11 Nov 2018

11th November 2018 - A Global News Round-up

On this weeks programme John and Shane take a spin around the world looking at various stories which have been in the news over the least few weeks with a religious context/context. We have our regular reflection on this weeks Sunday gospel as well as a quick run through the saints of the week and other liturgical odds and ends. 

You can listen to the podcast of this weeks full podcast HERE.

News Round-up

We have a short news round up of various items on this weeks programme looking at some news items which may not necessarily have been covered on the main stream media:

Podcast of the news round-up excerpted from the main programme HERE.

Gospel - Mark 12:38-44

In the course of his teaching Jesus said to the crowds,
"Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes
and accept greetings in the marketplaces,
seats of honor in synagogues,
and places of honor at banquets.
They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext
recite lengthy prayers.
They will receive a very severe condemnation."
He sat down opposite the treasury
and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury.
Many rich people put in large sums.
A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents.
Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them,
"Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more
than all the other contributors to the treasury.
For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth,
but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had,
her whole livelihood."
Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire
Centre for Liturgy
English Dominicans
Sunday Reflections

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 4

Saints of the Week

November 12th - St Josaphat Kuncevyc
November 13th - Bl David Sutton
November 14th - St Lawrence O'Toole
November 15th - St Albert the Great
November 16th - St Margaret of Scotland also St Gertrude 

November 17th - St Elizabeth of Hungary

11th November 2018 - Remembrance: The Difficult Task of Legacy

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.........and with it the conflagration that consumed a generation of Europe, collapsed three empires and redrew the map of the world as we knew it came to an end.

Popular opinion has, ever since its ending, remembered the First World War as a time of horrendous and futile misery and slaughter, as epitomising political and military leaders’ incompetence and callous disregard for human life. That popular judgement, which has helped turn common opinion against war in general, was correct, and we must not let the war mongers dismiss this instance of the wisdom of ordinary people.

Remembrance of the past does not dilute our responsibilities of today. A commentator on Irish radio made the observation that despite the 1918 Armistice, we are still fighting the battles of World War I just not on the battle fields of western Europe. And he was right - Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo, Greece v Macedonia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon, Western Sahara, Libya, Sudan, South Sudan............ The wars of the present moment are the inheritance of that global conflagration. Lines drawn on maps the keys to further conflicts.

But now more than ever we need political leaders who can remind us of the need for peace. In Europe we need to remind ourselves of the uniqueness of the European project, to try to inspire young people and keep in front of us the fact that the greatest benefit has been 70 years of peace. Forget the federalist dream; forget the political machinations; we so desperately need to consolidate what we have and work to finally ending the battles of World War I.

iBenedictines - Remembering and Praying

Armistice Day: remembering the fallen to understand their sacrifice
The end of the Great War should have meant the end of all war
Dangerous Remembrance 
Jesus, remember me
‘Take, Lord, and receive’: Nostalgia, truthful memory and the Great War
Ten lies we’re told to justify the slaughter of 20 million in the First World War

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead: Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie
In Flanders fields!
Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

To my daughter Betty
Thomas Kettle

IN wiser days, my darling rosebud, blown  
To beauty proud as was your mother's prime,  
In that desired, delayed, incredible time,  
You'll ask why I abandoned you, my own,  
And the dear heart that was your baby throne,          
To dice with death. And oh! they'll give you rhyme  
And reason: some will call the thing sublime,  
And some decry it in a knowing tone.  
So here, while the mad guns curse overhead,  
And tired men sigh with mud for couch and floor,   
Know that we fools, now with the foolish dead,  
Died not for flag, nor King, nor Emperor,—  
But for a dream, born in a herdsman's shed,  
And for the secret Scripture of the poor.

8 Nov 2018

The passing of a musical genius - Mícheál Ó'Súilleabháin (RIP)

It is with enormous sadness that the family of Professor Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin have announced his death after a prolonged illness. Mícheál (b December 1950, Clonmel County Tipperary) was one of Ireland's best-known musicians, composers and academics, born in Clonmel County Tipperary. Emeritus Professor of Music at the University of Limerick and founder/Director at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance which he created in 1994, Micheál Ó Súilleabháin also recorded a series of pioneering solo albums which re-positioned his chosen instrument, the piano, at the heart of Irish traditional music – while also revealing the intersections where classical and traditional music could co-exist.. His richly evocative collaborations with Mel Mercier, who succeeded him as CHAIR at UL, were a celebration of Ó Suilleabháin’s flinty sense of humour and love of musical exploration.

