Archbishop Diarmuid Martin to launch the one year countdown to World Meeting of Families 2018

17 Aug, 2017 | News

Families from across Ireland have been invited by their diocese to come to Knock, Co Mayo, on Monday 21 August to be part of the celebrations for the official launch of the preparatory programme and to mark the one year countdown to next year’s World Meeting of Families 2018.

This day of celebration will include liturgies and prayers including the Anointing of the Sick, and the celebration of the Eucharist. It will also offer workshops, and lots of family-friendly activities that will be available from 11.00am until 7.00pm.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin will preside at Mass in the Basilica where he will preach the homily on the theme ‘When Plates Fly: Pope Francis on the joys and challenges of family life’.  This Mass will be concelebrated by bishops and priests from across the country.

Father Tim Bartlett, Secretary General of WMOF2018, will deliver a workshop entitled ‘Glued to our phones; can we make technology more family friendly?’ in Saint John’s Rest and Care Centre, Knock at 12 noon and 6.00pm on Monday.

The WMOF2018 Icon of the Holy Family will be unveiled and anointed at this Mass and it will then begin its journey around the dioceses of Ireland. The official prayer for WMOF2018 will also be presented at this Mass.

Also being launched on Monday is the Amoris: Let’s talk Family! Let’s Be Family! programme. Using a range of online and parish based resources, this programme will offer families, parishes and wider society an opportunity to think about and discuss our vision and hopes for family and marriage, particularly in light of Pope Francis’ The Joy of Love (Amoris Laetitia), his 2016 Apostolic Exhortation on love in the family.

Kairos Communications will be providing a multi-camera live stream of the 3.00pm Mass with commentary by Father Dermod McCarthy. The live stream will be available on the WMOF2018 website 

Background to WMOF2018

The World Meeting of Families was established by Pope Saint John Paul II in 1994. Held every three years, it is a  major international celebration of faith bringing together families from across the world to celebrate, pray and reflect upon the central importance of marriage and the family as the cornerstone of our lives, of society and of the Church.

Pope Francis chose the Archdiocese of Dublin to be the host diocese for the 2018 World Meeting of Families, guided by the theme “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World”.

Whilst WMOF2018 will include exhibitions, cultural events and musical performances, events around the city, gestures of solidarity, it will comprise four key events:

  • Firstly, a National Opening of World Meeting of Families will take place simultaneously in the twenty-six dioceses on the island of Ireland;
  • Secondly, from 21 to 24 August, a three-day Congress will entail a joyful and reflective programme of workshops, talks and discussions centred on the theme: “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World”.  The Congress will also offer an engaging programme for young people to include faith and fun activities for children;
  • Thirdly, a Festival of Families which will be held on Saturday 25 August 2018.  This will involve a cultural concert within a prayerful and joyful atmosphere, during which personal stories of faith will be shared by families, each representing the five continents; and,
  • Fourthly, Holy Mass for WMOF2018. A solemn Eucharistic Celebration on Sunday 26 August will involve thousands of pilgrims from Ireland and around the world.

See for more information. 



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