Archbishop Eamon Martin welcomed the announcement in the Vatican today that Pope Francis has chosen The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World as the theme for the ninth World Meeting of Families, which will take place in Dublin on 22 – 26 August 2018.
Archbishop Eamon said, “Personally, and on behalf of the Irish Bishops’ Conference, I wish to thank Pope Francis for his inspiring choice of theme for the 9th World Meeting of Families in Dublin. The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World, clearly draws on both Apostolic Exhortations of the Holy Father, Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel) of November 2013, and Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love, On Love in the Family), published last month in April.”
Archbishop Eamon continued, “After World Youth Day in Krakow this July, the World Meeting of Families in Dublin in 2018 will be the next great global event in the calendar of the Universal Church. The Catholic Church in Ireland is blessed to have been chosen to host, for the first time, this special faith-filled event for families.
“It is my hope that families in every parish in the country will be able to participate in the preparation for the World Meeting, and that many families will take part in the various events being planned for late summer 2018. The World Meeting provides the perfect context for us to rediscover the vocation and mission of the family in the life of the Church and in Irish society.
“Supporting families is one of the most important aspects of the mission of the Church. As a priest and bishop I have come to know and admire the wonderful work of many individuals and groups who are involved in family support and ministry here in Ireland. The World Meeting provides an opportunity to affirm their work and to inspire new initiatives to sustain the family as a source of joy, hope and cohesion in the Church and in society.
“Of course, as Pope Francis reminds us often, no family is perfect and every family has its struggles and wounds. The World Meeting of Families in Dublin will be a success if it helps us to celebrate and support family life whilst encouraging us to reach out in love to families who are overwhelmed by the challenges and pressures of everyday living.”
Archbishop Eamon concluded, “Over the next two years, in our preparations for the World Meeting of Families 2018, the Catholic Church across the country has an opportunity to map out and advocate a new Charter and Mission for the family in the context of twenty-first century Ireland.”