Ó Súilleabháin left a rich legacy through his own music, as well as the Academy he founded which attracted students from over 50 countries who enrolled on undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Music Therapy, Contemporary Dance Performance, Irish Traditional Dance Performance, Community Music, Festive Arts, Irish Traditional Music Performance, Classical String Performance, Ethnomusicology and others.He was hugely instrumental in the relocation of the Irish Chamber Orchestra from Dublin to its current home at the University of Limerick.   Awards included Honorary Doctorates of Music from University College Cork, (2005)  and The Royal conservatoire of Scotland (2017), Ollamh na hÉigse (Inaugural award by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann in 2006); Honorary Alumnus Award (Boston College) and the O’Donnell Chair of Irish Studies from the University of Notre Dame (2012). He studied at University College Cork (B.Mus.1972, MA 1973) with the composers Aloys Fleischmann and Seán Ó Riada, and in Queens University Belfast (PhD 1987) with the ethnomusicologists John Blacking and John Baily.

He produced a series of CD recordings in America, the UK, and Ireland on the traditional music of the Shetland Islands, Donegal, Cape Breton Island and on Irish traditional musicians in the USA and in England. 

He is survived by his wife Professor Helen Phelan and their son Luke; sons Eoin and Mícheál (Moley), and their mother Dr Nóirín Ní Riain, and by his brother John.

Pope's Prayer Intentions November 2018

Peace. These are five letters that some people use as if it were the most normal thing in the world, while others haven't experienced peace in years. There are many places in the world where peace doesn't exist: for thousands of people who suffer its absence, it’s only a dream. Rather than think about those five letters, let's think about what they mean. Let us pray and work to obtain true peace.
"We all want peace. It is desired above all by those who suffer its absence.Let us remember that Jesus also lived in times of violence. He taught us that true peace is in the human heart.We can speak with splendid words, but if there is no peace in our heart, there will be no peace in the world.Let us practice this peace in small things, letting dialogue guide our personal and social relationships.With zero violence and 100 percent tenderness, let us build the evangelical peace that excludes no one, but rather includes everyone, especially young people and children.Let us pray together that the language of love and dialogue may always prevail over the language of conflict."

3 Nov 2018

November 4th 2018 - Death, Dying and Grief - November the month to remember our dead and reflect on our deaths

On this weeks programme, we reflect on death, grief and the reality of the final journey that awaits us all. We have our regular reflection on this weeks Sunday gospel as well as the saints of the weeks and other odds and ends. 

You can listen to the podcast of the programme HERE.

Death, Dying and Grief - Remembering our dead and reflecting on our deaths

We praise You, Lord, for Sister Death,
from whom no-one living can escape….
Blessed are those that she finds doing Your Will.
No second death can do them harm.
 - St. Francis of Assisi,
“Canticle of the Sun”

In paradisum deducant te Angeli; in tuo adventu suscipiant te martyres, et perducant te in civitatem sanctam Ierusalem.  Chorus angelorum te suscipiat, et cum Lazaro quondam paupere æternam habeas requiem.  

May angels lead you into paradise; upon your arrival, may the martyrs receive you and lead you to the holy city of Jerusalem.  May the ranks of angels receive you, and with Lazarus, the poor man, may you have eternal rest.

In the Roman Catholic tradition November is the month of the Holy Soul's where we pray for those who have left this mortal world but may not enjoy full the vision of God. November can be a hard month for many people as we recall the memory of our beloved dead - for the dead can drive you hard. But with the darkening of days and the drawing in of nights it seems to be an appropriate time to reflect and pray for our dead as the year and seasons move towards the death of winter. It is the time of year when we can reflect on our encounters with Sister Death and ultimately an encounter which we will all have.

