Session 2 Major Panel 2 (b)

Dancing to the Future with Hope: Strengthening Marriage & the Family today.

11:30 – 12:30    Major Panel 2 (b): Dancing to the Future with Hope: Strengthening Marriage & the Family today. 
(Hall 8A) – EN 🎧 ES, IT, FR 

Moderator: Gabriella Gambino, Under-Secretary, Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life.

•   Geraldine Hallahan O’Brien, ACCORD, Ireland - Text available for download - Click here.
•   Breda O’Brien & Brendan Conroy, Couples Testimony, Ireland - Text available for download - Click here.
•   Gerry Mangan, Teams of Our Lady, Ireland - Text available for download - Click here.
•   Fr Bernardino Giordano, Italy - Text available for download ENGLISH AND ITALIAN - Click here.

“Young love needs to keep dancing towards the future with immense hope. Hope is the leaven that, in those first years of engagement and marriage, makes it possible to look beyond arguments, conflicts and problems and to see things in a broader perspective” (AL, 219). This panel celebrates the hope that permeates the relationship of young married couples and discusses the various ways in which this relationship can be strengthened.


Gabriella Gambino, Under-Secretary, Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life.

Gabriella Gambino is married and a mother of 5 children. She was nominated in 2017 by Pope Francis as Under-Secretary for Life in the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life. She is a Professor of bioethics and biolaw at the Pontifical John Paul II Theological Institute for the Sciences of Marriage and the Family in Rome. She is also the author of numerous publications (monographs, curators and essays), and for over twenty years she has dedicated herself to life issues, marriage and the family.

Geraldine Hallahan O’Brien, ACCORD, Ireland 

Geraldine Hallahan O’Brien BADipCouns/Psych was born in Dublin in 1952, one of a family of nine brothers and sisters. A qualified psychotherapist who works in private practice, she is a member of IACP (the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) and is a Therapist and Supervisor. She married to Eugene in 1975, and they have two grown up children who are both married. They are blessed with five healthy grandchildren aged from 5 years old to 4 months who live close by. Geraldine has been involved for many years with Accord, the Catholic Marriage Care Service to facilitate and provide preparation courses for couples choosing the Sacrament of marriage.   

Breda O’Brien & Brendan Conroy, Couples Testimony, Ireland

Breda O’Brien is a columnist with the Irish Times newspaper, a second-level teacher, and also writes regularly for the Irish Catholic.  She is a frequent contributor to media debates on social and ethical issues. She is married to Brendan Conroy and they have four children.  Breda has previously worked as a video producer, as a researcher in RTE (the Irish National Broadcasting Service) and as a communications trainer. She is a patron of the Iona Institute. In recent times she edited and contributed to the book, ‘Amoris Laetitia – Opening the Pope’s Love Letter to Families.’ 
Brendan Conroy is a home educator and composer of liturgical music particularly for use in the context of Family Masses and parish prayer liturgies. He is married to Breda O'Brien and they have four children of various ages, aptitudes and appellations. He has been involved in youth and parish ministry for over 35 years at both parish and Diocesan level. He has worked as a weekly columnist for the Irish Catholic newspaper, writing on both media and family issues. He is a passionate believer in the cathechetical  possibilities of music and song, but he is dubious about the role that tone deafness plays in the non-participation of some members of Irish congregations in enthusiastic and prayerful liturgical singing!

Gerry Mangan, Teams of Our Lady, Ireland

Gerry Mangan began his career as a secondary school teacher. He subsequently moved to the Civil Service from which he is now retired. His responsibilities during his civil service career included policy on families, social security for migrant workers, social inclusion and pensions. He regularly represented Ireland on these policies internationally. He has been active as a volunteer in a number of  Church-related bodies, most notably Teams of Our Lady, St. Vincent de Paul Society, his local Parish Council and the Irish Bishops Council  for Marriage and the Family. He has a Master’s degree in leadership and pastoral care based on which he has had a number of articles published  in journals mainly on passing on the faith in families, and on other pastoral issues.  He is married to Grace. They have been blessed with children and grandchildren. 

Fr Bernardino Giordano, Italy 


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