31 Jul 2018

AMORIS Animations (6/6) - How families transform the world

The AMORIS animations (produced by Ministory) reflect on the vision of love, marriage and family presented by Pope Francis in The Joy of Love. 

In Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis shows how families as the domestic church can help transform the world . 

[You can find all six episodes on the Amoris website HERE.]

29 Jul 2018


Some web browsing.............

Reek Sunday - “Church in Ireland is called to return to penance and prayer”

Reek Sunday - Archbishop shares his experience of the Reek Sunday pilgrimage

The State must respect the conscience rights of pro-life hospitals 

Three children killed under Belgium’s euthanasia law

Plea for return of unused Pope Francis Mass tickets 

Free bus, trains and trams in Dublin for papal mass pilgrims

Govt Minister calls for referendum to remove special status of marriage 

Labour senator launches petition to end state-funding of denominational schools 

Poor Clares on the move – along with their deceased Sisters

Rome Diocese opens beatification process of Jesuit superior general Fr. Arrupe

Archbishop says youth alienated by Catholic Church 

US-based Irish seminarian to feature on Nationwide 

The deepest of human longing: A crucible of reason strengthens faith - Notre Dame-Newman Centre project aims to honour legacy of inquiry

Social Media and Sabbath rest: What I have learned 

Simcha Fisher: We must remain open to the beauty around us

The Bodies Lying Right Beneath My Feet

Set aside ideology. The US bishops are guilty of a collective failure 

Time for McCarrick and the rest to answer to the laity and the priesthood

McCarrick, Mary, and Mystery: Seeking truth in the moment

AMORIS Animations (5/6) - Love and mercy

The AMORIS animations (produced by Ministory) reflect on the vision of love, marriage and family presented by Pope Francis in The Joy of Love. 

In Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis writes that he wishes to encourage everyone to be a sign of mercy.

[You can find all six episodes on the Amoris website HERE.]

28 Jul 2018

29 July 2018 - The Irish Institute for Pastoral Studies MIC presents "The Future of the Irish parish: Lessons from around the world"

On this weeks programme Fr Eamonn Fitzgibbon, director of the Irish Institute for Pastoral Studies (IIPS) at Mary Immaculate College (MIC) joins John and Shane on the programme to discuss upcoming conference which will take as its theme "The Future of the Irish parish: Lessons from around the world""

We have our regular reflection on the Sunday gospel as well as a quick run through the liturgical odds and ends and some local notices.

You can listen to the full podcast of the programme HERE.

"The Future of the Irish parish: Lessons from around the world" (28th & 29th August 2018) - IIPS -MIC St Patrick's Campus, Thurles 

The Irish Institute for Pastoral Studies at Mary Immaculate College is a new part of MIC which is based on the campus of St Patrick's College in Thurles. It is intended that Thurles will serve as a centre for theological, pastoral and spiritual renewal in the entire region.

Fr Eamonn Fitzgibbon joined the SS102fm team on this weeks programme to introduce the IIPS-MIC to WL102fm listeners and also to promote an upcoming exciting conference to be held at IIPS-MIC in August immediately after the WMoF2018 in Dublin.

The conference has as its theme "The Future of the Irish parish: Lessons from around the world" which brings together sharing's and experiences from all corners of the globe about the changing nature and meaning of parish life both within the church but also as an external manifestation of identity.

Parish life in Ireland both urban and rural has been under going massive change over the last number of years but is still a key part of Irish self identity and understanding. It is not for nothing that often the first question an Irish person asks another is not who are you, but rather where are you from?

With the forth coming decline in the number of priests in active ministry, the challenge has been for the Irish church to get to grips with how we understand and celebrate parishes as vibrant, living expressions of lived communities of faith with a model which is no longer so centred on the role and identity of the parish priest. 

The aim of the conference is to look to examples of this from around the world and to remind ourselves of the words of Pope Francis that "the parish is not an out-dated institution" (E.G.28, Pope Francis).

