Archbishop Diarmuid Martin to launch the one year countdown to the World Meeting of Families 2018

17 Aug 2017

  • Families from across the country invited to come to Knock
  • WMOF2018 Icon, prayer and preparatory programme to be launched

You, or a representative, are invited to attend a press briefing to mark the launch of the one year programme of preparation for the World Meeting of Families, an international celebration of faith, which will take place in Dublin from 21-26 August 2018. Photo opportunities will be available. Details:

  • Date and Time: Monday 21 August 2017 at 12.45pm
  • Venue: The conference room of the Knock Shrine office in Knock, Co Mayo (see map).
  • In attendance: Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, President and host of WMOF2018 and Father Tim Bartlett, Secretary General of WMOF 2018.


Families from across Ireland have been invited by their diocese to come to Knock, Co Mayo, on Monday 21 August to be part of the celebrations for the official launch of the preparatory programme and to mark the one year countdown to next year’s WMOF2018.

This day of celebration will include liturgies and prayers including the Anointing of the Sick, and the celebration of the Eucharist. It will also offer workshops, and lots of family-friendly activities that will be available from 11.00am until 7.00pm.

There will be additional opportunities for photography/filming which will include:

12 noon and 6.00pm: Father Tim Bartlett will deliver a workshop entitled ‘Glued to our phones; can we make technology more family friendly?’ Venue: Saint John’s Rest and Care Centre;

3.00pm: Archbishop Diarmuid Martin will preside at Mass in the Basilica where he will preach the homily on the theme ‘When Plates Fly: Pope Francis on the joys and challenges of family life’.  This Mass will be concelebrated by bishops and priests from across the country;

The WMOF2018 Icon of the Holy Family will be unveiled and anointed at this Mass and it will then begin its journey around the dioceses of Ireland. The official prayer for WMOF2018 will also be presented at this Mass;

Also being launched on Monday is the Amoris: Let’s talk Family! Let’s Be Family! programme. Using a range of online and parish based resources, this programme will offer families, parishes and wider society an opportunity to think about and discuss our vision and hopes for family and marriage, particularly in light of Pope Francis’ The Joy of Love (Amoris Laetitia), his 2016 Apostolic Exhortation on love in the family.


Notes to Editors

Photographs: Please contact John McElroy on 00353 (0) 87 241 6985.

Live streaming from Knock: Kairos Communications will be providing a multi-camera live stream of the 3.00pm Mass with commentary by Father Dermod McCarthy. The live stream will be available on and on Any media outlet who wishes to have the stream on their website can contact us for the link information.

The World Meeting of Families was established by Pope Saint John Paul II in 1994. Held every three years, it is a  major international celebration of faith bringing 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.

Pope Francis chose the Archdiocese of Dublin to be the host diocese for the 2018 World Meeting of Families, guided by the theme “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World”.

Whilst WMOF2018 will include exhibitions, cultural events and musical performances, events around the city, gestures of solidarity, it will comprise four key events:

  • Firstly, a National Openingof World Meeting of Families will take place simultaneously in the twenty-six dioceses on the island of Ireland;
  • Secondly, from 21 to 24 Augusta three-day Congresswill entail a joyful and reflective programme of workshops, talks and discussions centred on the theme: “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World”.  The Congress will also offer an engaging programme for young people to include faith and fun activities for children;
  • Thirdly, a Festival of Familieswhich will be held on Saturday 25 August 2018.  This will involve a cultural concert within a prayerful and joyful atmosphere, during which personal stories of faith will be shared by families, each representing the five continents; and,
  • Fourthly, Holy Mass for WMOF2018. A solemn Eucharistic Celebration on Sunday 26 August will involve thousands of pilgrims from Ireland and around the world.

See for more information. 

For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444