Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Pope's Philly Fiat To Be Auctioned To High Bidder

Photograph courtesy of the World Meeting of Families—Philadelphia 2015/J. DiGidijunis

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015, with the Philadelphia Auto Show, today announced that a FIAT 500L used by Pope Francis during his historic visit to Philadelphia in September 2015 will be auctioned to the public at the annual Philadelphia Auto Show Black Tie Tailgate at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Friday, January 29 at 9 p.m. EST.  The auction will be conducted by Max Spann Real Estate & Auction Co. and will allow for both in-person and remote bidding. While the Black Tie Tailgate will support The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) through the Auto Dealers CARing for Kids Foundation as is its annual tradition, the auction of “Pope Francis’ Philly FIAT” will benefit select ministries and missions of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. 

In addition to this special auction, it was also announced that the second FIAT 500L used by Pope Francis in Philadelphia will be on display to the general public for the duration of the Philadelphia Auto Show (Saturday, January 30 – Sunday, February 7).  The Archdiocese of Philadelphia may elect to auction this second vehicle during the Black Tie Tailgate as well and allow it to remain on display through the close of the Auto Show.

The FIAT 500Ls were made available by FCA US LLC (“FIAT Chrysler”) for use in Philadelphia for the Papal visit to the United States. The United States Secret Service (USSS) provided the Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs) of the vehicles used by the Holy Father in Philadelphia. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia confirmed that the VINs on the vehicles donated by FIAT Chrysler match the VINs identified by the USSS.

“I’m deeply grateful to FIAT Chrysler for its generosity in giving the Archdiocese of Philadelphia the two FIATS used by Pope Francis during his visit to Philadelphia on September 26-27, 2015,” said Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.  

“When we learned that these vehicles would be given to us, we wanted to find some way for the public  to see them and answer Pope Francis’ call to love and care for the poor.  Our partnership with the Philadelphia Auto Show provides us with the wonderful opportunity to share these vehicles with the community while also connecting with a highly engaged audience for the great benefit of society’s most vulnerable and marginalized members.”  

As noted previously, the entirety of the proceeds from the Philadelphia Auto Show Black Tie Tailgate will support CHOP, specifically the Division of Neurology in 2016.  The entirety of the proceeds from the auction of “Pope Francis’ Philly Fiat” will benefit the following four missions of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia:

Catholic Charities Appeal (50 percent of the proceeds from the auction)
The first 50 percent of the auction’s proceeds will be allocated to the Catholic Charities Appeal. This appeal provides funding to more than 80 programs within the Philadelphia region that annually offer resources and care for more than 200,000 of the most marginalized members of our society who struggle with homelessness and poverty. Key ministries and missions across the five county Philadelphia region including, Family Services Centers, Foster Care and Adoption Services, Healthcare Services, Housing, Hunger and Homeless Services and Youth Services.   Those provided services come from a broad range of faith traditions.

Mercy Hospice (1/3 of the remaining 50 percent of the proceeds from the auction
Mercy Hospice is a residential program for women in recovery and mothers in recovery with children.  Located at 334 S. 13th Street, Mercy Hospice services include life skills programs, case management services, parenting groups, and substance abuse recovery groups.  A "day program" for non-residents is also available and offers lunch, access to case management services, showers and clothing.  Over just the last two years, Mercy Hospice has housed 234 women and 41 children.

Casa Del Carmen (1/3 of the remaining 50 percent of the proceeds from the auction)
Casa Del Carmen is located at 4400 North Reese Street, Philadelphia, PA at the former St. Henry’s Parish.  Designated a Benephilly Center, Casa Del Carmen assists low income residents with applying for and enrolling in a comprehensive suite of federal, state and local benefits.  This Center also provides food and clothing distribution, rent, mortgage and utility assistance, The Green Light Pantry, document assistance as well as translation services.  A partnership with city governmental agencies has allowed for the expansion of prenatal and parenting education and support programs, such as the Strengthening Families Program.  On the campus of Casa Del Carmen is the Casa Del Carmen Academy, a licensed preschool and Out of School Time Program.  Community College of Philadelphia provides GED and ESOL classes on site.  This organization serves primarily the Hispanic and Latino families at North and Northeast Philadelphia. 

The Schools of Special Education of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia
(1/3 of the remaining 50 percent of the proceeds from the auction)
Too often, children with special instructional needs are brought up learning how to adjust to the world – how to survive a place that wasn’t made for them.  However, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, managed in-part by the Faith in the Future Foundation, has created schools for these students that immerse them in the wonder of their surroundings, the love of their communities and the joy of learning that every child shares. Each of the Archdiocesan schools of special education delivers a strong suite of academic, sensory and spiritual instruction. Students learn more than the skills needed to make it in the world; they also learn how to make the world a better place.
A pre-k to grade 8 curriculum in a bilingual (English and American Sign Language) environment prepares students for a life of scholarship. Opportunity for inclusion in other Archdiocesan elementary classes gives Archbishop Ryan Academy students a strong background in communication.

