This Saturday will begin the official launch of preparations for the World Meeting of Families to be held in Dublin in 2018.
Guest speakers will include the co-chairs of the Council for Marriage and the Family of the Irish Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin who, along with over 600 delegates, will participate in formally launching the preparations.
Drawing on key themes from Amoris Laetitia, the conference will offer strong personal reflections on the joys and challenges of family life today, including on the experience of being a refugee family from Syria, of homeless in Ireland and of the impact on families of various forms of addiction. The event will also include prayer, audience interaction, video testimony, drama, music and singing.
The Dublin World Meeting of Families is scheduled from 22 to 26 August 2018. Pope Francis asked for the 2018 World Meeting of Families to take place in Dublin with the theme “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World”. Archbishop Diarmuid Martin is the President and host, and Father Timothy Bartlett is its Secretary General.
The World Meeting of Families takes place every three years, and is now coordinated by the Vatican’s new Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life.
Established by Pope Saint John Paul II in 1992 as a pastoral initiative, its aim is to strengthen the sacred bonds of the family unit across the globe.
The first World Meeting of Families took place in Rome in 1994, the International Year of the Family. Every three years since 1994, families from all over the world are invited by the Holy Father to attend this global gathering. During a World Meeting, families come together to share experiences, to dialogue, to pray and work together to grow as individuals and as family units. Delegates participate in discussion groups on the role of the Christian family in the Church and society, and are addressed by distinguished speakers. The eighth and most recent World Meeting took place in Philadelphia in September 2015.