What is the World Meeting of Families (WMOF)?
The World Meeting of Families started in 1994, when Pope St John Paul II asked the Pontifical Council for the Family (now part of the Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life) to establish an international event of prayer, catechesis and celebration that would draw participants from around the globe and that would help to strengthen the bonds between families and bear witness to the crucial importance of marriage and the family to all of society.
As you will already know, Dublin has been chosen by Pope Francis to host the next World Meeting of Families from 21-26 August 2018, guided by the theme “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World”.
Held every three years, this major international event brings together families from across the world to celebrate, pray and reflect upon the central importance of marriage and the family as the cornerstone of our lives, of society and of the Church. The event has at its heart the following key moments:
- 21 August 2018, a National Opening of WMOF2018, which will take place simultaneously in all the different dioceses of Ireland.
- 22 to the 24 August 2018, a three-day Congress. Each day will reflect on the theme “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World” chosen by the Holy Father and will include an enriching programme for adults of keynote speakers, workshops, talks, testimonies and discussions; an engaging and exciting programme for young people as well as fun activities for children. The Congress will also include daily celebration of the Eucharist, prayerful activities, exhibitions, cultural events and musical performances.
- Saturday 25 August 2018, a Festival of Families, comprising a reflective concert style event within a prayerful and joyful atmosphere, in which personal stories of faith will be shared by families from all continents.
- Sunday 26 August 2018, WMOF2018 will close with a solemn Eucharistic Celebration, that will gather thousands of people from Ireland and all over the world.
The main events of the WMOF2018 will take place in Dublin, at a large conference venue as well as in other venues in and around the city. It is also anticipated that related events, including the hosting of international groups, will take place all over the island of Ireland.
Pope Francis recently announced that he will make the first papal trip to Ireland in nearly 40 years, visiting Dublin for two days later this year to take part in the World Meeting of Families celebrations.
Confirmed events that Pope Francis will be participating in include:
- Saturday 25th August 2018: Attendance at the WMOF2018 Festival of Families.
- Sunday 26th August 2018: Celebration of the WMOF2018 Final Mass.
A detailed itinerary of Pope Francis’ visit to Ireland will be published on the WMOF website once final plans are announced.