With a focus on literacy and personal achievement, Saint Lucy’s Day School for students pre-k through grade 8 helps visually impaired children discover and understand their world. These students are also encouraged to attend inclusion classes at other Archdiocesan elementary schools.

Saint Katherine Day School (For students with cognitive impairments)
Featuring academic, vocational, occupational, and artistic classes, St. Katherine Day School offers a holistic curriculum. This school is uniquely positioned to teach students with multiple disabilities.

Our Lady of Confidence (For students with cognitive impairments)
With a full curriculum of functional academics and intensive life skills training, Our Lady of Confidence helps students achieve and surpass their potential. Alumni become active, vital members of their communities.

“The FIAT is such an icon of Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia and the auction of this vehicle serves as an extraordinary final event to close this memorable chapter in the City’s history,” said Donna Crilley Farrell, Executive Director of the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015.   We are very grateful for the opportunity to showcase these FIAT 500Ls for the Philadelphia community at the 2016 Philadelphia Auto Show and we thank both the Black Tie Tailgate and the Auto Dealers CARing for Kids Foundation for their willingness to add this special auction to its annual kick-off celebration.    The good that this auction will bring to the Catholic Charities Appeal, Mercy Hospice, Casa Del Carmen and the Archdiocesan Schools of Special Education is simply incomparable.” 

David Kelleher, Chairman of the Philadelphia Auto Show, also commented, “We are delighted to have Pope Francis’ FIAT 500L on display for the entirety of the Philadelphia Auto Show and we are excited to add this auction component to the Black Tie Tailgate. No other Auto Show in the U.S. has such a display and we are hopeful that this will drive even greater attendance in Philadelphia.  An opportunity like this is truly once in a lifetime. The Auto Show is proud to provide this platform to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 for the auction of the Papal FIAT 500L.”

To participate in-person or remotely as a bidder for “Pope Francis’ Philly FIAT,” please contact Max Spann Real Estate & Auction Co. by visiting or calling 888.299.1438.  Comprehensive details of the auction process will be provided to the public in advance of January 29.

To purchase tickets to The Philadelphia Auto Show Black Tie Tailgate, please visit  To purchase tickets to the Philadelphia Auto Show (January 30 – February 7), please visit    

For more information about the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and those non-profit organizations set to benefit from the auction of the Papal Fiat, please visit  For more information regarding the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015, please visit For additional information regarding the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 official commemorative book and DVD, please visit:

About the Archdiocese of Philadelphia
Founded in 1808, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is comprised of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia County in the southeastern part of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It is the spiritual home for over 1.4 million Catholics in the region in 219 parishes. Through its parish elementary schools, high schools, and schools of special education, the Archdiocese molds tomorrow’s leaders through innovative 21st century learning programs. Through the ministries of Catholic Social Services, it provides care for over 200,000 members of the community who are most in need each year who come from a broad array of faith backgrounds.

About the World Meetings of Families
Beginning with 1994, The Year of the Family, the Pontifical Council for the Family has been responsible for organizing the World Meetings of Families in Rome (1994); Rio de Janeiro (1997); Rome (2000); Manila (2003); Valencia (2006); Mexico City (2009); Milan (2012); and now, Philadelphia (2015).  Since its inception by Saint John Paul II, the World Meeting of Families has sought to strengthen the sacred bonds of family across the globe.

About the Black Tie Tailgate and the Philadelphia Auto Show
The 2016 Black Tie Tailgate on Friday, Jan. 29, 2016, is produced by the Auto Dealers CARing for Kids Foundation. Guests will enjoy cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and live entertainment while getting a preview of the Show. Through the Auto Dealers CARing for Kids Foundation, the Black Tie Tailgate proceeds benefit the Division of Neurology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Total giving since 1986 surpasses $6.3 million. Black Tie Tailgate tickets are $225 per person and can be purchased at  

The 2016 Philadelphia Auto Show, produced and owned by the Automobile Dealers Association of Greater Philadelphia, rolls into the Pennsylvania Convention Center Jan. 30 to Feb. 7. This year's event will feature 700 vehicles from more than 40 worldwide manufacturers. Highlights include an array of pre-production, hot production, classic, luxury, and exotic models. Ticket prices range from $7 to $14. For more information, visit

Sponsors of the 2016 Black Tie Tailgate

Grand Sponsors: Lexus and Mercedes-Benz;  Platinum Sponsors: Audi, Subaru and Toyota; Gold Sponsors: 6abc, Anabus, Aramark/SFS, Automotive Training Center, Buick GMC, Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep/Ram/FIAT, Comcast Spotlight, Quality Plus Ford Dealers, Delaware Valley Honda Dealers, Hyundai Motors America, Kia Motors America, Lincoln Technical Institute, Nissan North America,  Philadelphia magazine, Philadelphia Media Network, Philadelphia Delaware and Southern NJ Porsche Dealers, Local Area Volkswagen Dealers; Silver Sponsors: Acura, Axalta Coating Systems, Berkadia, Biogen, Bozeken, Comcast SportsNet, ESSA Bank & Trust, Fox Rothschild LLP, Maxim Automotive, Mazda North America, PNC, and Zurich.

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