By Sarah Mac Donald - 28 March, 2017
“Obviously the World Meeting of Families is going to involve a huge expenditure and an enormous investment by the Irish Church but it is an investment in our future and not just an event over five or six days in August 2018.”
The second national collection for next year’s World Meeting of Families in Ireland will be held at all Masses across the country over 1 and 2 April.
According to Bishop Francis Duffy, Chairman of the National Finance Committee for the 9th World Meeting of Families, almost €800,000 was contributed by parishioners to last year’s national collection.
Bishop Duffy highlighted that Pope Francis personally chose Dublin to be the host diocese for the gathering, which takes place from 22 to 26 August 2018.
In a letter to priests around the country, Bishop Duffy emphasises that planning for this national and international celebration of faith is “well under way”.
A dedicated office and support team has been established and later this year a nationwide programme of talking about the family will begin, with an emphasis on Pope Francis’ teaching and reflections.
“The World Meeting of Families promises to be an occasion that will reflect on the faith experience of families from many parts of the world as well as on the challenges and celebrations which characterise the ups and downs of day-to-day family life,” Bishop Duffy emphasises.
But he also highlights to priests that hosting this national and international event requires an enormous amount of planning and funding.
Speaking to iCatholic about WMF2018, Bishop Donal McKeown of Derry said the Irish Church can really benefit from the preparation leading up to the gathering in August 2018.
“Obviously the World Meeting of Families is going to involve a huge expenditure and an enormous investment by the Irish Church but it is an investment in our future and not just an event over five or six days in August 2018,” he said.
He encouraged people to give “what they can” to the national collection.
Bishop McKeown also said there would be a third national collection and perhaps even a fourth one if Pope Francis comes to Ireland.
“We will need money but this will be an investment not just in the future of the Church, it is will an investment in the future of families, so that our children’s children’s children can dream of being heroic and blessed and mature people in the context of committed relationships,” he said.
A catechetical programme to guide the journey of preparation for the event is being prepared and will draw from the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), published by Pope Francis in March 2016, following the Synods on the family held in 2014 and 2015.
The theme chosen by Pope Francis for WMOF2018 is ‘The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World’. The WMOF2018 logo, launched in December 2016, reflects on this theme and our journey towards August 2018.
Speaking to iCatholic, the President of WMF2018 Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin said family is central to the ministry of Pope Francis.
He said the Church benefits from families. “This is what we want to celebrate in the World Meeting of Families, to bring a new level of confidence to families. “As Archbishop of Dublin I am very pleased to have been asked to host this meeting,” he said, as he invited people to join in preparing for the event and to attend it.