of programs and educational sessions for the upcoming conference, scheduled for September 22-25 and expected to draw 15,000 participants to the Pennsylvania Convention Center.


Karen Thomas, an instructor in the Communications and Digital Media major, is also on loan to the WMOF this semester. She is assisting with the complex task of managing the thousands of media requests that have poured into the organization for access to the conference and papal visit.


Neumann’s Mission and Ministry unit has recruited and trained 20 student volunteers for a specific function at the WMOF. Under the leadership of Campus Minister Patrick McKenzie, the students will provide education and entertainment for youngsters at the convention center while their parents are attending conference sessions. Part of the volunteer tool kit during these educational presentations is a St. Francis of Assisi coloring book, specially created for the WMOF and underwritten by Neumann.


The university is also doing everything it can to recruit volunteers for the big event. There has been a prominent link to the WMOF volunteer registration form on the home page of Neumann’s website for months.


Of course, Neumann is exhibiting Franciscan hospitality in action by hosting approximately 170 pilgrims who are traveling from afar to come to Philadelphia for the Pope's visit. The groups originate from four states.


Maryland: 20 people who are true pilgrims, walking from Baltimore, will arrive Thursday at 8 p.m. and stay on campus in Community Hall until Saturday morning when they depart for the final leg of their journey, on foot, to Philly. The group includes 10 college students and 10 adults.


Indiana: 50 people (4 staff, 46 students) from the University of St. Francis arrive on Saturday at 5 p.m. and stay overnight in Community Hall before heading for Philly on Sunday with Neumann students.


Iowa: 50 people from Davenport arrive on Saturday at 9 p.m. and spend the night in Community Hall before departing for Philadelphia on Sunday morning.


Pennsylvania: 50 students from Alvernia University arrive on campus Sunday at 8 a.m. for a pit stop before continuing to Philadelphia.


Finally, Neumann University is one of only two colleges selected to be in an official position to cover the Holy Father at a papal event, his departure from the U.S. Neumann Media, represented by General Manager Sean McDonald and one Neumann student, will have a video position on a media riser at the Atlantic Aviation Center, for the farewell send-off of Pope Francis. 



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