Speakers and topics at the conference are:
  • Lessons from New Zealand, Launch Out: Lay Pastoral Leadership Roles, (Cardinal John Dew, Archdiocese of Wellington, New Zealand)
  • Lessons from South Africa, The Parish as a Community of Communities (Bishop Michael Wüstenberg, Bishop Emeritus, Aliwal, South Africa)
  • Lessons from Liverpool,  The Experience of Widnes as a Witness to Team Ministry (Rev. Matthew Nunes Episcopal Vicar for Formation, Archdiocese of Liverpool)
  • Lessons from Canada,  Rites and Responsibilities: The Role of the Clergy and the Laity in the Catholic Church, (Dr Margaret Lavin, Professor Emeritus at Regis College, Toronto)
  • Applying the Learnings, Facilitated by Martin Kennedy and Dr Jessie Rogers.

You can visit the website of the Irish Institute for Pastoral Studies HERE.

Register for the conference 28th and 29th August HERE which also includes the full schedule and back ground information on each of the presenters and facilitators.

You can listen to Fr Eamonn's interview excerpted from the main programme podcast HERE.

Gospel - John 6:1-15

John 6:1-15, 24-35 by Kathleen Rushton
Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee. A large crowd followed him,because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick. 
Jesus went up on the mountain,and there he sat down with his disciples. The Jewish feast of Passover was near. When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him,he said to Philip,"Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?" He said this to test him,because he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him,"Two hundred days' wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little."  
One of his disciples,Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him,"There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish;but what good are these for so many?" Jesus said, "Have the people recline." Now there was a great deal of grass in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number.  
Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks,and distributed them to those who were reclining,and also as much of the fish as they wanted. When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples,"Gather the fragments left over,so that nothing will be wasted."  
So they collected them,and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat. When the people saw the sign he had done, they said,"This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world."  
Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.
Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire
English Dominicans
Centre for Liturgy

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - psalter week 1

Saints of the week

July 30th - St Peter Chrysologus
July 31st - St Ignatius Loyola
August 1st - St Alphonsus Liguoiri
August 2nd - Our Lady of the Angels also the Indulgence of St Mary of the Portiuncula
August 3rd - St Senarch of Clonard (First Friday)
August 4th - St John Vianney (First Saturday)

Pope's Intentions 
The Treasure of Families
That any far-reaching decisions of economists and politicians may protect the family as one of the treasures of humanity.

Kansan returns to Australia saint’s tomb in thanks for Parkinson’s cure

As regular listeners know, SS102fm has a particular soft spot for Australia's St Mary McKillop and this blog in particular holds her as an on-going patron saint. 

It was with interest we read the following article in Crux this week and decided to share with our readers.

Kansan returns to Australia saint’s tomb in thanks for Parkinson’s cure

Ricky Peterson of Kansas City, Kan., prays July 18 at the tomb of St. Mary MacKillop in Sydney in thanks, 10 years to the day after his seemingly miraculous cure from Parkinson's disease. (Credit: CNS photo/Giovanni Portelli, The Catholic Weekly.)
SYDNEY, Australia - Exactly 10 years to the day - July 18, 2018 - Ricky Peterson of Kansas City, Kansas, knelt once more at the tomb of St. Mary MacKillop in suburban North Sydney, Australia, this time with a prayer of thanksgiving for the seemingly miraculous event that had changed his life a decade earlier.

Peterson, 57, first knelt at the tomb as a pilgrim during World Youth Day in 2008 and offered a prayer he will never forget: that through the intercession of Australia’s first saint, God would heal him of the Parkinson’s disease he had endured for nine long years.

“I said, ‘Mary, I’m asking you to pray with me again tonight. Lord, I would love nothing more than to leave this Parkinson’s and tremor buried beside Mary, if it’s your will. I’m going to go out and praise your name,'” Peterson recalled.

It was only 10 minutes later when the father of five was on the train, traveling with his youngest daughter back to their host family that he first noticed that the tremor in his right arm had disappeared.

“I kept checking every 30 seconds and I was like, ‘It’s still gone, it’s still gone,'” he said.

Despite his amazement and certainty that he’d been healed, he didn’t say a word to anyone.

It was during the final Mass at Randwick Racecourse, celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI, that while holding hands with her father, Jessica noticed the tremor was gone.

“She looked at me and said, ‘Your hand didn’t shake at all.’ I said, ‘Yeah, it hasn’t since Friday night.’ We both started crying.”

