Following the days of devotion in Navan earlier this week, the Icon for the World Meeting of Families was welcomed at the Cathedral of Christ the King, Mullingar on Friday 29 June 2018 by priests and people of the deaneries of Fore, Mullingar and Tullamore.

During the prayer time with the Icon in the Cathedral, prayers were offered for all families in our parishes, for families who experience illness or any difficulties, for family members away from home.  We also prayed in thanksgiving for our own families; no family is perfect but we thank God for the love that makes our families as caring and special as they are.

In his homily, Fr Phil Gaffney, Meath Diocesan Delegate for the World Meeting of Families, reflected on the impetus giving by Pope Francis to spead the Gospel of the Family:

“In March, Pope Francis invited the world to start preparing for WMOF2018 by inviting families to ask themselves how often they live based on love, for love and in love.

We must use this occasion to reach out to families who have abandoned the Church or no longer attend for a variety of reasons. We need to be a Church that goes to the peripheries of society, to those who don’t listen to us at the present moment, to those families who have become disconnected in our parishes.

So while we are all aware of the privilege that Pope Francis has assigned to the Irish Church, we are also acutely aware of the need to make use of this opportunity to reconnect with our parishioners, a real challenge for us priests. This international event of prayer, catechesis and celebration will draw people from around the globe and help to strengthen the bonds between families and promote importance of marriage and the family to all of society.

I invite you to encourage your families to attend this landmark event and pray that all your loved ones will be inspired by the talks and testimonies of so many families from over a hundred countries. May this be a special time of healing and blessing for our Church and our families.”