Pope Francis to visit Ireland for World Meeting of Families
By Lydia O'Kane
The Pope will arrive in Dublin on Saturday, 25 August, and will take part in the ‘Festival of Families’ in Croke Park stadium which will feature personal stories of faith shared by families, each representing the five continents.
On Sunday 26 August, he will preside at Holy Mass in the Phoenix Park which will close the five day event.
Irish Bishops welcome announcement
Reacting to the announcement the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference said “On behalf of the faithful of Ireland we warmly welcome today’s announcement, by the Holy Father himself, that he plans to visit Dublin in August for the World Meeting of Families. We are deeply honoured that Pope Francis will come to our country to participate in this universal Church celebration of faith and joy, as well as of the contemporary challenges which face families. With great anticipation we also look forward to hearing the apostolic guidance of His Holiness during his stay with us.”
Presentation of WMOF Icon
During the General Audience on Wednesday two Irish families presented the official World Meeting of Families 2018 ‘Icon of the Holy Family’ to Pope Francis.
Among those participating at the presentation were Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, President of WMOF2018, Father Tim Bartlett, Secretary General of WMOF2018 and the iconographer Mr Mihai Cucu.
The official icon for the World Meeting of Families is being brought from parish to parish across Ireland as part of a pilgrimage to help the faithful prepare for the meeting.
The World Meeting of Families will take place in Dublin from 21-26 August 2018, under the theme “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World”.
The gathering will include a three-day Pastoral Congress consisting of a programme of workshops, talks and discussions centred on the theme: “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World”. The Congress will also offer a programme for young people to include faith and fun activities for children.
The Communications Manager for the World Meeting of Families, Brenda Drumm was with her own family at Wednesday’s presentation of the icon. She gave her reaction to the Pope’s announcement and her daughter Emma Tobin spoke about what the Pope’s visit will mean to young people in Ireland.