Peterson’s wife Maura said when he phoned from Australia to tell her the news, she was filled with gratitude and “pure joy.”

The couple spoke to The Catholic Weekly, newspaper of the Sydney Archdiocese, at Mary MacKillop Place in North Sydney on their return visit of gratitude. It was Maura’s first visit to Australia.

“It was thanksgiving for a new future that we had given up on,” she said. “A month before, we had been talking about whether I should quit my job to care for him and whether we could afford financially to do that. So we had the future we had dreamed of back. So it was thanksgiving and just pure joy.”

Peterson said the Sisters of St Joseph, the saint’s order, documented what had happened to him and told him that if the second miracle being investigated for the canonization was not approved, then his case was one of two they would “start moving forward.” It proved unnecessary, however, as the second miracle - the healing from lung and brain cancer of Australian Kathleen Evans - eventually was approved.

When Peterson returned to the U.S., several doctors assessed him without knowing what had happened in Sydney and found he no longer had Parkinson’s. When Maura, a nurse, asked her husband’s neurologist whether the original diagnosis nine years earlier had been correct, he showed her the massive file documenting the illness and said, “He had Parkinson’s.”

Peterson, an electrician, had watched his father die from complications of Parkinson’s, a disorder of the central nervous system that often causes tremors. He said that if he had not been healed, he would now be retired because of disability. “I may not even be still alive,” he said.

When he had arrived in Sydney in 2008, he was suffering from a severe right arm tremor around the clock which was exacerbated by tiredness and stress.

He now believes that the healing occurred at the very moment he prayed at St. Mary MacKillop’s tomb.

“My hand was shaking when I knelt at the tomb. … There were 50 or 60 people in the chapel at the time and when I started that prayer I heard no one,” Peterson recalled. There was just quiet. I don’t remember hearing anything. When I stood and walked out, I didn’t even consider if it (the tremor) was gone, … but I believe it happened right then.”

The Petersons were invited by the Sisters of St. Joseph to attend the saint’s canonization at the Vatican in 2010. They sat with the sisters near the front.

Over the past 10 years, Peterson has not had even the slightest sign of Parkinson’s returning. Maura believes her husband was healed because he asked God in a loving way.

“I had been to Lourdes before and prayed for Rick’s healing,” she said. “And it was always, ‘Please heal Rick.’ His prayer at Mary’s tomb, however, was ‘No matter what happens, give me the strength to continue to carry your word to others.’ It wasn’t ‘give me.'”

Peterson now shares his story with anyone who will listen, believers and unbelievers alike. He carries with him a stack of holy cards bearing one of the saint’s well-known quotes: “Never see a need without doing something about it.” He gives them to anyone who will take one.

Peterson said it was a dream come true to be able to return to Sydney with Maura for the 10-year anniversary of his healing. “The city is as beautiful as I remember,” he said.

And he has maintained a close relationship with the Australian saint who changed his life.

“She hears from me daily. It’s like, Mary, here we go again, we’ve got a bunch of people to pray for.”

Welcome to Glenstal Abbey - A new video

27 Jul 2018

AMORIS Animations (4/6) - Consumerism and families

The AMORIS animations (produced by Ministory) reflect on the vision of love, marriage and family presented by Pope Francis in The Joy of Love. 

In Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis warns us of the dangers of the false promises of consumerism for family life.

[You can find all six episodes on the Amoris website HERE.]

25 Jul 2018

AMORIS Animations (3/6) - Love and imperfection

The AMORIS animations (produced by Ministory) reflect on the vision of love, marriage and family presented by Pope Francis in The Joy of Love. 

In Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis helps us to see how love overcomes other people’s weaknesses and faults

[You can find all six episodes on the Amoris website HERE.]

23 Jul 2018

AMORIS Animations (2/6) - Family: a living reflection of the Trinity

The AMORIS animations (produced by Ministory) reflect on the vision of love, marriage and family presented by Pope Francis in The Joy of Love. 

Pope Francis in Amoris Laetitia reflects on how God is a communion of love, and the family is its living reflection

[You can find all six episodes on the Amoris website HERE.]

