I am delighted to hear that Pope Francis has announced that the 9th World Meeting of Families will take place in Dublin, and that Archbishop Diarmuid Martin is in Philadelphia with our delegation to hear the news directly from the Holy Father. Three years ago the 50th International Eucharistic Congress was a great celebration of faith for Ireland, and it attracted pilgrims from all around the world. I am confident that the World Meeting of Families in 2018 will also be an uplifting event for all of us.
Despite many challenges, the family remains at the heart of faith and of so much that we hold important in this country. Our preparations for the World Meeting of Families will inspire us as we implement, over the next few years, the recommendations which will emerge from the Synod on the Family in Rome next month.
At the ‘Festival of Families’ on Saturday night in Philadelphia, Pope Francis said: “What God most wants from us is to knock on the doors of families and to find people who love each other, who bring up their children with love and who contribute to a society of truth, goodness and beauty.” I look forward to sharing the joy of this announcement with Archbishop Diarmuid, my fellow bishops and with people from all around the country as we begin thinking about how, together, we can best plan to make this significant international event a success.
· Archbishop Eamon Martin is Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland
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