What is the World Meeting of Families?
The World Meeting of Families is a three-yearly gathering of families of the world around the Holy Father. It was initiated by Pope John Paul II who presided over the first event in Rome in 1994. Subsequent Gatherings were in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil, 1997), then again Rome (Italy, 2000), Manila (Philippines, 2003), Valencia (Spain, the first hosted by Benedict XVI, 2006) and Mexico City (Mexico, 2009). Each World Meeting of Families has a theme chosen by the Holy Father.
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 event has at its heart the following key moments:
- 21 August 2018, a National Opening of WMOF2018, which will take place simultaneously in all the different dioceses of Ireland.
- 22 to the 24 August 2018, a three-day Congress. Each day will reflect on the theme “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World” chosen by the Holy Father and will include an enriching programme for adults of keynote speakers, workshops, talks, testimonies and discussions; an engaging and exciting programme for young people as well as fun activities for children. The Congress will also include daily celebration of the Eucharist, prayerful activities, exhibitions, cultural events and musical performances.
- Saturday 25 August 2018, a Festival of Families, comprising a reflective concert style event within a prayerful and joyful atmosphere, in which personal stories of faith will be shared by families from all continents.
- Sunday 26 August 2018, WMOF2018 will close with a solemn Eucharistic Celebration, that will gather thousands of people from Ireland and all over the world.
The main events of the WMOF2018 will take place in Dublin, at a large conference venue as well as in other venues in and around the city. It is also anticipated that related events, including the hosting of international groups, will take place all over the island of Ireland. All official events will be ticketed. More details of the programme and the venues will be made available on this website closer to the date of the event.
Thousands of families and individuals from all over Ireland and the world are expected to attend. Some people may come together, others might come on their own, others as part of an organisation. Adults, youth and children are all invited to take part.
This important and joyful international gathering will be preceded by a period of catechesis/faith education, which has been prepared by the Church in Ireland for use by local parishes and across the world. The Amoris: Let’s talk Family! Let’s Be Family! Programme is an interactive multimedia platform of catechetical resources that will be available through our website and a dedicated app. It draws largely from the Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (‘The Joy of Love’), published by Pope Francis in March 2016, following the Synods on the family held in 2014 and 2015. An official prayer, logo, icon and hymn have also been especially prepared for WMOF2018, as key elements of the journey of preparing for the event.
THE DICASTERY FOR LAITY, FAMILY AND LIFE
World Meeting of Families is convened by the Holy Father and promoted by the Holy See’s Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life. In September 2016, this new Dicastery brought together the Pontifical Council for the Laity, the Pontifical Council for the Family and aspects of the Church’s mission to promote respect for human life in all its stages. The Prefect of the new Dicastery is Cardinal Kevin Joseph Farrell, previously Bishop of Dallas, Texas in the US.
DUBLIN, THE HOST DIOCESE
The WMOF is organised by a host diocese chosen by the Pope. For 2018, Pope Francis chose the Archdiocese of Dublin, in Ireland. To fulfil this task, the Archdiocese of Dublin has appointed a team to work with the families, young people, women and men, clergy, religious and others from all over Ireland who will be involved in the planning of the event. Father Timothy Bartlett has been appointed as Secretary General and Anne Griffin as General Manager for WMOF2018.
Parishes can get involved here.