22 Jul 2018

Some web browsing................

Biker nun on a mission to free Tanzania from grip of HIV

The changing face of funerals: why we did it our own way…

Wrestling with Words: Inclusive Language and the Difficulties of Prayer

A Bad Day for Religion?

The Mufti of the Lebanese Republic: there is no Middle East without Christians of the East

Catholicism is ‘foreign’ to young Irish, Dublin’s archbishop fears

Riverdance to perform for Pope Francis at World Meeting of Families

Only seminary in Northern Ireland to close

Cause of Jesuit leader Fr Pedro Arrupe to open

Learn from tradition, Pope tells young people

WMoF2018 - A Joy for all the Earth

July 22nd - Feast day of St Mary Magdalene

Mary Magdalene is depicted in this beautiful manuscript illumination
holding a vessel of ointment, in reference to the Anointing of Jesus.
[Book of Hours: 'Horarium Omnium Sanctorum', MS 496, late 15thC]
Source - @lampallib 
While liturgically speaking today being a Sunday the feast of St Mary Magdalene isn't observed this year on the general calendar, it would be remiss for the feast day of the Apostle of Apostles to pass without at least mentioning it. 

During Easter week we blogged about the saint and quoted Fr James Martin SJ reminders to us of a few important things about Mary: 
  • First, she was the first one, according to the Gospel of John, to whom the Risen Christ appeared after the Resurrection. He could have chosen anyone to whom to appear, and he chose Mary. She is then asked to announce the good news to the disciples, thus her great title "Apostle to the Apostles,..." the one who is sent to the one who is sent. 
  • Second, she was not a prostitute. This unfortunate tradition comes from, among other sources, a homily from Pope St. Gregory the Great in which he conflated Mary with a prostitute in the Gospels. This is false. Jesus "drove seven demons from her" (which certainly prompted her gratitude and may have led her to follow him) but she was not a prostitute. (Interestingly, when you visit the Holy Land you see that the first town that you come upon on the Sea of Galilee when you travel from Nazareth to the Sea of Galilee, is Magdala. She may have been one of the first he met in that area.)
  • Third, between the time that the Risen Christ appeared to Mary after the Resurrection and when she announced the Good News to the rest of the disciples, she was the church on earth. That is, only she, among all mortals, understood the full Paschal Mystery.  
Other posts from SS102fm here.
Blue Eyed Ennis archive post here.
Patrick Commerford - Saint Mary Magdalene: first to see the empty tomb and first witness to the resurrection
iBenedictines archive posts here.

21 Jul 2018

22 July 2018 - Amoris : Lets Talk Family - Parish Conversations 2

On this weeks programme we continue to introduce the Amoris programme which is the preparatory programme which has been running in parishes across the diocese and country as preparation for the World Meeting of Families 2018. 

In addition we have our regular run through the saints of the week plus our reflection on the Sunday gospel.

You can listen to the podcast of the full programme HERE.

Amoris - Let's talk Family! Let's be family - Parish Conversations 2

Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love) is a post-Synodal apostolic exhortation by Pope Francis on love in the family. It was signed on 19 March 2016 on the Solemnity of St. Joseph, and brings together the results of the two Synods on the family convoked by Pope Francis in 2014 and 2015. It frequently cites their final Reports, documents and teachings of his predecessors, and his own numerous catecheses on the family, as well as contributions of various Episcopal Conferences around the world.

Amoris Laetitia is the document under penning the preparations for WMOF2018 and in parishes across the diocese and country since last year groups have been gathering to read and explore this document from Pope Francis.

In each session of this six–session parish conversation, the participants are be invited to take part in a process which is designed to be interactive and participative. They are helped to reflect on and articulate their experience of family life and their response to Pope Francis’ reflections in The Joy of Love. The programme takes, as its starting point, people’s experience of love and their hopes and fears with regard to marriage and family.

The programme’s first and second sessions deal with the reality of family life in the world today. It explores how Pope Francis recognises the widespread desire for permanence in love and his challenge to us as Church to communicate more effectively the Good News of the Gospel of the Family, which is supportive of that desire. It looks at the challenges posed by consumer culture to stability in family life, and the foundational role of God’s love in our teaching on the permanence of married love and its openness to new life.

