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Mark Wahlberg slated to host festival attended by Pope Francis

The actor will host the World Meeting of Families later this month.

By
Marilyn Malara
Rhea Durham and Mark Wahlberg arrive on the red carpet at the New York Premiere of Ted 2 at Ziegfeld Theater in New York City on June 24, 2015. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Rhea Durham and Mark Wahlberg arrive on the red carpet at the New York Premiere of Ted 2 at Ziegfeld Theater in New York City on June 24, 2015. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Actor Mark Wahlberg has been chosen to host this year's World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia to honor the arrival of Pope Francis.

The festival announced Monday the Ted 2 actor will accompany singer Aretha Franklin, musical act The Fray and comedian Jim Gaffigan as performers for the event. Pope Francis will reportedly speak at the festival, which celebrates the role of families in society.

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

Other celebrities expected at this year's event are Andrea Bocelli, Juanes, Marie Miller, Matt Maher, Sister Sledge and the Philadelphia Orchestra. The World Meeting of Families kicks off Saturday, Sept. 26. Previous locations of the event are Milan, Mexico City, Valencia, Manila and Rome.

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