Tea with Bishop Marcus
On Saturday 14th July nine families from the Diocese of Leeds met each other, for the first time in most cases, as they enjoyed a tea party at the Diocesan Pastoral Centre in Leeds to celebrate their forthcoming attendance at the World Meeting of Families (WMOF) in Dublin in August.
Two of the families going to WMOF are the recipients of bursaries to help them cover the costs of their travel and accommodation. One bursary is from FAMILIAS, the association of Catholic Diocesan Family Ministry Coordinators, and one of the Celebrating Family Fund from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.
The World Meeting of Families is a huge international event that takes place in a different part of the world every 3 years. Thousands of families and religious from all over the world gather in the chosen city (the last one, in 2015, was in Philadelphia; previously they have been held in Mexico, Valencia and Madrid among other places since they were started by St John Paul II in 1994).
The themes for this World Meeting of Families is 'Amoris Laetitia' Pope Francis' recent document on the joy of love in family life. Amoris Laetitia is Pope Francis' summation and reflections on family life and love following the two large synods on the family he hosted in 2014 and 2015.
The World Meeting of Families usually starts with a 3-day Congress of Families which features internationally renowned speakers on themes of family life, as well as smaller workshops on specific topics, liturgies and specially organised events for young people and for children.
On the evening of the fourth day there is a huge Festival of Families, attended by the Pope.
Then, on the final day the whole gathers for a huge open air Mass with the Pope.
Pope Francis has declared a Plenary Indulgence for everyone who attends, or who prays for families, this World Meeting of Families in Ireland. Indulgence announced.
During our tea on Saturday we listened to the beautiful anthem specially written for this World Meeting of Families by Ephrem Feeley (listen to A Joy for All the Earth).
All tickets for all parts of this great gathering of families in Dublin are now booked out. Wherever you are you can still be involved in several ways:
- PRAY for all families: Pope Francis has declared a plenary indulgence for all who actively engage in the World Meeting of Families by being present or, remotely, by praying sincerely for families and family life.
- FOLLOW: Check the website for updates and the internet and other news outlets for news of the events. There will be a twitter account for the FAMILIAS families attending the WMOF. In the meantime check the diocesan Family Life Ministry twitter feed at @ministry_family and the national MFL twitter thread @CatholicMFL
- AMORIS: Set up and attend the Amoris Conversations series on family life and love. Amoris is a completely free resource to download from the official website for WMOF. It includes a session booklet and video clips to prompt conversations in families, small groups and parishes.
Many thanks to Thomas Theakston who gave up his time to take the photos!
If you would like more information on Family Life Ministry in the Diocese of Leeds, particularly parenting or family relationships and family spirituality or with arranging the Amoris conversations in your group, parish or deanery contact Breda at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our celebration cake was a real highlight of the tea, showing as it did, and picked out beautifully in very precise hand written icing, the complicated and colourful logo of the World Meeting of Families Ireland 2018. Many asked who made it so for those interested here is the link to Mark's business: Cutting Cake in Meanwood.