All of us remember those memorable days at the 9th World Meeting of Families in Dublin in August 2018. The 10th World Meeting of Families takes place later this month from 22 – 26 June in Rome. The Irish delegation attending the gathering will be led by Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop Dermot Farrell and myself. There are two families from the diocese who are travelling with us to Rome, the Cranny’s from Bennekerry and the O’Sullivan’s from Graiguecullen.
Pope Francis is very anxious that something of the World Meeting happens in every diocese and if possible in every parish. I am offering you a few ideas you might like to circulate in the lead up to the Rome event.
The Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life has made available a Pastoral Kit for dioceses and parishes to respond to Pope Francis’ request for families around the world to be part of the World Meeting. The pastoral kit is designed to assist dioceses and parishes with the local celebration of WMOF2022. The pastoral kit, which offers a step by step guide to celebrating the event, can be downloaded here and there are additional materials available on Dicastero dei Laici Famiglia e Vita (laityfamilylife.va)
Your diocese and parishes are welcome to follow the ceremonies as they are live-streamed from Rome.
Perhaps there might be a possibility of gathering in a parish centre to watch the ceremonies. The Festival of Families will take place on the evening of Wednesday 22 June; the Closing Mass will take place on the evening of Saturday 25 June and the Angelus and Mandate to Families from Pope Francis will be shared on the morning of Sunday 26 June.
2023 and consecrating families to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Next year will be the 150th anniversary of the consecration of families to the Sacred Heart of Jesus here in Ireland. The consecration then was seen as a response to the world then. Many homes may have pictures of the Sacred Heart with family names inserted sometimes in different coloured pens. The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is on June 24, I suggest you might invite people to bring their picture to Mass the following Sunday as we continue to keep families at the centre of our prayer. The following prayer, has been especially composed (by Father Donal Neary SJ) as we look forward to the 150th anniversary is:
Jesus, Lord and Saviour,
you have shown us your love in your care for all, especially those in most need.
We ask you to show this love for our family,
those sick and well, at home and those away.
May we live in your heart, young and old in our family,
As you make your home in the heart of each of us.
Make strong our faith in you and in each other,
Enliven our hope and make us joyful in love.
Protect us all and welcome home those of the family who have gone before us.
We pray this, in gratitude for our family life,
And with the prayers of Mary, our Mother.
Families and parishes might also be encouraged to say the WMOF2022 prayer, which is inspired by the theme chosen by Pope Francis for this tenth meeting: “Family love: a vocation and a path to holiness.”
Prayer for the World Meeting of Families 2022
Family Love: Vocation and Path to Holiness
We come before You to praise You
and to thank You for the great gift of the family.
We pray to You for all families
consecrated by the Sacrament of Matrimony.
May they rediscover each day
the grace they have received,
and as small domestic Churches,
may they know how to witness to Your presence
and to the love with which Christ loves the Church.
We pray to You for all families faced with difficulty and suffering
caused by illness or circumstances of which only You know.
Sustain them and make them aware
of the path to holiness upon which You call them,
so that they might experience Your infinite mercy
and find new ways to grow in love.
We pray to You for children and young people:
may they encounter You and respond joyfully
to the vocation You have in mind for them;
We pray for parents and grandparents: may they be aware
that they are signs of the fatherhood and motherhood of God
in caring for the children who, in body and spirit, You entrust to them;
and for the experience of fraternity
that the family can give to the world.
Lord, grant that each family
might live their specific vocation to holiness in the Church
as a call to become missionary disciples,
in the service of life and peace,
in communion with our priests, religious,
and all vocations in the Church.
Bless the World Meeting of Families. Amen.
For more on the World Meeting of Families 2022 see World Meeting of Families 2022 Rome – #WMOF22 (romefamily2022.com)
Every blessing and thanks,
Bishop Denis Nulty
Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin and Chair of the Council for Marriage & the Family