Latest news: World Meeting of Families

Newry Cathedral News

Update as of 3rd June:

27th May: In another 91 days Pope Francis will arrive in Ireland on Saturday, 25th August 2018.

The Meaning of the logo for World Meeting of Families 2018:
There are five parts to the logo. Over the next five weeks, the significance of
each one of the five parts will be explained in the Parish Bulletin.

At the heart of the logo is the family. Family members are represented in
different ages and roles while walking together in communion and love, helping one another through the journey of life. No one is excluded, no one is left behind. Couples, elderly, single, widowed, consecrated, clergy, children, all are important members of our families and all are invited to participate in the WMOF2018.


Update as of Wednesday 23rd May 2018:


POPE FRANCIS will arrive in Ireland on Saturday, 25th August 2018.

  • Saturday 25th August 2018: Pope Francis will attend the Festival of Families. Venue: Croke Park Stadium.
  • Sunday 26th August 2018: Pope Francis will celebrate the Final Mass. Venue: Phoenix Park.

As we prepare for the World Meeting of Families in Ireland let us read and reflect on the words Pope Francis has written in his book entitled, The Joy of Love (page 187, number 325).

‘Let us make this journey as families, let us keep walking together’

‘No family drops down from heaven perfectly formed; families need constantly to grow and mature in the ability to love. Let us make this journey as families, let us keep walking together. What we have been promised is greater than we can ever imagine. May we never lose heart because of our limitations or ever stop seeking the fullness of love and communion God holds out before us’.

Update as of Sunday 20th May 2018: WEEKLY COUNTDOWN to the WORLD MEETING OF FAMILIES (WMOF) August 21st ‒ 26th 2018.

In just 107 Days from this date, Sunday 20th May 2018, POPE FRANCIS will arrive in Ireland to take part in the World Meeting of Families.

The WMOF begins on Tuesday 21st August with a joint, all-Ireland celebration throughout the 26 Dioceses in Ireland. The details of the arrangements in Newry Cathedral will be posted later in our parish bulletin.

Pope Francis will be participating in the following events:

Saturday 25th August 2018: Attendance at the WMOF2018 Festival of Families. Venue: Croke Park Stadium.
Sunday 26th August 2018: Celebration of the WMOF2018 Final Mass. Venue: Phoenix Park.

Our parish preparations for this historic event will focus on bringing our parish communities together and the details will be shared with you, each week, in the parish bulletin, on the parish website and on notices in the Cathedral, St. Mary’s and St. Brigid’s Churches.

Attendance at all World Meeting of Families 2018 events will require tickets/registration. Some events will be free; others will be subject to a fee.



Congress Registrations are going well. About 18,000 are now registered for the conference of which 10,000 are from overseas. The age is well distributed with <18 (25%), and 35-49 (23%) being the largest categories. Tickets are still available, but going at a respectable rate, so don’t leave it to the last minute or you may be disappointed. Remember a conference ticket guarantees you a ticket for both weekend events.

Volunteers number about 2,500, many more will be needed for Phoenix Park, so please highlight this in your parish newsletters in the coming weeks. The training is now spread around the country, so a trip to Dublin is not mandatory.
Volunteers familiar with dealing with young people are especially welcome as there is an extensive young people’s programme to cater for the thousands of young attendees.

Tickets will be issued electronically, they will be in PDF format which can be printed at home. All tickets will have a unique barcode identifying the owner. When you register you will provide an email address to which tickets will be sent. For some events picture ID, matching your ticket will be required but more on that later. Each ticket will have a barcode, which will be scanned. This is required by the Garda and the safety organisations in Dublin.

Festival of Families will take place in Croke Park on the Saturday evening. All attendees at the congress will be issued with a ticket for this event. There is a finite capacity for this event, so to guarantee a ticket, book a congress day. Security at this event will be high, as the Pope will be in close proximity. Picture ID matching your ticket will be required of all adult attendees.

Each diocese will be given a small allocation of tickets for this event to enable each parish to have ONE family to represent the parish at this event. The details of this these families will be collected and tickets generated centrally by each diocese.

Papal Mass in the Phoenix Park

The Papal Mass in Phoenix Park will accommodate 600,000 people on the site of the Mass held in 1979, this volume of people requires careful logistics. Remember there will be a long walk, up to 3 miles each way. This event requires a ticket but these tickets are free, but limited to 600,000. No ticket no entry. Tickets can be reserved from the WMOF website in late May/early June, and will be issued by email later.
Those of you booking coaches for this event, book each coach as a separate group and remember, in order to get the tickets, personal details of each pilgrim will have to be entered into the ticketing system.

Disabled access to Papal Mass will be in two forms:

  1. Firstly, those travelling in a family group, and supported totally by this family group, will assemble with their family group.
  2. Secondly, those travelling with a single escort. These pilgrim pairs will need to be dropped from transport at specific points which are different from the able-bodied pilgrims assembly points. Details will be printed on the individual tickets. They will be transported into their enclosures separately. Each disabled person using this service will have to provide certification that they are registered and fit to travel for the event.

Music in at WMOF events. Local church groups are encouraged to participate in the singing at all events. Choirs who are comfortable singing in parts and wish to participate formally can email me for further information and I will pass the application forward. There are opportunities at all events.

Diocesan Launch Events are being organised locally for the evening of Tuesday 24th August. The liturgy and music will be presented at a meeting in Athlone on Saturday 28th April by Fr. Damien McNeece (Liturgy) and Derek Mahady (Music). Resources will be available from the WMOF website in the first week of May.