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World Meeting of Families to focus on The Joy of Love

DUBLIN (CNS): The ninth World Meeting of Families will be held in dublin, Ireland from August 21 to 26, the organisers announced on February 28. A preliminary programme for the Pastoral Congress is scheduled frome August 22 to 24, the festival of families on August 25, followed by the final outdoor Mass in Dublin’s Phoenix Park on August 26.
The Vatican has not confirmed whether Pope Francis will attend.
Brenda Drumm, media and communications manager for the World Meeting of Families, said that the decision to release the preliminary programme, along with the titles of the pastoral congress’ panel sessions and workshops, was due to pressure from would-be participants eager to find out what the lineup is. Thousands of families from overseas are expected to travel to Ireland for the event.
The Pastoral Congress will offer a daily programme of workshops and discussions at the Royal Dublin Society, the location of the 2012 International Eucharistic Congress. All of the themes chosen for workshops and panel sessions relate to issues dealt with in Pope Francis’ 2016 apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), written after two synods of bishops on the family.
Each day, Mass will be celebrated in the main arena of the Royal Dublin Society. The congress also will incorporate prayerful activities for individuals and families, including a programme tailored for children ages 5 to12, and young people ages 13 to 17.
Among the bishops who have confirmed their participation are Christoph Cardinal Schonborn of Vienna; Gerald Cyprien Cardinal Lacroix of Quebec; Peter Cardinal Turkson, head of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development; Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle of Manila, Philippines; and as well as Kevin Cardinal Farrell, head of the Vatican Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life.
Drumm streessed that the pastoral congress has equally high-profile lay speakers, moderators and panelists and said their names will be released in a few weeks.
“We have chosen parents, family members, priests, religious, business leaders, industry experts and those who will share personal experience of issues that are a challenge in daily family life,” she said.
She cited workshops dealing with handing on the faith, the impact of digital technology, responding to homelessness, challenges of parenting, the role of grandparents and coping with crisis and hurt in marriage.
“We will also be looking at the vocation of fatherhood, the role and rights of parents in Catholic education and the family as an agent of peace in a turbulent world,” Drumm said.

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