Evening Panel 1

Why Get Married in Church? Presenting Sacramental Marriage as a Path to Joy.

19:00 - 20:00 Panel 1 - Why Get Married in Church? Presenting Sacramental Marriage as a Path to Joy.
(Hall 2) – EN 🎧 ES, IT, FR

Moderator: Fr Michael Mc Ginnity, Family Ministry Director, Diocese of Down & Connor, Ireland (North) 
      Text available for download - Click here​

• Susan Gately, Journalist, Focolare New Families, Ireland
        Presentation available for download click here

• Fr Jose Granados, Vice-President of the Pontifical Council of St. John Paul II, Spain 
        Text available for download - Click here

• Vivian and Douglas Moser, The Apostolic Movement of Schoenstatt, Spain
        Text available for download - Click here 
        Presentation available for download here

• Prof. Dr Mounir Farag, Founder and Director of Saint Joseph Institute in Egypt and Middle East
        Presentation available for download here

“The sacrament of marriage is not a social convention, an empty ritual or merely the outward sign of a commitment” (AL, 72). “Through the Church, marriage and the family receive the grace of the Holy Spirit from Christ, in order to bear witness to the Gospel of God’s love” (AL, 71). This panel engages with the uniqueness of the sacrament of matrimony and the grace-filled joy that it brings to family life. 


Fr Michael McGinnity, Family Ministry Director, Diocese of Down & Connor, Ireland (North)

Fr Michael McGinnity is from Belfast, Northern Ireland.  He graduated with an honours degree in Biochemistry from Queen’s University, Belfast in 1981. After completing his Bachelor of Divinity degree at the Gregorian University, Rome, he was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Down and Connor in 1985. He was awarded a License in Sacred Theology by the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, Rome, in 1986 and a postgraduate Certificate in Education by St. Mary’s University College, Belfast, in 1987. In 1996, he undertook training with the Society of Jesus at Manresa House, Dublin to become a Spiritual Director. After ten years in parish ministry, he was appointed Family Ministry Director of the Diocese of Down and Connor.  Since 2010, he has been the Parish Priest of St. Malachy’s parish, Belfast.

Susan Gately, Journalist, Focolare New Families, Ireland

Susan Gately, is a journalist and member of Focolare’s New Families movement. Married to Aidan and they have two children. Aged sixteen, Susan’s parents broke up. A typical teenager, she rode the storm and tried not to think about it but years later when she married Aidan, the grief of that breakup impacted their married life, as did other unexpected trials.  From the start of their marriage they were involved in Focolare New Families, allowing its Gospel based spirituality to permeate every aspect of their family life. Thirty years on, Susan can witness to how the joy of God’s sacramental love has accompanied them throughout their marriage, especially in difficult moments. Susan is a journalist and author of God’s Surprise – the new movements in the Church, and Like the Sunshine. A former lawyer, for over thirty years she has worked as a video producer, editor and journalist.
Focolare New Families is made up of families who try to put into practice the words of the Gospel, particularly those concerning love of neighbour and mutual love. Jesus' words 'For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them' (Matt 18:20) are at the core of family life. This ecclesial and ecumenical movement seeks to revitalise the innate love in every family with the love which is a pure gift from God, to keep His flame of love alight in their homes and try to bring the values God gave the family, generously and unceasingly into society.  

Fr Jose Granados, Vice-President of the Pontifical Council of St. John Paul II, Spain

Rev. José Granados is the Vice President of the Pontifical John Paul II Theological Institute (Rome) where he is a Professor of Dogmatic Theology of Marriage and Family. In 2015 he was appointed by Pope Francis as a consultor to the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops and as an expert to the Synod of Bishops on the Family. Rev. Granados holds a doctoral degree in Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome (Bellarmine Award) and a degree in Industrial Engineering from the Pontifical University of Comillas (ICAI), Madrid. He has authored many publications, including;  Una sola carne en un solo Espíritu. Teología del matrimonio (2014); Signos en la carne: El matrimonio y los otros sacramentos (2011); La carne si fa amore. Il corpo, cardine della storia della salvezza (2010). Co-author, with C. Anderson, of Called to Love: Approaching John Paul II's Theology of the Body.

Vivian and Douglas Moser, The Apostolic Movement of Schoenstatt, Spain

Douglas and Vivian Moser are consecrated members of the “Federation of Schoenstatt Families”, a community of families made up of couples living in the world, exercising a profession and actively engaging in the apostolate. This apostolate, Marian character, based on the spirit of the Evangelical Councils and in close union with the Church, strives for the transformation of the world in Christ through Mary. They work together leading several projects that seek to bring the charism of the Movement of Schoenstatt to the Church, chiefly the "Family is Sacred" project, present in more than 10 countries and translated into 6 languages. They were born in Brazil and live in Madrid, Spain. They have been married for 23 years and have 3 children. Douglas is a Civil Engineer and the owner of a company specialising in concrete technology. Vivian is a Computer Engineer, but dedicates herself to her family and apostolate. 

Prof. Dr Mounir Farag, Founder and Director of Saint Joseph Institute in Egypt and Middle East 

Prof. Dr. Mounir Farag A.M.S. is Founder & Director of the Saint Joseph Institute in Egypt. He is Professor of Bioethics & Family Counseling in the Franciscan Oriental Institute, Giza. Egypt. He has been Secretary General of the Bishops’ Council For Family Pastoral Care since 2002. He is a member of the Pontifical Academy For Life since 1996. Visiting Professor in a number of Universities lecturing in the field of Health Systems, Family and Bioethics in the MENARO region, he has worked for more than 30 years as a Senior Health System Strengthening & Strategies Expert, with Ministries of Health in 22 countries and for the World Health Organization, USAID, and the EU. He was WHO Regional Adviser of HSS until October 2016 in the Middle East and now works across North Africa, strengthening partnerships across UN organizations and Multilaterals, prioritizing the family spirit and universal brotherhood.

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