Sister Death is the shadow at our elbow, the constant friend at our door, our faithful companion throughout the journey of life who may at any time say come, your time is complete. Irish folklore has many comments and reminders about it with sayings like "there are no pockets in a shroud" to "there is no trailer after a hearse", or "it doesn't matter how much land you have, you will still end up in a plot 6 X 3".

St Francis of Assisi reminds us that “Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that have received--only what you have given.

But coping with death and grief is difficult and the gift of rememberance can ease the pain although for some it can also renew that pain like reopening an old wound.  It is fair to say that grief never leaves us - we only get better at carrying it with us, for the dead remain dead. When you have lost someone, when it feels like a person has been ripped away from you, when you very heart bleeds at the loss, no matter how long has passed the heart can still pain - a smell, a noise, a memory, a favourite song or something of theirs which you happen across can be the trigger to that moment of renewed  pain. Especially for families where this November will be their first with that missing person we need to be gentle with them and with ourselves and remind ourselves that there was a logic to the Victorian tradition of observing a period of mourning; to allow people to become accustomed to carrying that pain in their lives.

But death is not the end, for "death where is thy victory! where is thy sting!" We celebrate and remember because as Christians we say life has changed not ended, in Christ's victory we have our hope! 

As we pray this November, let the words of In paradisum be our heart prayer for our dead, balm to the soul for those who have gone before us .
May angels lead you into paradise; upon your arrival, may the martyrs receive you and lead you to the holy city of Jerusalem.  May the ranks of angels receive you, and with Lazarus, the poor man, may you have eternal rest.
Over at iBenedictines, Digitalnun wrote a wonderful reflection for All Souls in 2012:
Catholicism can be an uncomfortable religion to live by, but it is a wonderful religion in which to die. As death draws closer we are surrounded by prayer, our bodies are anointed and we receive the Viaticum to help us on our way. At the moment of death a singularly beautiful prayer is prayed, and after death our bodies are accorded the simple rituals I described in an earlier post. But that is not the end of of the matter. The Church goes on praying for us, perseveringly. November, in particular, is a month when we pray for the dead with special earnestness. Today, on the feast of All Souls, everyone will join in praying for all the faithful departed — not just the people known to us, but those unknown, those who have no-one else to pray for them. The feast of All Souls thus unites the living and the dead. 
Last year I summed it up by saying 
"Instead of pushing the dead out of sight or surrounding them with euphemisms, we state the facts baldly and pray for the dead as we pray for ourselves, asking God to remove every trace of sin from those not yet ready for the blessedness of heaven. We believe that our prayers can help those who have died and are undergoing the final purification of purgatory, when the soul is prepared for the vision of God. To pray for the dead is thus a work of charity, a way of helping those who cannot help themselves."

"The souls of the just are in the hand of God and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace. 
For if before men, indeed, they be punished, yet is their hope full of immortality; chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of himself. As gold in the furnace, he proved them, and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself. In the time of their visitation they shall shine, and shall dart about as sparks through stubble; they shall judge nations and rule over peoples, and the Lord shall be their King forever.
Those who trust in him shall understand truth, and the faithful shall abide with him in love: because grace and mercy are with his holy ones, and his care is with his elect."
-- From the Book of Wisdom

And death shall have no dominion

Dead man naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon; 
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot; 
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again; 
Though lovers be lost love shall not; 
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily; 
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break; 
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through; 
Split all ends up they shan't crack; 
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores; 
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain; 
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies; 
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion. 

- Dylan Thomas

The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed
Pope Francis at All Souls’ Mass: Today is a day of hope
Pope: Don’t forget the souls in Purgatory!
All Souls Day and the Shock of Death
What is All Souls’ Day and how is it celebrated around the world?
Pray St. Gertrude the Great’s powerful prayer for the Holy Souls in Purgatory
5 Prayers for the dead (that you can take to the cemetery)

Memento Mori

Focusing on your death may seem morbid, unhealthy, disturbing, and perhaps even diabolical. And in some cases it can become so. Death in itself is an evil. Saint Augustine wrote that death is “the very violence with which body and soul are wrenched asunder.” But Jesus has changed the nature of death for those who believe. Before becoming pope, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger once wrote: “The sting of death is extinguished in Christ.”

