Mark Wahlberg to Host Pope Francis at Festival of Families Event

Getty Images
Getty Images
Philadelphia, PA

Actor Mark Wahlberg will host The Festival of Families with Pope Francis in Philadelphia, PA later this month.

According to a press release, Wahlberg will be joined by other celebrities, including Aretha Franklin, rock band The Fray, Sister Sledge, Marie Miller, a finalist in a singer/songwriter competition for iHeart radio, and comedian Jim Gaffigan.

“Mr. Wahlberg, Ms. Franklin, The Fray and Ms. Miller join an all-star lineup of musical performers including Andrea Bocelli, Juanes and The Philadelphia Orchestra,” per the release.

Numerous other musical performances will be shown across the festival on 40 Jumbotrons.

The entire event will also be broadcast on television.

The event is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 26, and is “an international celebration of family, community, and faith,” that is scheduled for the Pope’s upcoming American visit, and is the closing ceremony for the triennial World Meeting of Families conference, ABC 6 in Philadelphia reports.

“As a Catholic, I credit much of my success to my faith,” Mark Wahlberg said in a release. “It is an honor to be a part of welcoming Pope Francis to Philadelphia and I am humbled to join this celebration.”

Aretha Franklin also said in the release, “It is indeed a blessing to sing in the presence of His Holiness and to the attendees of the Festival of Families in the City of Brotherly Love. I look forward to this event. Be blessed!”

Organizers expect between 1.5 and 2 million people to attend the papal events scheduled in Philadelphia.