World Meeting of Families
Canberra couple, Anna and Keith Linard, will attend the 9th World Meeting of Families in Dublin, August 21 to 26. The World Meetings were established by Pope Saint John Paul II in 1994 with the aim of celebrating the Church’s role in building the family. Held every three years, this major international event brings together thousands of families from across the world to celebrate, pray and reflect upon the central importance of marriage and the family as the cornerstone of our lives, of society and of the Church.
Anna and Keith had the privilege of presenting their testimony at the 1st World Meeting in St Peter’s Square before Pope John-Paul. Following the 2nd World Meeting they were co-founders of the ‘Evangelisation Through the Family Working Group’ which, in 2006, the Australian Bishops reconstituted as the Australian Catholic Marriage and Family Council (ACMFC). Anna and Keith were members of the ACMFC from 2006 to 2012.
In announcing the World Meeting, Pope Francis said: “I wish to underline how important it is for families to ask themselves often if they live based on love, for love and in love. In practice, this means giving oneself, forgiving, not losing patience, anticipating the other, respecting … I dream of a merciful Church that proclaims the heart of the revelation of God as Love, which is Mercy. It is this very mercy that makes us new in love. The Dublin meeting will be able to offer concrete signs of this.”
The 9th World Meeting starts with a 3 day Pastoral and Theological Congress reflecting on the theme “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World”. This will be followed by a Festival of Families, where we will gather to celebrate the gift of the family from the perspective of the specific theme of the World Meeting. This will be a cultural celebration of music, dance, song, in a prayerful and joyful setting, and with the aid of testimonies given by families representing the five continents. The highlight of the event will be the presence of Pope Francis.
The World Meeting will close on Sunday 26 August with a solemn Eucharistic Celebration, that gathers tens of thousands of people from Ireland and all over the world.