A long-standing Christian tradition recognizes the powerful spiritual value in remembering one’s death in order to live well. The Rule of Saint Benedict, written in the 6th century, includes the imperative to “keep death daily before one’s eyes.” As the Catechism points out, both Scripture and the teachings of the Church remind us of “the responsibility incumbent upon man to make use of his freedom in view of his eternal destiny” (1036, emphasis mine).

The practice of remembering that you will die helps you to keep in mind that your life will end, and that it has a goal: heaven.

Visual reminders — often called memento mori, the Latin phrase for “Remember that you will die” — are one way we can keep our impending death in mind. Saints Jerome, Aloysius, and Mary Magdalene, among others, are often depicted in classic paintings with skulls. Saint Francis of Assisi once signed a blessing to Brother Leo with the tau cross and a small drawing of a skull. Pope Alexander VII commissioned Italian artist Bernini to make a coffin that he kept in his bedroom along with a marble skull for his desk to remind him of the brevity of life. Blessed James Alberione, the founder of the Daughters of Saint Paul, also kept a skull on his desk.

Atlas Obscura - Memento Mori
Memento mori - How religious orders remember death
Young Nun, Former Atheist Says: “Remember Your Death”

You can listen to the reflection in part 2 excerpted from the main programme podcast HERE.

Gospel - Mark 12:28-34

One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him,"Which is the first of all the commandments?" Jesus replied, "The first is this:Hear, O Israel!The Lord our God is Lord alone!You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,with all your soul, with all your mind,and with all your strength.The second is this:You shall love your neighbor as yourself.There is no other commandment greater than these." The scribe said to him, "Well said, teacher.You are right in saying,'He is One and there is no other than he.'And 'to love him with all your heart,with all your understanding,with all your strength,and to love your neighbor as yourself'is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding,he said to him,"You are not far from the kingdom of God." 
And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Reflections on this weeks gospel:

English Dominicans
Sunday Reflections
Centre for Liturgy

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 3

Saints of the Week
November 5th - St Martin de Porres
November 6th - All the Saints of Ireland
November 7th - St Willibrord
November 8th - Bl John Duns Scotus
November 9th - Dedication of St John on the Lateran
November 10th - St Leo the Great

31 Oct 2018

November 1st - All Saints of God - Pray for us!

"The glorious company of the apostles praises you, the noble fellowship of the prophets praises you, the white robed army of martyrs praises you, all the saints together sing your glory, O Holy Trinity, One God"  
- Magnificat Antiphon I Vespers

On November 1st the Church celebrates all the saints: canonized or beatified, and the multitude of those who are in heaven enjoying the beatific vision that are only known to God. During the early centuries the Saints venerated by the Church were all martyrs. Later on the Popes set November 1 as the day for commemorating all the Saints. We all have this "universal call to holiness." What must we to do in order to join the company of the saints in heaven? We "must follow in His footsteps and conform [our]selves to His image seeking the will of the Father in all things. [We] must devote [our]selves with all [our] being to the glory of God and the service of [our] neighbor. In this way, the holiness of the People of God will grow into an abundant harvest of good, as is admirably shown by the life of so many saints in Church history" (Lumen Gentium, 40).

Mass readings for today HERE.

Pope Benedict XVI reflecting on the feast day (01 Nov 2011):

"The Solemnity of All Saints is a good occasion to raise our eyes from temporal matters, which are marked by time, to the dimension of God, the dimension of eternity and sanctity",...... "Today's liturgy reminds us that sanctity is the primary vocation of all the baptised. In fact Christ, Who with the Father and the Holy Spirit is alone holy, loved the Church as His bride and gave Himself for her so as to sanctify her. For this reason, all members of the People of God are called to become saints. ... We are, then, invited to look to the Church not only in her temporal and human guise, which is tainted by fragility, but as Christ wished her to be: a 'communion of saints'. ... Today we venerate this innumerable community of All Saints who, by their different lives, show us the different ways to sanctity, sharing the single common denominator of following Christ and conforming themselves to Him, which is the final goal of our human existence".