The Amoris website has resources to explore in depth including pdf's of the Parish Conversation programmes, short videos to view and download as well as ideas for supporting family life and faith.

  • You can find about about the Amoris programme HERE
  • The six week programme is HERE
  • Amoris Laetitia can be explored HERE by clicking the tiles to access the full text of each chapter of Amoris Laetitia. A short video guide for each chapter also included
  • WMoF2018 channel on iCatholic has many short video resources also with the Amoris Parish programme HERE.
  • In addition there is a new tv series called ‘A Journey through Amoris Laetitia’  which explores the apostolic exhortation.
Gospel - Mark 6:30-34

The apostles gathered together with Jesus
and reported all they had done and taught.
He said to them,
“Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”
People were coming and going in great numbers,
and they had no opportunity even to eat.
So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place.
People saw them leaving and many came to know about it.
They hastened there on foot from all the towns
and arrived at the place before them.
When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd,
his heart was moved with pity for them,
for they were like sheep without a shepherd;
and he began to teach them many things.
Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 4

Saints of the Week
July 24th - St Declan also St Charbel Makhluf
July 25th - St James the Great
July 26th - Ss Joachim and Anne

WMOF2018 - One month to go!!!

‘A Journey through Amoris Laetitia’ TV Series

A six-part TV series based around the papal exhortation Amoris Laetitia (“The Joy of Love”) has been released by the World Meeting of Families.

Entitled A Journey Through Amoris Laetitia, the series features a variety of well-known commentators, as well as families from all walks of life and from around the world. Through the six episodes, participants reflect on what Amoris Laetitia has to say to families as they experience the ups and downs of family life. The series also looks at how Pope Francis addresses key themes like imperfection, mercy and society in his letter.

Each episode focuses on a different theme, moving – as the papal document does – from the reality of family life today, through to God’s dream for the family, to St Paul’s reflection on love, to families reaching out in solidarity to others and accompanying struggling families. The final episode deals with how families can “go forth in their families and in the world”.

Therese and Jimmy O’Brien and family who appear in
episode 1 of A Journey through Amoris Laetitia
“In preparing for the World Meeting of Families it was fairly obvious that the key document was Amoris Laetitia from Pope Francis,” Fr Bill Kemmy, one of the three series producers, told CatholicIreland. “That is a significant piece of work so it deserves unpacking. The Amoris programme is an attempt to help people read and maybe reflect on what Pope Francis has written for all of us before he comes.”

Contributors to the six-part series include Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, president of Caritas International; Jeff Cavins, author and speaker; Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland; Bishop Robert Barron, Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles; John and Claire Gabrowski, Pontifical Council for the Family; Sr Consilio, Cuan Mhuire; and several members of family-based movements like Teams of Our Lady, Focolare New Families and Retrouvaille. It is presented by Wendy Grace, who produced the series alongside Petra Conroy and Fr Kemmy.

A Journey Through Amoris Laetitia, which is a co-production between iCatholic.ie and KAIROS Communications, is available on-line through the website Amoris.ie  . The series is also being broadcast internationally through stations like Catholic TV, Salt and Light TV and EWTN.

AMORIS Animations (1/6) - Families living in a digital age

The AMORIS animations (produced by Ministory) reflect on the vision of love, marriage and family presented by Pope Francis in The Joy of Love. 

In this first AMORIS animation we reflect on the importance of allowing time for each other, to enable love to flourish.

[You can find all six episodes on the Amoris website HERE.]

AMORIS Animations - Exploring the vision of love, marriage and family presented by Pope Francis in The Joy of Love.

16 Jul 2018

100 years on: The murder of the Russian Tsar and his family

July 17th is the anniversary of the execution of the Czar Nicholas II of Imperial Russia and his family in 1917 at Yekaterinburg. The story of the fall of the Romanov family and the murder of the royal family at the hands of drunk soldiers in a dark and dank cellar has fueled mystery and speculation since the event happened and was badly hidden by the Bolsheviks in 1917 right up to the present day when there is still a dispute about the remains of the royal family found in 1992 and 2007.

