An Irish delegation will travel to Rome over the coming days to attend the 10th World Meeting of Families which begins on Wednesday 22 June, on the theme, ‘Family love: a vocation and a path to holiness.’ The delegation from Ireland includes family members as well as the President of the Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, and the chair of the Council for Marriage & Family, Bishop Denis Nulty of Kildare & Leighlin.
At their Summer General Meeting last week, the Bishops of Ireland offered their prayerful good wishes to the Diocese of Rome as it prepares to host the gathering of families from across the world. Ireland hosted the 9th World Meeting of Families in August 2018 which was attended by Pope Francis, and tens of thousands of people from home and abroad.
Ahead of his departure for Rome, Bishop Nulty said, “We are very much looking forward to being part of the tenth World Meeting of Families in the presence of Pope Francis and pilgrims from around the world. All of us remember with fondness those memorable days in Dublin four years ago.
“We look forward to discussions and reflections from families on themes such as the role of grandparents, the pastoral care of the elderly, accompanying fatherhood and motherhood, vocations, accompanying forgiveness, preparing for marriage, the impact of digital media on family life and much more.
“As we pray and reflect together on the many joys and challenges facing family life today. I am particularly conscious of the enormous difficulties being faced by families here in Ireland as a result of the rapid rise in the cost of living. I commend the work being done in dioceses and parishes across the country to reach out and support families in difficulty on a day to day basis. As we depart for Rome we will take the prayers and intentions of Irish families with us”, Bishop Nulty said.
All families can join in the celebration
Families across Ireland are encouraged to support Pope Francis’ wish that the celebration of the World Meeting of Families may take place in every diocese around the world and, if possible, every parish. A pastoral kit has been prepared and is available on www.catholicbishops.ie.
Parishes can follow the ceremonies that will be live-streamed from Rome, perhaps by way of gathering in a parish centre to watch the ceremonies. ‘The Festival of Families’ will take place on the evening of Wednesday 22 June; the closing Mass on the evening of Saturday 25 June; and the Angelus and ‘Mandate to Families’ from Pope Francis will be shared on the morning of Sunday 26 June.
Prayer for the World Meeting of Families 2022: Family Love: Vocation and Path to Holiness
Families and parishes are also invited to pray the Prayer for the World Meeting of Family 2022:
We come before You to praise You
and to thank You for the great gift of the family.
We pray to You for all families
consecrated by the Sacrament of Matrimony.
May they rediscover each day
the grace they have received,
and as small domestic Churches,
may they know how to witness to Your presence
and to the love with which Christ loves the Church.
We pray to You for all families faced with difficulty and suffering
caused by illness or circumstances of which only You know.
Sustain them and make them aware
of the path to holiness upon which You call them,
so that they might experience Your infinite mercy
and find new ways to grow in love.
We pray to You for children and young people:
may they encounter You and respond joyfully
to the vocation You have in mind for them;
We pray for parents and grandparents: may they be aware
that they are signs of the fatherhood and motherhood of God
in caring for the children who, in body and spirit, You entrust to them;
and for the experience of fraternity
that the family can give to the world.
Lord, grant that each family
might live their specific vocation to holiness in the Church
as a call to become missionary disciples,
in the service of life and peace,
in communion with our priests, religious,
and all vocations in the Church.
Bless the World Meeting of Families. Amen.
Families and parishes are also invited to pray the Prayer for the World Meeting of Family 2022 (see below).
The World Meeting of Families
Held every three years and sponsored by the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Family, the World Meeting of Families (WMOF) is the Catholic Church’s largest international gathering of families. The event took place in Philadelphia, USA in 2015; and in Dublin in 2018. The WMOF originated with Pope Saint John Paul II in 1992. This year’s event begins on Wednesday 22 June and concludes on Sunday 26 June.
To follow the events in Rome see www.romefamily2022.com.