11th March 2016 – Archbishop Diarmuid Martin led discussions with bishops, at their Spring General Meeting in Maynooth this week, on the 9th World Meeting of Families which will take place primarily in Dublin, but also throughout Ireland, in 2018. Held every three years, and coordinated by the Pontifical Council for the Family, the World Meeting of Families is the largest gathering of Catholic families and it celebrates family life and the Church’s commitment to support families.
In preparation for the World Meeting of Families, bishops decided to establish, in each diocese, a team of people to assist with local planning for this international event.
Pope Francis announced that the next World Meeting of Families will take place in 2018 in Dublin at the concluding Mass of the World Meeting of Families which took place in Philadelphia in 2015. Previous Meetings have been held Rome in 1994, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1997, Rome again in 2000, Manila in the Philippines in 2003, Valencia, Spain, in 2006, Mexico City, in 2009, and Milan in 2012.
Speaking at the time of the announcement Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said that he hoped the holding of the Meeting in Ireland would be an occasion to take up the programme of the Synod of Bishops on the Family to strengthen the place of the family in handing on the faith in the face of many new challenges. He said, the family in Ireland is strong and the Church is called to take up the challenge of ensuring that future Catholic generations are prepared to live their marriage as an itinerary of faith.