Volunteers and staff from the World Meeting of Families 2018 will don their wellies and waterproofs for this year’s National Ploughing Championships which is taking place at Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly from September 19 – 21 September.
The WMOF2018 team will be at Stand 644, Row 29, Block 2 where they will be offering information on next year’s family gathering in Dublin and inviting people to sign up up to volunteer for what will be a once in a generation event from 21 – 26 August 2018.
The Ploughing Championship was held for the first time in 1931 in a small field of 26 acres at Coursetown in Athy, Co Kildare. Today, the Ploughing Championships needs over 700 acres of land: 180 acres for ploughing, 100 acres for trade stands and exhibition space, 400 acres of car parking and a demonstration area of approximately 25 acres. Since its inception, the National Ploughing Championships has become much more than just an annual inter-county competition; it has become an intrinsic part of Irish rural life.
The National Championships is now no longer just for ploughing or machinery enthusiasts, the modern event now features something for just about every member of the community, attracting in excess of 1,700 exhibitors and up to 283,000 visitors.
Dublin, Ireland, has been chosen by Pope Francis to host the next World Meeting of Families from 21-26 August 2018, guided by the theme “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World”. Held every three years, this major international event brings together families from across the world to celebrate, pray and reflect upon the central importance of marriage and the family as the cornerstone of our lives, of society and of the Church. The President and Host of the 9th World Meeting of Families is Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin.
Whilst WMOF2018 will include exhibitions, cultural events and musical performances, events around the city, gestures of solidarity, it has at its heart the following key moments:
- Firstly, a National Openingof World Meeting of Families will take place simultaneously in the twenty-six dioceses on the island of Ireland;
- Secondly, from 21 to 24 August, a three-day Congresswill entail a joyful and reflective programme of workshops, talks and discussions centred on the theme: “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World”. The Congress will also offer an engaging programme for young people to include faith and fun activities for children;
- Thirdly, a Festival of Familieswhich will be held on Saturday 25 August 2018. This will involve a cultural concert within a prayerful and joyful atmosphere, during which personal stories of faith will be shared by families, each representing the five continents; and,
- Fourthly, Holy Mass for WMOF2018. A solemn Eucharistic Celebration on Sunday 26 August will involve thousands of pilgrims from Ireland and around the world.
The last World Meeting of Families was held in Philadelphia in September 2015 and it was attended by Pope Francis.
See www.worldmeeting2018.ie for more information.