Irish delegation joins Festival of Families with Pope Francis as 10th World Meeting of Families begins in Rome

22 Jun 2022

Amongst those gathered for the Festival of Families with Pope Francis will be families from Ukraine

The delegation from Ireland has arrived in Rome for the 10th World Meeting of Families which begins today on the theme, ‘Family love: a vocation and a path to holiness.’  The delegation includes family members and is led by the President of the Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, and the chair of the Council for Marriage & Family, Bishop Denis Nulty of Kildare & Leighlin.

The gathering of families, representing people from all over the world, begins this evening at 6.00pm (Rome time) starting with the ‘Festival of Families’ in the presence of Pope Francis.  Amongst those gathered for the Festival will be families from Ukraine.

Ireland hosted the 9th World Meeting of Families in August 2018 which was attended by Pope Francis, as well as by tens of thousands of people from home and abroad.  Speaking from Rome, Bishop Nulty said, “There is great excitement here ahead of the beginning of the World Meeting of Families this evening.  All of us remember with fondness the Festival of Families in Croke Park, Dublin, in August 2018, and this evening we will celebrate with families again in the presence of Pope Francis.

“I am particularly looking forward to tomorrow when we will gather with families to discuss many of the themes relevant to family life today: the role of grandparents, the pastoral care of the elderly, accompanying fatherhood and motherhood, vocations, accompanying forgiveness, preparing for marriage, the impact of digital media on family life, and much more.”

All families can join in the celebration

Bishop Nulty continued, “This year’s World Meeting of Families has been adapted to suit the post-pandemic era and therefore will be smaller in terms of numbers with just 2,000 delegates gathered here in Rome.  But it is still possible for families across Ireland to be part of the event by joining us online, in the same way that we became accustomed to during the pandemic.  All of the gatherings that are part of this year’s World Meeting will be live-streamed and I would really encourage people to tune in, see World Meeting of Families 2022 Rome – #WMOF22 (

“We have also taken the prayers and intentions of Irish families with us to Rome and I would ask that our delegation be remembered in prayer in our parishes at home, especially this coming weekend, by praying the special Prayer for the World Meeting of Families 2022 (see below),” Bishop Nulty said.


Notes to Editors

  • Pastoral kit

For parishes across Ireland wishing to organise local online participation with the World Meeting of Families in Rome, a special pastoral kit has been prepared and is available on

–        the Festival of Families will take place this evening, Wednesday 22 June;

–        the Pastoral Congress will take place Thursday, Friday and Saturday 23, 24 and 25 June;

–        the closing Mass will be 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.

  • Prayer for the World Meeting of Families 2022: Family Love: Vocation and Path to Holiness

Heavenly Father,
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.

  • About the World Meeting of Families

Held every three years, the World Meeting of Families is organised by the Vatican’s Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life.  WMOF is the Catholic Church’s largest international gathering of families.  Recent WMOFs were hosted in the cities of Philadelphia, USA in 2015; and in Dublin in 2018.  The first WMOF was the idea of, and originated with, Saint John Paul II in Rome over 8 and 9 October 1994.  This year’s celebration will see thirty panel discussions with 62 speakers from around the world.  The presentations and discussions will be hosted by married couples with three priests also listed on the programme.  To follow the events in Rome please access World Meeting of Families 2022 Rome – #WMOF22 (                                                        

For media contact: Catholic Communications Office: Brenda Drumm in Rome +353 (0) 87 310 4444.