BBC Witness - 100 years on: The murder of the Russian Tsar and his family
The Independent - Tsar Nicholas II's murder 100 years on: The terrible fate of Russia’s imperial family
The Atlantic (March 1928 edition) - The Last Days of the Romanovs
National Geographic - Tsar's Family Death

In 2000, the Russian Orthodox Church canonised the royal family. Strictly speaking, of course, the Tsar, his wife and their children did not die for their faith. Renouncing their religious beliefs would never have saved the Romanovs from the Bolshevik firing squad which executed them in July 1918. But the Russian Orthodox Church saluted the Christian humility with which the family met their death by making them saints.

NYT - Nicholas II And Family Canonized For 'Passion' 
Telegraph - Romanovs move from tsardom to sainthood

But still today, their history and their killing still inspires passions across some sectors of Russian society including within the Kremlin and the higher levels of the Russian Orthodox Church.

BBC - The legacy of the Romanovs: how is the last Russian royal family remembered in Russia?

TASS - Patriarch Kirill leads prayer at site of execution of Czar Nicholas II and his family
Pravmir - Patriarch Kirill to lead 21-km Procession in Memory of Nicholas II’s Family
Catholic Herald - The Russian Orthodox believers who treat the Tsar like a God


Services in Honor of the Royal Passion Bearers of Russia - More than 100,000 marched in a procession from the Church on the Blood in Yekaterinburg to the monastery of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers outside the city. There followed a moleben in honor of the Royal Passion Bearers and a hierarchical liturgy that night.

An American Shrine to Honor the Russian Royal Martyrs

The Last of the Tsars by Robert Service review – dispelling the myths

15 Jul 2018

July 16th - Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Our Lady of Mount Carmel with St John of the Cross and St Teresa of Avila
- Terry Nelson (iconographer)

July 16th is the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary, in her role as patroness of the Carmelite Order. The first Carmelites were Christian hermits living on Mount Carmel in the Holy Land during the late 12th and early to mid 13th centuries. They built a chapel in the midst of their hermitages which they dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, whom they conceived of in chivalric terms as the "Lady of the place"

Since the 15th century, popular devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel has centered on the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel also known as the Brown Scapular, a sacramental associated with promises of Mary's special aid for the salvation of the devoted wearer. Traditionally, Mary is said to have given the Scapular to an early Carmelite named Saint Simon Stock. The liturgical feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is celebrated on 16 July.

"Devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel is bound to the history and spiritual values of the Order of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel and is expressed through the scapular. Thus, whoever receives the scapular becomes a member of the order and pledges him/herself to live according to its spirituality in accordance with the characteristics of his/her state in life."

"The scapular is a Marian habit or garment. It is both a sign and pledge. A sign of belonging to Mary; a pledge of her motherly protection, not only in this life but after death. As a sign, it is a conventional sign signifying three elements strictly joined: first, belonging to a religious family particularly devoted to Mary, especially dear to Mary, the Carmelite Order; second, consecration to Mary, devotion to and trust in her Immaculate Heart; third an incitement to become like Mary by imitating her virtues, above all her humility, chastity, and spirit of prayer."

Dr Lillis has a reflection on Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Blessed John Paul II.

Letter of the Prior General (OCarm) on the Solemnity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel 2018

WMoF2018 - July 2018 News and Updates 2

WMoF2018 - July 2018 News and Updates

For the most recent updates on WMOF2018 check out their social media sites (listed on the right hand side bar!). The following is the most recent email news letter from the WMoF2018 office:

Booking has now Closed for Final Mass in Phoenix Park!
Over 500,000 tickets have been booked for the Final Mass of WMOF2018, which will be celebrated by Pope Francis. All tickets have now been reserved and booking has closed for this event. The Mass will take place at 3pm in the Phoenix Park, Dublin on Sunday 26 August.

Requests for tickets for WMOF2018 have been overwhelming and we are delighted to announce that each of the events is now fully booked. Within a week of tickets being released to the public, 400,000 tickets for the Closing Mass in Dublin’s Phoenix Park were booked, all 45,000 tickets for Knock Shrine were booked within the first 4 hours and the Pastoral Congress in the RDS is now also fully booked, with a record-breaking 37,000 registrations.

