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WMOF 2018: Ireland welcomes the world

The triennial World Meeting of Families (WMOF) 2018 begins on Tuesday in Ireland.

This international gathering will see families from 116 countries attend a series of events culminating with the visit of Pope Francis for two days, August 25–26. The event concludes next Sunday with thousands gathering for a Mass celebrated by the Holy Father.

The theme is The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World. It draws largely from the Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), published by Pope Francis in 2016 after the Synods on the family held in 2014 and 2015.

General Secretary of the Antilles Episcopal Conference (AEC), Fr John Persaud, members of the AEC’s Family and Life Commission, led by Chair, Bishop Robert Llanos, apostolic administrator, St John’s/Basseterre; Fr Matthew Ragbir, spiritual director and theological advisor Archdiocesan Family Life Commission  (AFLC); and Raymond and Tricia Syms, episcopal delegates AFLC will represent the AEC.

The main events of the WMOF 2018 will take place in Dublin at the Royal Dublin Society (RDS), a large conference venue, in Croke Park Stadium and the Phoenix Park, as well as in other venues in and around the city.

August 21:National opening of WMOF 2018, which will take place simultaneously in all the different dioceses of Ireland.

August 22–24: A three-day Congress. Each day will reflect on the theme and  include a programme for adults featuring 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.

August 25:A Festival of Families, comprising a reflective concert-styled event in which personal stories of faith will be shared by families from all continents.

August 26:WMOF 2018 will close with a solemn Eucharistic Celebration bringing together thousands of people from Ireland and all over the world. This is a ticketed event with all 50,000 tickets sold out.

The first WMOF was held in Rome in 1994, after Pope St John Paul II asked the Pontifical Council for the Family to establish an international gathering for prayer, catechesis and celebration of the importance of marriage and family to society.

The most recent meeting was held in Philadelphia in 2015, during Pope Francis’s visit to the United States. For more information on WMOF 2018 visit www.worldmeeting2018.ie