World Meeting of Families


Dublin, Ireland, 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”.

What is World Meeting of Families? 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.

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Click here to view Pope Francis’s itinerary


World Meeting of Families- Opening Ceremony

· Event:  Opening Service of Prayer

· Location: St Muredach’s Cathedral, Ballina

· Date & Time: Tuesday 21 August @8pm

· Details: This Opening Service of Prayer will be ecumenical and will involve all parishes in the diocese.  Every parish will carry a banner and will be involved in all the prayers.  A reflection will be lead by 20 young people on the Road of Life using shoes.  Our Petition Box will be carried with a large hand woven globe, representing our connection to each other across the universe.


Diocesan Garden Fun Day:  Bishop John will host a Garden Fun Day in the grounds of his house on Sunday 10 June 2018 at 3pm.  All families and children are invited to a free day to celebrate the World Meeting of Families.Click here to view


August 2018

Tuesday 21st August

Opening Mass in St. Muredach’s Cathedral

22nd to the 24th August

World Meeting of the Families three-day congress

Daily celebration of the Eucharist, prayerful activities, keynote speakers, workshops and exhibitions.  Each day will reflect on the theme “The Gospel of the Family:  Joy for the World” chosen by the Holy Father.


Evening of 25th August

Festival of Families

A festive time, where we gather to celebrate the gift of family from the perspective of the specific theme of the World Meeting.  This will be a cultural celebration of music, dance, song, within a prayerful and joyful setting, and with the aid of stories given by families representing the five continents.

26th August

Solemn Eucharistic Celebration

The World Meeting of the Family 2018 will conclude with a Solemn Mass in thanksgiving to God, the Holy Trinity for the gift of family and for its sanctification.



Blessing The Family

Mary and Joseph were church-going people. They brought Jesus to Church even as a baby. The scriptures are clear. The church community worshipped on Sunday together. That means, families with older and younger people were in church together on Sunday. Babies, children, teenagers, parents and grandparents worshipped together.

Children belong in our hearts and we need to give them a spiritual foundation. If you go to church and pray, so too will your children eventually. Don’t underestimate the importance of your commitment to God and Church to your children. Both old and young rely on your prayers and example although they may not realise it at this moment.

The key to God blessing your family is for the family to get to know him by praying together. Children learn 90% of what they know by example, they imitate their parents. Sitting next to his or her parents, a child watches how they pray. Being a teenager is an exciting and mixed up time. Teenagers are given some freedoms so they grow up to be responsible adults capable of making responsible choices. You can choose to worship God on Sunday or not. The bible is very clear in this regard, it is a commandment.

Consider how we tell our children how late they can stay up. Consider also how we tell them what they can or can’t eat. Then consider why we do not tell them that going to Church is necessary for spiritual grown, even and perhaps especially at those times when it is inconvenient and lacks appeal.

Learning to choose what is demanding and good over what is tempting and unhealthy is a life skill which needs to be thought by word and deed. The secret to blessing our families for these and future generations is to teach our families by our lives and our loves, by our works and our words.

Every blessing on your family.