We are delighted that so much interest has been expressed and, with over 10,000 overseas bookings, we look forward to welcoming many pilgrims and families from all over the world. WMOF2018 is a record-breaking Word Meeting of Families with the highest number of people registered to the Pastoral Congress, the highest number of international pilgrims attending and the highest amount of children and young people attending! Thank you to all of you!

This month, we have news and updates on the programme for the Pastoral Congress and the Host a Family project, information on the WMOF2018 Pilgrim Walk, an outline of our sustainability theme, ‘Our Common Home’, an introduction to our ‘Humans of World Meeting of Families 2018’ Facebook page, resources to encourage preparation in the home for WMOF2018, as well as links to our latest blogs.

With only a few short weeks to go, we are all looking forward with great anticipation to August and a joyful exploration and celebration of love and family life today.
 Photo Credit: WMOF2018 
Pastoral Congress Programme released
The programme for the three-day Pastoral Congress in the RDS, Dublin has now been released and is published on the WMOF2018 website. We have an exciting line-up of keynote addresses, panels, presentations and workshops, with options for everyone, young people and adults alike. We have a varied and interesting schedule in the main arena which reflects on the theme, ‘The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World’. This was chosen by Pope Francis, offering families the opportunity to have a way of deepening their reflection and their sharing of the content of The Joy of Love (Amoris Laetitia)’.

The Congress will also offer fun and prayerful activities for individuals and families, including a tailored programme for children (4-12 yrs) and teenagers (13-17 yrs). The highlight of each day will be the celebration of the Eucharist in the Family Arena. Fun activities for all the family will run throughout the day in the Conference venue, except during the celebration of Mass in the Family Arena.

Listen to Speaker Manager Hannah Evans discussing the range of workshops, talks and discussions featuring speakers and panellists from across the world.
Meet Eirinn, the WMOF2018 Mascot!
Éirinn is the official mascot for World Meeting of Families 2018! She loves to play, sing and dance and would like to say a big “Hello” to all the boys and girls attending the World Meeting of Families in Dublin, 2018! She will be present with us during the events, inviting children and families to participate in our activities.

Éirinn means ‘Ireland’ in our native Irish language and this is our mascot's name as Ireland is home to the World Meeting of Families 2018. The Sheep is a very special animal that appears in the Bible. The Parable of the Lost Sheep is one of Jesus’ great stories in the Gospels. It is about a shepherd who leaves his flock of ninety-nine sheep to find the one which is lost. Just like each sheep is a member of the flock, each one of us is an important member of God’s family.

Read more about Éirinn here.
Embark on a seven-Church Pilgrimage in Dublin: The WMOF2018 Pilgrim Walk!
From Saturday 18 August to Saturday 25 August, we invite pilgrims, in a single day or over the period of the week, to undertake the WMOF2018 Pilgrim Walk. This will involve visiting seven designated churches, spending time in prayer in each of them for a special intention related to families and finishing the visit with the WMOF2018 prayer.

Each pilgrim will be issued with a pilgrim walk passport, which will be stamped at each station, in the ancient tradition of the Camino of St James. A pilgrimage certificate of completion will be stamped when they arrive at the last of the seven churches. The churches can be visited in any order. Families, groups, individuals, adults and children are all invited to participate in the pilgrim walk. There is no charge to participate.

This is an event organised by the Dublin Diocesan Preparatory Committee and supported by the WMOF2018 Office.

The route for the WMF2018 Pilgrim Walk includes seven Churches in the city:
  • St Teresa’s Carmelite Church, Clarendon Street. The theme for this station is the gift of parents to the family.
  • St Francis Xavier’sGardiner Street. The theme for this station is the role of teachers in enriching the children of our families.
  • St Saviour's, Dominick Street. The theme of this station is ‘God walks with families when times are tough.’
  • St Michan’s, Halston Street. The theme for this station is the gift of children to the family.
  • St Michan’s, Church Street. The theme for this station is fostering the gift of forgiveness among families. This is an Anglican Church, and its inclusion is part of the ecumenical dimension of the Pilgrim Walk.
  • St Audoen’s Church, High Street. The theme for this station is the gift of grandparents to the family.
  • Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Whitefriars), Aungier Street. The theme for this station is love at the heart of the family.
We also invite pilgrims to visit the Cathedral Church of the Archdiocese of Dublin: St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, Marlborough Street. The theme for this station is the gift of brothers and sisters within the family. Please note that The Pro-Cathedral will close after 12:45pm Mass on Thursday 23 August until Sunday 26 August in the morning.

