Church bells rang out across the country last evening launching the opening of the World Meeting of Families. In our cathedral Bishop Ray welcomed a full capacity congregation alongside clergy from all corners of the diocese. The newly formed Diocesan choir led the music ministry enriching the joyful and prayerful Mass. Families were the focus of prayer – our own and all families of the world.
In his homily, Bishop Ray invited us to see the reading in action in our own lives and family contexts – who among your own extended family has lived these qualities? It gives the scripture a much more homely meaning. “Love is always patient and kind; love is never jealous; love is not boastful or conceited, it is never rude and never seeks its own advantage, it does not take offence or store up grievances. Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but finds its joy in the truth. It is always ready to make allowances, to trust, to hope and to endure whatever comes. Love never comes to an end.” Referring to the Gospel, we were reminded of God’s love for each person, for each family. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ.
Bishop Ray commissioned the choir, volunteers and all participants attending the various events of the World Meeting of Families (in person or watching on TV). Gratitude was extended to the Parish Secretaries for all their work. The 130 strong choir have been rehearsing regularly over the summer and will join other dioceses in leading the music ministry for the Papal Mass in Phoenix Park on Thursday. Our deepest thanks to their generosity, dedication and perseverance. No doubt you will spot a few familiar faces if you’re tuning into the Mass on RTE on Sunday afternoon from 2.30pm.
We have 236 volunteers from the diocese helping out in a variety of duties over the coming week. The Pastoral Congress takes place in the RDS today – Friday. 11 newly wed and engaged couples who are getting married later this year from our diocese will have a special Papal Audience on Saturday, encouraging their faith and family life. Every parish in the country has representatives attending the Festival of Families in Croke Park. Parishioners are travelling from Dingle, Kiskeam and Boherbue to Knock and 1500 will be travelling on Parish buses to the Phoenix Park. There are hundreds of other families in the diocese who are travelling by car, bus, train and plane!
May this week of prayer for all families encourage you in your faith and family life.
Photos from the celebration will be posted shortly.