In a video interview ahead of Pope Francis’ meeting with the Irish bishops on Friday morning, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin and President of World Meeting of Families 2018 (WMOF2018), has encouraged people to pray that Pope Francis will come to Ireland for the WMOF in August 2018.
Archbishop Martin said, “Pope Francis has said now to so many people that he wants to come, that we can be sure that this is his intention. Pope Francis told me there’s something about the message of the synod, there’s something about the difficulties Ireland has gone through, that offers him an opportunity to say things that he wants to say about the family, not just to Ireland but to other parts of the world.”
Archbishop Martin revealed that his own biggest hope for the event is that it will be an occasion to renew confidence in the family. He said, “Their life within their own four walls is a really genuine Christian vocation which is vital in today’s society and vital for the building up of Ireland and of our culture. Families around the world have experienced difficulties. No one is more aware than Pope Francis of the difficulties that families encounter.”
“This will be an event, a message, for all families.” Archbishop Martin concluded.
The World Meeting of Families will take place in Dublin from 22 to 26 August 2018. Pope Francis chose Dublin to host the World Meeting of Families 2018 and gave it the theme: “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World”. The World Meeting of Families takes place every three years: the most recent took place in Philadelphia in September 2015.
The August 2018 event will involve three key moments. Firstly, from the 22 to 24 August, a three-day Congress for all that will entail a joyful and reflective programme of workshops, talks and discussions; an engaging and exciting programme for young people as well as faith and fun activities for children. This will be followed by a Festival of Families on Saturday 25 August, comprising a special concert style event within a prayerful and joyful atmosphere, in which personal stories of faith will be shared by families representing the five continents of the world. WMOF 2018 will close with a solemn Eucharistic Celebration on Sunday 26 August, that will gather thousands of people from Ireland and all over the world. The World Meeting will also include exhibitions, cultural events and musical performances, events around Ireland, gestures of solidarity with those in need, celebrations and much more.
To help prepare for WMOF2018, a programme of pre-catechesis will be offered to parishes and families based largely on the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), encouraging reflection on different aspects of being family in the Church and in the world today.
The members of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference are currently undertaking their Ad Limina Apostolorum visit to Rome. The Ad Limina normally occurs every five years and its purpose is to strengthen the bishops’ communion with the universal Church and with the successor of Saint Peter, Pope Francis. You can read more about the Ad Limina visit on catholicbishops.ie.