Host a Family/Pilgrim Programme prepares for 1,700 Overseas Guests
There will be over 15,000 oversea pilgrims coming to Ireland for WMOF2018, many of which have applied to stay with other families in Ireland. We have almost reached the target of 1,700 beds for overseas visitors and the call-out for pilgrims has now closed. We are delighted with the enthusiastic and positive response from potential host families. Now we are in the process of visiting our hosts, talking through the plans and matching hosts and overseas pilgrims. Several large-group parish meetings are scheduled in Parish Centres around Dublin to brief hosts and finalise details. It’s wonderful to be able to give this accommodation offer to pilgrims who otherwise might not have been in a position to attend WMOF2018. We look forward to welcoming them, and all our overseas pilgrims to WMOF2018!

Read how the hosts are preparing to welcome thousands of pilgrims on our latest blog! 

How We Can Prepare At Home for WMOF2018
As preparations continue for all the different events of WMOF2018 and as we get closer to August, we encourage families to make their own prayerful preparations for our great event.

We are delighted to have many families with young children registered for WMOF2018. Along with the various resources for adults for use in the parish and at home, we have also created materials to engage our younger family members. As excitement builds for WMOF2018 and the visit of Pope Francis, why not encourage children to visit our resources page, where our Pray-a-Thon can be downloaded. This is an invitation to reach out to family members/friends and pray for them and any special intentions they might have. The Pray-a-Thon card has space for up to 20 names and the children write down the names of family members/friends for whom they will pray on each day of their Pray-A-Thon. Read more about and download the Pray-a-Thon here.

Our “Prayer Space at Home” initiative invites us to share pictures of the spaces where we pray in our homes, as an opportunity to explore how we pray, where we pray at home and how we transform everyday spaces into places that serve to remind us of God. Follow the link to upload your photos here.

Finally, as young children love to ‘colour-in’, we have created colouring pages of different figures in the Icon of the Holy Family and of our St Patrick's Day window stickers. This offers a good opportunity to discuss together the meaning and messages behind the images, as the children create their works of art!
Check out our Colouring-In pages here.

And of course, visit our Amoris; Let's Talk Family! Let's Be Family! Programme, which has been running since August 2017 leading the preparations for our event.

If you are an international visitor, access the International Catecheses for WMOF2018, available in five languages on the website of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life.
Care of Our Common Home
“In the family too, we can rethink our habits of consumption and join in caring for the environment as our common home.” (Amoris Laetitia, 277)

In response to Pope Francis' call for families to care for our own environment, WMOF2018 is inviting all pilgrims attending in August into a conversation about ‘Our Common Home’.

People can visit ‘Our Common Home’ eco-spaces and join in discussion, prayer and action in caring for our beautiful planet. They can hear some of the eco-stories of families from around the world and discover more about how we can care for our beautiful world and live more sustainable lives; they can visit some of our eco-exhibitions and participate of various workshops dealing with how to care for our planet.

The ‘Our Common Home’ Project at WMOF2018 is being offered in partnership with the Global Catholic Climate Movement, Trócaire & Laudato Si' Ireland.

Read more about ‘Our Common Home’ spaces at WMOF2018.
Humans of WMOF2018
The original ‘Humans of…’ project was started in New York City in 2010, to share the stories of a cross-section of the city’s inhabitants. The portraits and accompanying stories were shared on a Facebook page which now has over twenty million followers and the phenomenon has spread worldwide.

With the Humans of World Meeting of Families 2018 Facebook page we capture and catalogue family stories and anecdotes about family life, past and present, from WMOF2018 staff, volunteers, diocesan and parish participants as well as those preparing to travel to WMOF2018 from other countries. These stories are linked by the theme of faith. Check out the Humans of WMOF2018 on our website here or follow us on the dedicated Facebook page here. We hope you enjoy them!