By Susan Gately - 16 June, 2018
All the roads from Kildare’s 56 parishes lead to Carlow today for the Kandle Family Fun Day, which is part of the Kildare and Leighlin Diocese preparation for the World Meeting of Families. The event runs from 2.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m. in the grounds of Carlow College, St Patrick’s.
Speaking in advance of the event, organisers said they were looking forward to welcoming families from all the parishes and “the many and diverse communities that are now part of our diocesan family”. Among these will be Syrian refugees and Rohingya migrants, some of whom will be playing cricket at the back of the College grounds.
“We were at the local shopping centres inviting people for the last few weekends and we’ve been getting a very positive response,” Julie Kavanagh, Resource Officer with the diocese told Catholicireland.
The afternoon promises a very packed line-up of free entertainment, fun and games, including the Garda Band, local groups including Carlow Youth Orchestra, Carlow Youth Services Acts, Reelig, Aspiro, Presentation School Band and many others who will showcase the amazing talent present in the town. The onstage acts will be hosted by Edward Hayden of TV3 Ireland AM cookery fame, well known locally for his Saturday morning radio show on KCLR.
A special moment will be the official opening at 3.30 p.m. when Fr Liam Lawton and the College choir will sing the official World Meeting of Families anthem –‘The joy of love’.
Away from the stage area, there will be plenty to see and do with Carlow Sports Partnership and Carlow Youth Services providing activities to keep young and not so young entertained, say the organisers. “There will be demonstrations from the Defence Forces and Fire Services, an art tent, Davy’s Pets, a Trócaire display, African drumming, Vintage cars and lots more!”
“I hugely believe in these events and I notice they are happening all over the country because they bring family together in a church umbrella to celebrate family life in its fun, in its joy, in its wholeness,” Bishop Denis Nulty told CatholicIreland. “There will be liturgy, prayer, music, sport, food and fun.”
Acknowledging that many church people felt “battered” in the wake of the repeal referendum, he stressed that Christians always had to be missionaries – “to reach out beyond our comfort zone”.
The Family Fun Day was for everyone, he said, in particular for people who were not church-going. “I don’t ask any family who they are when they come through the gates of the College. We are simply delighted they are here. They are part of our celebration and are most welcome.”
The Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin said the afternoon was about us “offering a space for the many kinds of families across the diocese to spend some quality time together. It’s about having fun and enjoying a free afternoon of music, sport, art and food – all elements that are so important to family life.”
Bishop Nulty paid tribute to the people from Kildare who had signed up as Volunteers for the World Meeting of Families (7 per cent of the total number) and all of those who had registered. At the fun day, there will be a World Meeting of Families stand in the grounds of Carlow College for those who wish to find out more about what is described as a “once in a lifetime event”.