H/t Blue Eyed Ennis for image

All Saints’ Day is a time to rejoice in all who through the ages have faithfully served the Lord. The day reminds us that we are part of one continuing, living communion of saints. It is a time to claim our kinship with the “glorious company of apostles … the noble fellowship of prophets … the white-robed army of martyrs” (Te Deum). It is a time to express our gratitude for all who in ages of darkness kept the faith, for those who have take the gospel to the ends of the earth, for prophetic voices who have called the church to be faithful in life and service, for all who have witnessed to God’s justice and peace in every nation. 

To rejoice with all the faithful of every generation expands our awareness of a great company of witnesses above and around us like a cloud (Hebrews 12:1). It lifts us out of a preoccupation with our own immediate situation and the discouragements of the present. In the knowledge that others have persevered, we are encouraged to endure against all odds (Hebrews 12:1-2). Reminded that God was with the faithful of the past, we are reassured that God is with us today, moving us and all creation toward God’s end in time. 
- Presbyterian Companion to the Book of Common Worship

A Sonnet for All Saints Day

Though Satan breaks our dark glass into shards
Each shard still shines with Christ’s reflected light,
It glances from the eyes, kindles the words
Of all his unknown saints. The dark is bright
With quiet lives and steady lights undimmed,
The witness of the ones we shunned and shamed.
Plain in our sight and far beyond our seeing
He weaves them with us in the web of being
They stand beside us even as we grieve,
The lone and left behind whom no one claimed,
Unnumbered multitudes, he lifts above
The shadow of the gibbet and the grave,
To triumph where all saints are known and named;
The gathered glories of His wounded love.


Asia Bibi declared innocent, death sentence overturned after nearly nine years of trial

29 Oct 2018

28th October 2018 - Margie Kennedy: From Nurse to Lay Minister

Sincere apologies to our blog audience this weekend. Due to unforeseen circumstances we were unable to publish the blog as usual on Sunday, but it was worth the wait! On this week's programme Margie Kennedy, a lay missionary with the Redemptorists, shares some of her life story, in particular how God led her from nursing to lay ministry. Margie reflects on her life and outlines certain moments when her faith grew and was nurtured through the movement of God and the witness of others. We also have our usual reflection on the Sunday Gospel, saints for the week, liturgical odds and ends and notices.

You can listen to the podcast of this weeks programme HERE.
Margie Kennedy: From Nurse to Lay Minister
After over 20 years nursing Margie Kennedy changed track completely. After taking early retirement she entered 3rd level to complete a four year degree course in Theology and Philosophy and studied for a further year to gain a Masters degree in Applied Theology. Margie is now working part-time with the Redemptorists helping with parish missions and also works two days a week as a Catechist working closely with an inner city school in Dublin.

Margie's story encourages us to look back on our own lives and see how God was working and leading us. Perhaps we could ask ourselves the question of when our faith in Jesus Christ was ignited? When were our hearts set on fire for love of God? Margie highlights the importance of witness in living the faith, telling people about the love of God. Our mission as members of a family of faith is sharing that faith with others. Faith is passed on from our hearts, not from our heads. As Blessed John Newman said: "Heart speaks to heart."

How do we cultivate belief? We practice, practice, practice! We celebrate our faith through Mass and the sacraments, through reading Scripture, prayer and devotions, by taking responsibility for our own education in the faith. As Margie says, "Faith in Jesus Christ compels us to make choices. We are either for Him or against Him." Margie encourages us to never give up hope - keep witnessing to God as we are meant to and He will work on people's hearts. 

You can listen to Margie's interview excerpted from this weeks programme HERE.

Gospel - Mark 10:46-52

As Jesus left Jericho with his disciples and a large crowd, Bartimaeus (that is, the son of Timaeus), a blind beggar, was sitting at the side of the road. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout and to say, ‘Son of David, Jesus, have pity on me.’ And many of them scolded him and told him to keep quiet, but he only shouted all the louder, ‘Son of David, have pity on me.’ Jesus stopped and said, ‘Call him here.’ So they called the blind man. ‘Courage,’ they said ‘get up; he is calling you.’ So throwing off his cloak, he jumped up and went to Jesus. Then Jesus spoke, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ ‘Rabbuni,’ the blind man said to him ‘Master, let me see again.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your faith has saved you.’ And immediately his sight returned and he followed him along the road.

