Families from across Ireland were in Knock, Co Mayo, on Monday to mark the one-year countdown to next year’s World Meeting of Families in Dublin.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, President and host of WMOF2018, presided at Mass in the Basilica where he preached on the theme “When Plates Fly: Pope Francis on the joys and challenges of family life”.
The Mass was live streamed on www.worldmeeting2018.ie and on www.knockshrine.ie with commentary by Father Dermod McCarthy.
The WMOF2018 icon of the Holy Family was unveiled and anointed at the Mass from where it will begin a journey through the 26 Catholic dioceses in Ireland. The official prayer for the gathering was also presented at this Mass.
The WMOF2018 secretary general Father Tim Bartlett delivered workshops on “Glued to our phones: can we make technology more family friendly?” at St John’s Rest and Care Centre.
The World Meeting of Families was established by Pope Saint John Paul in 1994 to emphasise the the central importance of marriage and the family and takes place every three years.
It will begin in Dublin on Tuesday, 21 August 2018, with a national opening which will take place simultaneously in all 26 dioceses to be followed by a three-day congress on “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World”.
A Festival of Families will be held on Saturday, August 25th, involving a cultural concert with representatives from five continents, and it will conclude the following day with a Mass involving thousands of pilgrims from Ireland and around the world.
For more on the WMOF2018 see www.worldmeeting2018.ie.