On Saturday 8th April, Knock Shrine will welcome Archbishop Michael Neary and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin for one of the most important events of the year entitled 'Celebrating Family; Preparing for World Meeting of Families 2018'. This will be a day-long event, the main purpose of which is to invite families to the National Shrine and help them to prepare for the World Meeting of Families next year. It is also an important aspect of trying to link in with Pope Francis' message of renewal of faith in Ireland and of the family.
Fr Richard Gibbons, P.P., Rector of Knock Shrine is hoping that the day will be both informative and inspiring for families.
'We hope that it will offer families the opportunity to start thinking about the WMOF 2018 and how it can inspire and guide them in family life. The family as a collective, faces enormous challenges today, however it is hoped that this event will be a positive and meaningful connection for people, facilitating open discussion, time for questions as well as a prayerful and special day with family Mass celebrated by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and Archbishop Michael Neary.'
The programme for the day will consist of a number of talks, including a presentation from keynote speaker Fr Timothy Bartlett, Secretary General for the World Meeting of Families who will discuss the theme chosen by Pope Francis for WMOF2018, 'The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World' and provide information to give families a better understanding of the various aspects of the celebration.
Discussion with Families
Breda O'Brien, columnist for the Irish Times will facilitate a public discussion from a number of families who will speak of their own personal experiences and the challenges of living as a Catholic family today. This will be open and relatable for families coming to Knock from all over the country. The afternoon will offer opportunity for questions and further discussion with the speakers.
Fr Richard continued, 'In light of all the heart breaking news that has come out in recent weeks, it is hoped that this will offer people the opportunity to engage with the new direction Pope Francis is taking and renewed hope for the life of the Church in Ireland.'
A range of workshops and activities will be made available for children (aged 5 years and over) and young people who are attending the day with their parents. This will be facilitated by the Youth Ministry at the Shrine who run the HUB programme every summer, offering children and young people a fun, safe and happy environment to learn more about their faith. The activities will be available in the Rest & Care Centre to coincide with the talks throughout the day. Youth are also asked to get involved in the Mass which will be celebrated by at 3pm in the Basilica.
The day is just one of a number of new events taking place at the Shrine as a part of the Faith Renewal programme which seeks to connect people with their faith.
Download the PDF of the poster for the event: