About WMOF 2018

What is World Meeting of Families 2018?

Dublin, Ireland, has been chosen by Pope Francis to host the next World Meeting of Families from 21-26 August 2018, guided by the theme “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World”.  

Held every three years, this major international event brings 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. The event has at its heart the following key moments: 

  • 21 August 2018, a National Opening of WMOF2018, which will take place simultaneously in all the different dioceses of Ireland.
  • 22 to the 24 August 2018, a three-day Congress.  Each day will reflect on the theme “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World” chosen by the Holy Father and will include an enriching programme for adults of keynote speakers, workshops, talks, testimonies and discussions; an engaging and exciting programme for young people as well as fun activities for children. The Congress will also include daily celebration of the Eucharist, prayerful activities, exhibitions, cultural events and musical performances.
  • Saturday 25 August 2018, a Festival of Families, comprising a reflective concert style event within a prayerful and joyful atmosphere, in which personal stories of faith will be shared by families from all continents.
  • Sunday 26 August 2018, WMOF2018 will close with a solemn Eucharistic Celebration, that will gather thousands of people from Ireland and all over the world. 

Credit Photo: Pat McKeown

The main events of the WMOF2018 will take place in the Royal Dublin Society (RDS), a large conference venue, in Croke Park Stadium and in the Phoenix Park, as well as in other venues in and around the city. It is also anticipated that related events, including the hosting of international groups, will take place all over the island of Ireland. All official events will be ticketed. 
 
Thousands of families and individuals from all over Ireland and the world are expected to attend. Some people may come together, others might come on their own, others as part of an organisation. Adults, youth and children are all invited to take part.

This important and joyful international gathering will be preceded by a period of catechesis/faith education, which has been prepared by the Church in Ireland for use by local parishes and across the world. The Amoris: Let’s talk Family! Let's Be Family! Programme is an interactive multimedia platform of catechetical resources that will be available through our website and a dedicated app. It draws largely from the Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (‘The Joy of Love’), published by Pope Francis in March 2016, following the Synods on the family held in 2014 and 2015. An official prayer, logo, icon and hymn have also been especially prepared for WMOF2018, as key elements of the journey of preparing for the event. 

The Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life

World Meeting of Families is convened by the Holy Father and promoted by the Holy See’s Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life. In September 2016, this new Dicastery brought together the Pontifical Council for the Laity, the Pontifical Council for the Family and aspects of the Church's mission to promote respect for human life in all its stages. The Prefect of the new Dicastery is Cardinal Kevin Joseph Farrell, previously Bishop of Dallas, Texas in the US.

Dublin, the Host Diocese

The WMOF is organised by a host diocese chosen by the Pope. For 2018, Pope Francis chose the Archdiocese of Dublin, in Ireland. To fulfil this task, the Archdiocese of Dublin has appointed a team to work with the families, young people, women and men, clergy, religious and others from all over Ireland who will be involved in the planning of the event. Father Timothy Bartlett has been appointed as Secretary General and Anne Griffin as General Manager for WMOF2018.

Will Pope Francis attend the World Meeting of Families 2018?

On 21 March 2018, Pope Francis confirmed that he will be travelling to Ireland to take part in World Meeting of Families 2018, which is taking place in Dublin from 21 -26 August 2018.  His visit will bring great joy to Irish Catholics and others, as we prepare to welcome the Holy Father and thousands of families from all over the world to Ireland for this great event.  Pope Francis will attend the Festival of Families in Croke Park on Saturday 25th August and celebrate an open air Mass in the Phoenix Park on Sunday 26th August. Visit our Tickets and Registration page for further information.

Pope Francis by Jeffrey Bruno - WMOF2018Credit Photo: Jeffrey Bruno

Company Information

To be able to plan and deliver the World Meeting of Families 2018, a company limited by guarantee has been set up and registered in Ireland in 2016. The company’s registered name is World Meeting of Families 2018 Company Limited by Guarantee, registration number 590403. World Meeting of Families 2018 CLG, Registered Charity Number (RCN) is 20152710. 

In order to achieve this purpose, World Meeting of Families 2018 is committed to:

  • Preparing and promoting a programme of catechesis and evangelisation in advance of the events in Ireland and around the world.
  • Supporting the development of pastoral structures which will serve as a basis for ongoing faith development after World Meeting of Families 2018
  • Designing, publishing and licensing the corporate logo and such other materials as may be necessary to promote the World Meeting of Families 2018 and its main object;
  • Arranging for the hire of venues, services, insurances, health and safety for the hosting of the various events;
  • Recruiting and training staff and volunteers who will undertake the preparation and execution of the World Meeting of Families and who will continue to offer service in the mission of the Church into the future;
  • Providing material and spiritual services for those who participate in the World Meeting of Families; and
  • Providing appropriate support for the arrangements to raise the funds necessary to meet the costs involved in carrying out these objectives.
  • Best practice in the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults, in keeping with all statutory and Church related policies.


The Board of Directors is chaired by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin. The other directors are: Fr Timothy Bartlett, Mons. Paul Callan, Mr. Paul Corcoran, Bishop Francis Duffy, Mr Michael Duffy, Ms. Barbara Gilroy, Mons. Kieran McDermott, Mr. John McGouran, Mr. Declan McSweeney, Bishop Denis Nulty, Ms. Deirdre O’Rawe, Company Secretary Mr. Edmond O’Connor. Registered office is: World Meeting of Families 2018, Holy Cross Diocesan Centre, Clonliffe Rd., Dublin 3, Ireland, Eircode D03 P2E7.

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WMOF2018 Office

Holy Cross Diocesan Centre,

Clonliffe Road, Dublin 3, Ireland

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