3) Festival of Families

Festival of Families (Saturday 25th August 2018)

One of the most significant and beautiful events within every World Meeting of Families is the Festival of Families, a very special concert-type event which, at its heart, celebrates families and their faith from all around the world.  This was a warm, moving, deeply engaging and unforgettable experience – We are deeply grateful to all that took part and to all who witness the festival within the stadium, including over 10,000 participants from abroad, and on screens throughout the world.

Highlights of the Festival of Families in Croke Park, Ireland, 25 August 2018

LOVE NEEDS TO KEEP DANCING TOWARDS THE FUTURE WITH IMMENSE HOPE. - Amoris Laetitia

On this memorable evening, WMOF2018 welcomed Pope Francis and 80,000 people to share the joy of the Festival of Families celebrations. More than 2,000 singers, dancers, performers, musicians and families came together from across Ireland and from all over the world to celebrate the importance of family. This was an unforgettable, once in a lifetime experience. Built on a powerful musical score arranged and conducted by Music Director, David Brophy, the festival was designed as a series of unique and unexpected performances in which performers collaborated to create moments of joy, love and heartfelt emotion.

Pope Francis delivered an address to all assembled and heard testimonies by families from Ireland, Canada, India, Iraq, and Africa. These shared how their families have sustained and nourished them with hope and love through the most challenging and momentous times of their lives. Their testimonies focused on forgiveness, strength, and hope in family life; the intergenerational nature of families today; and the impact of technology on family life. The selection of themes reflected many of the priorities in the ministry of Pope Francis, including homelessness and those on the margins; migrants and refugees; care for our common home; and the importance of the family, peace, and love throughout the world. The stage design for the event included a “circle of encounter”, where families sat with Pope Francis to watch the presentations on stage.

The Festival of Families brought together an exciting line-up of creative and performance talent in a cast of thousands, featuring a host of contemporary Irish and international singers, performers, choirs, musicians, dancers, as well as hundreds of volunteers, together creating a unique experience. The programme included community-based artists as well as some well-known local and international artists, joined by an orchestra of over 50 musicians; over 700 Irish, sean nós and contemporary dancers, including 500 from Irish dance schools across the country; a 1,000 strong choir; 100 community groups; and 300 flag bearers. 

Photo Credit: Maxwell Photography for WMOF2018

Programme

ETHEREAL SPIRIT AS COMMUNITIES COME TOGETHER – THERE IS STRENGTH IN JOINING AS ONE

BRIGIT BÉ BITHMAITH – early 9th Century Irish Hymn
Méav Ní Mhaolcatha
With the Mornington Singers and The Orchestra of Ireland

Festival Family Ceili
The Begley Family: Seamus, Brendan, Eoin and Niall
The Gavin Family: Frankie, Seán and Noreen
Ciarán Tourish and Brian Flemming
Solo Sean Nós Dancers – Emma O’Sullivan
Cuthbert Arutura, Edwina Guckian Sean Nós
dancers and members of the Riverdance Irish Dance company
(250 Volunteer Flag bearers form a Celtic Cross)

CELTIC SPIRITUALITY – THE RISE OF CHURCH IN IRELAND

OUR FATHER – AR nATHAIR by Seán Ó Riada
Séan O Sé

DEUS MEUS ADIUVA ME
The Priests
Triona and Mairéad Ní Dhomhnaill

RELATIONSHIPS, MARRIAGE AND MOTHERHOOD AROUND THE WORLD

SADHBH NI BHRUINNEALLAIGH - Traditional
Nell Ní Chróinín
Máire Ui Dhroighneáin
Johnny McDonnagh

WOMEN OF IRELAND /MNÁ NA hÉIREANN – words by Peadar Ó Doirnín – Composed by Seán Ó Riada
Moya Brennan, Bridgie Collins, Lucia Evans and Lisa Lambe

FAMILY, LOVE AND TROUBLED TIMES 

FAMILY TESTIMONY
Alan Kerins

LOVE IS AT THE HEART OF LONG MARRIAGE AND RELATIONSHIPS

NEVER ALONE – Composed by Jim Brickman and Lady Antebellum
Seán Keane
With the Mornington Singers and The Orchestra of Ireland

LOVE BINDS MARRIED COUPLES TOGETHER

RAINY NIGHT IN SOHO Composed by Shane MacGowan
Cathy Jordan

OVERCOMING HARD TIMES THROUGH FAMILY

EVERYBODY HURTS - Composed by REM
The DeafTones and Holy Family Deaf Choir Nathan Carter and Hannah Wolverson
The Ballymun Primary Schools’ Choir