Reflections on this weeks Sunday gospel:

Word on Fire
Sunday Reflections
Centre for Liturgy
English Dominicans

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 2

Saints of the Week

October 29th - St. Colman Mac Duagh
October 30th - Blessed Terence Albert O'Brien
October 31st - Blessed Dominic Collins
November 1st - Solemnity of All Saints
November 2nd - All Souls
November 3rd - St Malachy (Maol M’Aedhóg Ua Morgair)

Norms for Indulgences at the Commemoration of All Souls (November 2nd) 
  1. From 12 o’clock noon on 1st November until midnight on 2nd November, all who have confessed, received Holy Communion, and prayed for the Pope’s intentions (one Our Father and Hail Mary, or any other prayer of one’s choice) can gain one plenary indulgence by visiting a church or oratory, and there reciting one Our Father and the Apostle’s Creed.  This indulgence is applicable only to the souls of the departed.  Confession may be made at any time within the week preceding or the week following 1st November.  Holy Communion may be received on any day from 1st to 8th November.
  2. The faithful who visit a cemetery and pray for the dead may gain a plenary indulgence applicable only to the Holy Souls on the usual conditions once per day from 1st to 8th November.  The conditions mentioned above apply also for this.

23 Oct 2018

World Meeting of Families 2018 - Access videos and texts


"As one of the fruits of this celebration of family life, may you go back to your homes and become a source of encouragement to others, to share with them Jesus’ “words of eternal life”. For your families are both a privileged place for, and an important means of, spreading those words as “Good News” for everyone (...)"
Pope Francis, WMOF2018 Final Mass in Phoenix Park

World Meeting of Families 2018 - The Events
  • National Opening Ceremony celebrated simultaneously across all 26 dioceses.
  • Welcoming Team for over 11,000 international visiting pilgrims and families in the Airport over eight days.
  • Host a Family volunteers welcoming over 1,100 people into their homes.
  • Pastoral Congress Programme in the RDS for three days.
  • Two-day Peace Conference.
  • Symposium in the RDS – Voices of Impact: Women Leaders Shaping Global Change
  • The arrival of Pope Francis at Dublin Airport on Saturday 25th August
  • Áras an Uachtaráin Welcome Ceremony on Saturday 25th August
  • Meeting in Dublin Castle with State Authorities.
  • Meeting in the Pro-Cathedral with couples who are preparing for or who have recently celebrated the Sacrament of Marriage.
  • Visit to the Capuchin Day Centre for Homeless People.
  • People greet Pope Francis as he travels in Popemobile through the streets of Dublin.
  • Festival of Families in Croke Park.
  • Angelus in Knock Shrine.
  • Papal Mass in Phoenix Park
  • Meeting with Irish Bishops
  • Departure from Dublin Airport
  • And many other smaller gatherings and meetings.
World Meeting of Families 2018 in Numbers
Over 7,000 volunteers worked across the events. Over 11,000 pilgrims from 114countries travelled to Dublin staying in a variety of hotels and B&Bs. 1,177 of the visiting pilgrims were hosted free in Irish homes for a week. In the RDS we had over 200speakers from all five main continents of the world at the International Pastoral Congress, 91 lay women and 65 lay men; the largest group were married couples. There was a Teen Space and Children’s Space attended by over 1,500 children each day. WMOF2018 had the first dedicated Safeguarding Panel Session, the first-ever Women in Leadership Symposium, the first ever Tech Panel Session and the first 2 day Peace Conferenceincluded in the programme. The exhibition space had over 250 exhibitors to include the first-ever Tech Zone.

Over 1,200 international press and media registered to attend, and an overall attendance in excess of 499,000 people attended the various events. RTE had an average of 535,000 viewers for the Papal Mass coverage from start to finish, and more than 1.8 million (excluding Northern Ireland) tuned in over the weekend. This TV footage was also shared internationally to over 75 broadcasters worldwide with a reach of millions more viewers, sharing the beautiful images of the Pope’s visit to Ireland.

