The delegation from Ireland has arrived in Rome for the 10th World Meeting of Families which begins today on the theme, ‘Family love: a vocation and a path to holiness.’  The delegation includes family members and is led by 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.

Father Colm O’Doherty from Derry Diocese with Bishop Denis Nulty of Kildare and Leighlin

The gathering of families, representing people from all over the world, begins this evening at 6.00pm (Rome time) starting with the ‘Festival of Families’ in the presence of Pope Francis.  Amongst those gathered for the Festival will be families from Ukraine.

Ireland hosted the 9th World Meeting of Families in August 2018 which was attended by Pope Francis, as well as by tens of thousands of people from home and abroad.  Speaking from Rome, Bishop Nulty said, “There is great excitement here ahead of the beginning of the World Meeting of Families this evening.  All of us remember with fondness the Festival of Families in Croke Park, Dublin, in August 2018, and this evening we will celebrate with families again in the presence of Pope Francis.

“I am particularly looking forward to tomorrow when we will gather with families to discuss many of the themes relevant to family life today: 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.”

All families can join in the celebration

Bishop Nulty continued, “This year’s World Meeting of Families has been adapted to suit the post-pandemic era and therefore will be smaller in terms of numbers with just 2,000 delegates gathered here in Rome.  But it is still possible for families across Ireland to be part of the event by joining us online, in the same way that we became accustomed to during the pandemic.  All of the gatherings that are part of this year’s World Meeting will be live-streamed and I would really encourage people to tune in, see World Meeting of Families 2022 Rome – #WMOF22 (romefamily2022.com)

“We have also taken the prayers and intentions of Irish families with us to Rome and I would ask that our delegation be remembered in prayer in our parishes at home, especially this coming weekend, by praying the special Prayer for the World Meeting of Families 2022 (see below),” Bishop Nulty said.

For parishes across Ireland wishing to organise local online participation with the World Meeting of Families in Rome, a special pastoral kit has been prepared and is available onhttps://www.catholicbishops.ie/.

To access the live-stream of the events: see World Meeting of Families 2022 Rome – #WMOF22 (romefamily2022.com) for:

About the World Meeting of Families

Held every three years, the World Meeting of Families is organised by the Vatican’s Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life.  WMOF is the Catholic Church’s largest international gathering of families.  Recent WMOFs were hosted in the cities of Philadelphia, USA in 2015; and in Dublin in 2018.  The first WMOF was the idea of, and originated with, Saint John Paul II in Rome over 8 and 9 October 1994.  This year’s celebration will see thirty panel discussions with 62 speakers from around the world.  The presentations and discussions will be hosted by married couples with three priests also listed on the programme.  To follow the events in Rome please access World Meeting of Families 2022 Rome – #WMOF22 (romefamily2022.com)

ENDS