BY No Author | April 20 2018 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Scots given ‘100,000 welcomes’ to World Meeting of Families

Archbishop encourages faithful to join Pope in praying for promotion of marriage and the family — By AMANDA CONNELLY and PETER DIAMOND

‘A céad míle fáilte’—a hundred thousand welcomes—have been extended to the people of Scotland, as the faithful get set to travel to Dublin for the upcoming World Meeting of Families.

As Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews & Edinburgh called this week on Scots to ‘join with the Pope in praying for the protection and promotion of marriage and the family’ at the global event, the World Meeting of Families said it would be ‘overjoyed’ to have a presence from Scottish pilgrims.

Pope Francis will celebrate Mass at the Catholic festival to be held from August 21-26 in the Irish capital.

“I’m delighted to be attending the World Meeting of Families in Dublin as it provides a wonderful opportunity to be united with our Holy Father and the Church Universal in praying for the protection and promotion of marriage and the family, the foundation upon which the common good is built,” Archbishop Cushley said. “I would heartily encourage Scots pilgrims to join me in making the short journey across the Irish Sea to participate in this very worthwhile five-day event.”

St Andrews & Edinburgh expects thousands of Catholics throughout the archdiocese to attend and Bishop John Keenan of Paisley Diocese is also confirmed to be attending the meeting of families.

A céad míle fáilte

Brenda Drumm, spokesperson for the event, said: “The World Meeting of Families is looking forward to welcoming pilgrims and families from Scotland to our celebration of family in Dublin in August.

“We look forward to welcoming more than 10,000 people from overseas. We now know that we will have Pope Francis with us and we would be overjoyed to be joined by families from Scotland at these important events in the presence of our Holy Father.”

She added that the Church was ‘delighted to learn of the pilgrims and families from Scotland who are planning to be with us in August,’ including Archbishop Cushley and Bishop Keenan.

“We can assure them that there will be a very warm Irish welcome awaiting them and their pilgrim groups here in Dublin as we extend a hundred thousand welcomes—a céad míle fáilte—to all those coming to be with us in Ireland for the World Meeting of Families 2018,” she said.

And she added that while August is ‘peak holiday season’ across Europe, there is ‘no doubt that Dublin will be very busy during August 2018 so we do recommend that those intending to travel book their accommodation early.’

“There is still a range of accommodation options available through our travel partner and we would encourage those interested in availing of this to connect on the home page of our website:” she said.


Excitement is also growing in Motherwell Diocese, where Bishop Joseph Toal has tasked Fr Michael Kane, parish priest of St Augustine’s in Coatbridge and family life ministry coordinator for the diocese, with organising a six-night pilgrimage to Dublin.

“We are going on Monday August 20 until August 26,” Fr Kane told the SCO. “The Pope’s going to be leading the Saturday and Sunday events, and we’re hoping to take 50 people. We’re going by coach and boat, and we’re staying in Maynooth.”

Fr Kane said he hopes they will be able to fill the places on the tour with pilgrims across the diocese.

The pilgrimage is priced at £779 for adults, and £679 for children, and Fr Kane is hopeful that people will sign up for the rare opportunity to hear from the Pope on being ‘a Catholic family in the modern world.’

He added: “It’s not so often that we have a papal visit just a couple hours on the boat away, so the proximity makes it very accessible in this part of the world, which would be, I’m hoping, a big pull for people.

“Also, a lot of the issue that will come up in this meeting of families are things that are going to touch people’s lives, and I’m hoping that families will want to hear what the Pope has to say—particularly about trying to live as a Catholic family in the modern world.”

He added that the event would be ‘a great experience for people who want an insight, perhaps, into the international flavour of the Church.’

“Some of these big events will be fantastic for young people too,” he added.

The World Meeting of Families is held once every three years, with groups coming from across the world for celebration, prayer and reflection on the importance of the family.

Pope Francis has chosen this year’s theme to be ‘The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World.’ The event will include a national opening, a three-day congress, a festival of families, and a Eucharistic celebration.

– Booking enquiries for the Motherwell diocesan pilgrimage to the World Meeting of Families can be emailed to:

-Photo: Pope Francis poses for a photo with a delegation of two Irish families led by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, right.

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