Knock Shrine to celebrate families as part of preparations for World Meeting of Families 2018

7 Apr, 2017 | News

Knock Shrine will celebrate families at a special one-day event tomorrow, Saturday 8 April. ‘Celebrating Family: Preparing for World Meeting of Families 2018’ invites families to gather at the National Shrine for a number of talks and a special family Mass concelebrated by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin and Archbishop Michael Neary of Tuam. Archbishop Diarmuid Martin is President and host of the World Meeting of Families 2018 (WMOF2018).

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s event Father Richard Gibbons, PP and Rector of Knock Shrine said, “We hope that it will offer families the opportunity to start thinking about the WMOF 2018 and how it can inspire and guide them in family life. The family as a collective, faces enormous challenges today, however it is hoped that this event will be a positive and meaningful connection for people, facilitating open discussion, time for questions as well as a prayerful and special day with family Mass celebrated by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and Archbishop Michael Neary.”

The day-long event will include a number of talks, including a presentation from Father Timothy Bartlett, Secretary General of WMOF2018, on the theme chosen by Pope Francis for WMOF 2018, ‘The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World’. The conference will also hear powerful testimonies from a number of families on their own experiences and challenges of living as a Catholic family today, facilitated by Irish Times columnist and teacher Breda O’Brien.

Father Richard continued, “In light of all the heart breaking news that has come out in recent weeks, it is hoped that this will offer people the opportunity to engage with the new direction Pope Francis is taking and renewed hope for the life of the Church in Ireland.”

A range of workshops and activities facilitated by the Knock Youth Ministry team will take place throughout the day for children and young people attending with their parents. The activities will be held in the Rest & Care Centre and will offer the young people a safe and happy environment to learn more about their faith. Young people are also invited to participate in the family Mass at 3.00pm in the Knock Shrine Basilica.

For more information on this event and a full schedule of upcoming events at Knock Shrine, see

The World Meeting of Families will take place in Dublin from 21-26 August 2018. For more information see



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