By Sr Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp
“I’m exciting to think I’ll come back to Ireland!” Pope Francis declares in a video message published on Tuesday evening. In the video, the Pope affectionately greets all the people of Ireland just a few days before his Apostolic Journey there in which he will take part in the World Meeting of Families (WMOF)
Celebrating the family
The Pope calls the WMOF a “celebration of the beauty of God’s plan for the family”. It is also, he says,
an opportunity for families from all over the world to meet and support each other in living out their special vocation.
Family’s essential role
He then recognizes challenges families face in their vocation to “incarnate faithful love, raise children with healthy values”, and to be “leaven of goodness, love, and mutual care”.
The Pope then says that he hopes that the WMOF will be a “source of renewed encouragement” for families. He reminds us that the family plays an essential role in creating a “better future for young people”. That future is built both on the present and the past as well — “the young and grandparents”, he says.
Pope Francis expresses the desire to “embrace all members of Irish families”, during his upcoming Apostolic Journey. He hopes it will “increase unity and reconciliation” and be a sign of that peace “which is God’s dream for the whole human family”. He then thanks all those who are preparing for his visit, and asks for prayers so that his visit will be one of joy and serenity, “a caress of Jesus’ tender love”. He concludes asking for prayers for himself and giving his heartfelt blessing.