Photo Credit: Maxwell Photography for WMOF2018

JOY OF CHILDREN’S LOVE

TRUE FRIEND – Composed by Jeannie Lurie
The Ballymun Primary Schools’ Choir
MYTH Dance Academy
Lithuanian Association Kids
Filipino Cultural Organization Teens
Palestrina Boy and Pro Cathedral Girl Choristers

THE EARTH IS PRECIOUS

FROM WAY UP HERE – Composed by Pete Seeger and Malvina Reynolds
Davide Antochi
Palestrina Boy and Pro Cathedral Girl Choristers
Dublin
Aerialist: Lee Claydon

THE POWER OF LOVE AND FAMILY TO STRENGTHEN US IN STRESSED GLOBAL WORLD

FREEDOM - Composed by Pharrell Williams
Dana Masters
The Mornington Singers
African Gospel Choir Dublin
Arís Choir
Dublin Gospel Choir
Discovery Gospel Choir
Dublin City University Gospel Choir
The Voce Christiana Choir
Our Lady’s Choral Society
The Redeemed Christian Church of God Choir
The Festival of Families Stadium Choir

New Irish Families – Potential of Migration

FAMILY TESTIMONY
Cuthbert Arutura - New Irish Citizen
In Ireland - I found Freedom

FAMILIES ARE STRONG IN HOPE

ANTHEM – Composed by Leonard Cohen
Soloist: Patrick Bergin
Dancer: Eoin Mac Donnacha

THE ARRIVAL TO THE STADIUM OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS

Watch Pope Francis arrival to Croke Park for the Festival of Families below.

Introduction from Cardinal Kevin Farrell, Prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life

DINGLE POLKA – with Children from St. Agnes CCMA Crumlin, Dublin and Irish Dancers - run by Sr. Bernadette Sweeney

Photo Credit: Maxwell Photography for WMOF2018

RIVERDANCE Music Composed by Bill Whelan
Lead Dancers: Amy-Mae Dolan and Bobby Hodges
Riverdance Irish Dance Troupe
500 children from Dance Schools around Ireland

LET YOUR LOVE FLOW - Composed by Larry Williams
Daniel O’Donnell with David Brophy on piano and the Mornington Singers

THE BATTLE AND BALANCE OF TECHNOLOGY IN MODERN FAMILY LIFE

FAMILY TESTIMONY
Ted, Nisha, Rhea, Mayrah and Jairo D’Costa – from Mumbai, India

THE IMPORTANCE OF GENERATIONS WITHIN THE FAMILY

FAMILY TESTIMONY
Grandparents Marisa and Aldo D’Andrea, with grandchildren Veronica and Maximilian from Toronto, Canada

INTERGENERATIONAL CELEBRATION

FOREVER YOUNG - Composed by Bob Dylan
The Choir of Ages
Choir of Ages is an integrational choir made up of young and older members of the community.

FAMILY AS A SOURCE OF STRENGTH IN ADVERSITY

FAMILY TESTIMONY
Family members of Fr. Ragheed Ganni, who was martyred along with some of his companions, after celebrating the Mass for his people in the Church of the Holy Spirit, Mosul, Iraq.

STRIVING FOR PEACE AROUND THE WORLD

THE CURE AT TROY by Seamus Heaney
Narrator: Janda Hasan

CELEBRATING GLOBAL CULTURE 

SHOSHOLZA - GLOBAL SOLIDARITY
Imbube Singers
The Mornington Singers
The African Gospel Choir
The African Dancer and Percussion Group
Alma Bolivia Dances
Samba Dance Brazil
Cleopatra Egyptian Dancers
World Festival of Families Dance Group
Including Tango Dancers

THE IRISH TRAVELER FAMILY

FAMILY TESTIMONY
Missy Collins, Member of the Travelling Community in Ireland

HOMELESSNESS, TRAVELERS, AND PEOPLE ON THE MARGINS

High Hopes - Composed by Kodaline
The High Hopes Choir
Members who have experienced homelessness in Dublin, Waterford and Cork

MARRIAGE AS A SOURCE OF LIFE AND HOPE

FAMILY TESTIMONY
Mary and Damien Richardson, parents of 10 children including one fostered child.
From Ashbourne, Co. Meath, Republic of Ireland

A PRAYER FOR LOVE AND LIFE

AVE MARIA - Composed by Franz Schubert
Andrea Bocelli and Celine Byrne
With the Mornington Singers and Ireland Orchestra

FAMILY FORGIVENESS AND UNCONDITIONAL LOVE

FAMILY TESTIMONY
Isaac Chokki Abilogun (Father), Félicité Chokki Laleye (Mother), Ghislain Chokki Abilogun (Son)
From Burkina Faso, Africa

CARING FOR OUR COMMON HOME, FAMILIES AND ENVIRONMENT

THE DEER’S CRY – By Shaun Davey
Rita Connolly
Joined by other members of the cast, with the
Mornington Singers, The Orchestra of Ireland, WMOF Choir and Stadium Choir

THE ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS

Click here to access Pope Francis address at the Festival of Families 2018.