The WMOF2018 website had 4,376,297 pages viewed. 1,149,200 words were translated by our volunteers (into 5 languages). 2,709,300 prayer cards, icon cards and info sheets were distributed to parishes in Ireland over the 18 months before August 2018. The WMOF2018 Icon of the Holy Family travelled 45,000 miles in Ireland and 60,000petitions were sent back to the WMOF2018 office. Our Facebook page posts in the last two months reached 3,820,409 people, and our twitter account had 4,282,726 impressions in 6 months. Our August newsletter was sent to 34,987. From 21st to 25th August 4,713people used the event app
Photo Credit: Maxwell Photography for WMOF2018
Read all Pope Francis' Texts and Homilies Here!
You can now read all the texts and homilies from Pope Francis' Apostolic visit to Ireland on the Occasion of the IX World Meeting of Families.

Check our website for all texts in EnglishSpanishFrench and Italian.

Videos of Pope Francis’ Engagements on his Visit to Ireland 
Many of the meetings and events that His Holiness participated in were recorded. These were shared on live television and can now also be viewed through our website. Watch them here
 Photo Credit: Pat McKeon 
Access Pastoral Congress Texts and Videos Now
Over 37,000 people of all ages attended the Pastoral Congress of WMOF2018, including families, teens, children, religious, people active in their faith lives, as well as those interested in marriage and family. Three days, from Wednesday 22 - Friday 24 August were packed with talks, workshops, discussions, presentations, liturgies and entertainments. Some of the panels and talks were live-streamed and many are now available to view on our website. Watch the discussions you are interested in, those you might have missed on the day, or those you’d like to re-visit, at your leisure, from your own home. Videos available here.
The WMF2018 Blogs - painting a picture, sharing the stories & capturing the atmosphere
Did you get a chance to read the WMOF2018 Event Blogs yet? We had a team of 10 volunteer bloggers and a volunteer photographer at our events, capturing some of the best moments, telling the smaller or personal stories, giving a flavour of what was happening at the venues. They truly brought the events to life for our readers, including those who couldn't come and followed us online. Immerse yourself in some reading and bring some memories to life!

The blogs provide a prism through which to remember the ninth World Meeting of Families in Ireland in 2018. They describe the anticipation and excitement of the lead-up, preparations and opening ceremonies, the different events and activities of the Pastoral Congress (including talks and workshops, exhibitions, prayer spaces and more), the arrival of Pope Francis to Ireland and the warm welcome he received during his various engagements, the build-up to and performances at the Festival of Families and a selection of individual experiences of and reflections on the Papal Mass in the Phoenix Park.

Our blogs are a wonderful part of the legacy of WMOF2018 and will breathe fresh life into the event for years to come. Read them here.
Liturgical Items and Memorabilia from the Papal Mass in the Phoenix Park are now available for parishes to purchase, as well as a number of WMOF2018 merchandising items and publications. Please note that there is limited availability of stock. Last orders by the 22nd of October.
Visit our website for more information.
A Big Cheer for our Volunteers
Over 7,000 people volunteered for World Meeting of Families 2018 across the events. They assisted with Hospitality and Information services, Logistics and Transportation, Marketing, Translation and Communications, Medical services and Pastoral and Liturgical support, hosting visiting pilgrims, among many, many more roles.

Our green and blue army of volunteers were a happy and helpful presence at all the WMOF2018 events. They assisted with queries, helped people with directions, provided support to those who might need it and offered a plentiful supply of good humour, enthusiasm and fun. We could not have undertaken an event of such scale and magnitude without the commitment and good will of those who gave their time and skills to make World Meeting of Families 2018 such a wonderful, joyous occasion.

A very, very big thank you to our volunteers, wonderful ambassadors for our event and for our country – we couldn’t have done it without you!

Read our blog in appreciation of the WMOF2018 volunteers here.
Some of the Staff Team - Photo Credit: WMOF2018 
Thank you to the WMOF2018 Team!
What does it take to organise the single largest event in Ireland in 2018? What, that is, aside from the support from the Vatican, the thousands of volunteers across the country, the local teams in each diocese, religious orders, suppliers and commercial partners, State authorities, the enthusiasm of dioceses around the world and the input of speakers from a range of academic and practical disciplines?

Today we thank the WMOF2018 Staff team, who managed with the support of everyone a record-breaking World Meeting of Families with the highest number of people registered for the Pastoral Congress, the highest number of international pilgrims present and the highest number of children and young people attending! Meet the team here