02 June 2017

The joy of being a family: The preparatory meeting for the national delegates of family ministry in Dublin


In Dublin, the session for the national delegates of family ministry, in view of the upcoming World Meeting of Families (August 21-26, 2018), is in full swing with the participation of over 110 delegates, representing more than fifty countries.

After the greeting by Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, Cardinal Farrel, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, gave an exciting intervention, in which he called for large participation at next year’s meeting, as an occasion of grace to support, encourage and promote the lives of families in the light of Pope Francis’s exhortation Amoris Laetitia: “We want to celebrate the joy of being a family. We want to celebrate the joy of family love. We want that, starting precisely from the family, a new season of growth in the Church. It is important to train families and educate, from childhood on, to the love that is the foundation of marriage and family. With simple daily gestures, we can create an atmosphere of trust, respect, and giving that will push us to love each other.” These words deeply touched all the participants at the meeting, motivating them to prepare and participate in the next year’s event

Then came the turn of the British delegates to present their experience in marriage preparation. This was a significant and central testimony, based on the proposal of Amoris Laetitia which insistently calls for greater focus on marriage preparation not only limited to the time immediately before the celebration of the sacrament.

There was ample room for dialogue, exchange of testimonies, working groups, and, finally, the summary in the day’s plenary meeting. The organization’s website (www.worldmeeting2018.ie), provides information and indicates how to register for the event. The day concluded with Holy Mass, in the parish of “Our Lady of Victories,” and a typical Irish dinner (popular music included).

Today is devoted to visiting the places chosen for the Congress, the “Festival of Families,” and the closing Mass with the presence of Pope Francis. This is the fruitful and concrete collaboration of the Dicastery for the Laity and the Church of Dublin, which will host this great ecclesial event.