Official Family Prayer for World Meeting of Families 2018

Photo Credit: Maxwell Photography for WMOF2018

LET US GIVE THANKS AND CELEBRATE THE VISIT OF POPE FRANCIS TO IRELAND AND GO IN PEACE

AG CHRIOST AN SÍOL Traditional Prayer
Celine Byrne
The Festival of Families Choir, Stadium Choir and
The Orchestra of Ireland

NESSUN DORMA – Composed by Giacomo Puccini
Andrea Bocelli
The Festival of Families Choir, Stadium Choir and
The Orchestra of Ireland

AMEN, AMEN, AMEN - Arrangement by David Brophy
The Entire Cast of the Festival of Families

Photo Credit: Maxwell Photography for WMOF2018

CAST

SINGERS AND CHOIRS
IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE
Méav Ní Mhaolcatha
Séan O Sé
The Priests
Triona and Mairéad Ní Dhomhnaill
Nell Ní Chróinín
Máire Ui Dhroighneáin
Johnny McDonnagh
Lisa Lambe
Lucia Evans
Moya Brennan
Bridgie Collins
Seán Keane
Shane MacGowan
Cathy Jordan
Nathan Carter
Hannah Wolverson
Davide Antochi
Dana Masters
Daniel O Donnell
Patrick Bergin
Andrea Bocelli
Celine Byrne
Rita Connolly
Janda Hasan
World Festival of Families Choirs
Mornington Singers
The DeafTones and Holy Family Deaf Choir
Ballymun Primary Schools’ Choir
Palestrina Boy and Pro Cathedral Girl Choristers Dublin
African Gospel Choir Dublin
Arís Choir
Dublin Gospel Choir
Discovery Gospel Choir
Dublin City University Gospel Choir
The Voce Christiana Choir
Our Lady’s Choral Society
The Redeemed Christian Church of God Choir
The Festival of Families Stadium Choir
The Choir of Ages
Imbube Singers
The High Hopes Choir

MUSICIANS AND ORCHESTRA
IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE
The Orchestra of Ireland
Concert Master Lynda O’Connor
The Begley Family: Seamus, Brendan, Eoin and Niall
The Gavin Family: Frankie, Seán and Noreen
Ciarán Tourish
Brian Fleming
St Agnes CCMA Crumlin’s Little People

DANCE SOLOISTS AND GROUPS
IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE
Edwina Guckian Dance Nós Dance School
Members of the Riverdance Irish Dance Company
Soloist: Emma O’Sullivan
Soloist: Cuthbert Arutura
Sr. Bernadette Dancers
Riverdance Irish Dance Company
Riverdance Lead Dancers:
Amy-Mae Dolan and Bobby Hodges
Festival Dancers
MYTH Academy
Lithuanian Association of Ireland
Filipino Cultural Organization
The African Dancer and Percussion Group
Alma Boliviana Ballet
Samba Community Dance Brazil
Cleopatra Egyptian Dancers
Tango Fiesta
Aerialist: Lee Claydon
Soloist: Eoin Mac Donnacha
500 children from Dance Schools around Ireland

TESTIMONIAL FAMILIES
IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE
Kerins Family (Alan, Ciara and Ruadhan)
Cuthbert Arutura
D’Costa Family (Ted, Nisha, Rhea, Mayrah and Jairo)
D’Andrea Family (Marisa, Aldo, Veronica and Max)
Chokki Family (Isaac, Felicité and Ghislain)
Missy Collins
Richardson Family (Mary, Damien and Family)
Family members of Fr Ragheed Ganni, Iraqi priest martyred in the Church of the Holy Spirit, Mosul (Azeez Al- Kanah, Kurjiya Al-Tamoo, Enass Matti, Azal Rufaeel, Sara Rufaeel, Sarmaad Mekhaeel)

THANK YOU

With special Thanks to members of the public who have volunteered their time and efforts with enthusiasm and always good humour. To the members of the public and professional photographers who have given their photographs for inclusion in the Festival screens. In particular special thanks to Steve McCurry, Colm Whelan, Ronan Fox, John McColgan, Michael Cassidy, Derek Speirs, Crossing the Line Films and Bastien Papeillier. And to all the schools around the world. Thank You for your contributions.
Produced by TYRONE PRODUCTIONS Ltd for the World Meeting of Families 2018

The festival took place in Croke Park, the principal stadium and headquarters of Ireland's largest sporting and cultural organisation, the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). It is one of Europe’s largest stadiums, located right in the heart of Dublin City, a 20-minute walk from the main thoroughfare. This was a free ticketed event. 

Photo Credit: Maxwell Photography for WMOF2018

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