A five day Congress to celebrate the World Meeting of Families WMOF2018, took place in Dublin from the 22-26th of August.
This included three days of Program for adults, speakers, workshops, talks, testimonies and discussions, program for young people and children, as well as daily celebration of the Eucharist, prayer-ful activities, exhibition of the Blessed Sa-crament and daily confessions. The Con-gress took place at the RDS (Royal Dublin Society) in Ballsbridge. Pope Francis arri-ved on Saturday the 25th to visit Dublin and take part in the Festival of Families in Croke Park. Sunday the Pope celebra-ted the final mass at the Phoenix Park.
The Fair, totally dedicated to the Catholic Faith, had over 200 stands, all to do with the different movements of the Catho-lic Church. It was lovely to see that many of the movements featured at the Con-gress are movements that many parishio-ners in El Calvario belong to; Schoens-tatt, Emaus, Charismatic Renewal, etc.
The Congress opened on Tuesday evening and on Wednesday all was ready for the pu-blic. Wednesday was slow, and volunteers could enjoy visiting all the stands, and all events while on their breaks; by Thursday and Friday, volunteers, stands, and the whole Congress were mobbed with visitors, families, and curia. It was wonderful to be of service to so many people. The celebra-tion of the Eucharist took place in the eve-nings in the open air stadium/theater. Wed-nesday, the beautiful mass was celebrated by the Brazilian archbishop of Sao Paolo.
On the Thursday, Celebration of the Eu-charist, the weather turned Irish; rain, wind and more rain made its presence felt. The volunteers chosen to read the pra-yers of the faithful, read in Portuguese/ Brazilian, French, Italian, Irish, Gaelic and Spanish. Dolores read the Spanish prayer.
The “pièce de resistance” of the World MEETING OF Families 2018, was of course, the Pope’s visit, on Saturday and Sunday 25th and 26th of August. He arrived in Dublin on Saturday a balmy sunny day, where he met the Irish government. In the after-noon the Pope travelled to the center of Dublin to visit a homeless shelter where he talked and spent time with the people.
In the evening, the Festival of Families took place at Croke Park, “A wonderful celebratory festival of song, dance and fa-mily. There were more than 2,000 singers, dancers, per formers’ musicians and fami-lies coming together from across Ireland and from all over the world to create this once in a lifetime theatrical experience.”
When the Pope arrived to Croke Park, in his Pope Mobil, 60.000people cheered him on. It was a very moving moment. The Riverdance Iri-sh Dance Troupe with 500 children from Dance Schools around Ireland performed a beautiful and energetic Riverdance all over the stadium. Daniel O’Donnell sung” Let Your Love Flow”. We listened to Fami-ly Testimonies from India, Canada, Iraq, a Pavee Point Traveller, an Irish Family with their a children, and a family from Burkina Faso. Andrea Bocelli sung Schubert’s Ave Maria. Then, The Pope spoke to all of us, He expressed the importance of family in these difficult times, and the need to use within the family the three simplest words: Please, Thanks and Sorry.The conclusion of such a celebratory evening was pra-ying together of the Official Family Prayer.
At the final Mass in the Phoenix Park on Sunday, it was announced where the next World Meeting of Families would take place in three years’ time, ROME.
CALVARIO CHURCH’S PRESENTERS
El Calvario had a volunteer, Dolores, in the Congress and other Calvario parishioners; Anne Walsh, Cristiana Martorano, Peter and Ana Crowe also visited. Dolores attended an induction course, as well as Garda Vetting in April to become a volunteer. Once approved, there was a training course, and a day to pick up the uniform (green of course).
At the three day congress Dolores was able to volunteer in the Reconciliation area. Located in the Mezzanine of exhibit Hall 1. The team of eight volunteers organized priests together with confessants of all different nationalities confessing in their own native languages. Many of the visiting families did not speak English. The Reconciliation department was served by 21 priests speaking all different languages; priests included monks, bishops, and archbishops from all five continents of the World.
Dolores Lamamie de Clairac