The Tenth World Meeting of Families (WMOF) takes place in Rome from Wednesday June 22 to Sunday June 26.
Canon John Lumley has sent this letter to all parishes…
For this event, (which normally takes place every three years), the theme is Family Love: A Vocation and a Path to Holiness.
This year, the focus is on reaching out to families all over the world by celebrating WMOF in every diocese, linking our local events and celebrations to the events which are happening in Rome.
The hope is that from June 22 to 26, each diocese will explicitly place families at the centre of pastoral attention, carrying out activities that reflect the theme of the WMOF. It will be a kind of “Family Week” in unity with families and dioceses around the world.
Could I ask you to invite you to two events, one local and one diocesan?
The first is the local Deanery Mass to mark the start of WMOF, which takes place in your area at 6pm on Wednesday June 22.
Secondly, if parishioners are able to travel to Middlesbrough, Bishop Terry is leading our celebration of Mass for the WMOF on Sunday June 26 at St Mary’s Cathedral, Middlesbrough. We are asking you to nominate one or two families from your parish to represent your community at that closing Mass.
We hope these will represent the diverse mix of families which make up our diocese – diversity of culture and race, age, grandparents, those with and without children, separated/divorced people etc.
You may feel that you and your community may want to engage even further with what is happening in Rome and if you are able, I would encourage you to do so (for example, one parish are planning a “family barbecue” and there are web-links to aid participation in the daily sessions in Rome).
Overleaf is information for your newsletter and a selection of possible bidding prayers, to make it easy for you and your parishioners to participate. Also look out for the prayer cards which will be supplied to all parishes.
Canon John Lumley, EV
On behalf of the Bishop’s Council for Marriage and Family Life
To coincide with the WMOF, there will be Masses in each of the Deaneries on Wednesday June 22. These will be in the following Churches at 6pm…
- Northern Deanery – St Thérèse of Lisieux, Ingleby Barwick
- Central Deanery – Our Lady’s Church, Acomb
- Southern Deanery – Our Lady of Lourdes, Hull
- Coastal Deanery – St Peter’s Church, Scarborough
Sunday June 26 – Diocesan Mass to Celebrate WMOF
At the conclusion of the WMOF gathering, there will be a Mass in the Cathedral at Middlesbrough at 5pm. We invite all parishes to be represented by at least one family and we hope these will represent a diverse mix of families across the Diocese. We ask that each family bring a symbol to represent their experience of family and these will be carried up as part of the offertory procession.
Look out for the prayer cards that are being supplied to all parishes.
More details can be obtained from the WMOF official website.
Below are a couple of suggestions for Prayers of the Faithful in your Parishes on June 26.
As we celebrate the World Meeting of Families in Rome,
we pray for families in all their diversity:
that love may grow within every family,
so that each family member can flourish.
For all Christians,
that we may each discover our vocation
and find in it a path to holiness,
whether in the single life, in ordination, in the consecrated life, or in family life.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN ROME
At the WMOF in Rome, there will be five conferences with simultaneous translation in at least five languages, which will be available to watch via live streaming.
After each conference, there will two panels, again with simultaneous translation, which can be followed via live streaming. The panels are where people can bear witness and share pastoral tools. Each panel will be presented by couples/families from different geographical areas of the world, in order to share good pastoral practices in the Church.
Thursday June 23 – Theme of Family Love
Conference I: Domestic Church and synodality
First Panel: Spouses and priests together to build up the Church
Second Panel: Young people and elderly together for tomorrow’s Church
Conference II: Family love: wonderful and fragile
First Panel: Family love when in trial
Second Panel: Supporting fatherhood and motherhood
Friday June 24 – Theme of Vocation
Conference III: Identity and mission of the Christian family
First Panel: Being Christians in the digital age
Second Panel: Vocation and mission in existential peripheries
Conference IV: The matrimonial catechumenate
First Panel: The Formation of guides and educators: laity, presbyters and seminarians
Second Panel: Family communion, a style of ecclesial communion
Saturday June 25 – Theme of Way of Holiness
Conference V: The Family, a way of holiness
First Panel: Paths of holiness
Second Panel: Spouses and families: holiness in daily life
Mass in Rome live-streamed
THINGS TO DO IN YOUR PARISH
The idea for parishes is not a matter of repeating exactly what is done in Rome, and it is also not necessary to follow the entire program that is being offered in Rome. Below are a few ideas that you might consider:
- You can organise live streaming for the Holy Father’s speeches, for some Pastoral Congress’s conferences, or even watch the videos on YouTube at a different time than that in Rome. This could provide opportunities for families to reflect, share and celebrate.
- You could organise a meeting in your parish to present other testimonies of couples and families as well, leaving room for dialogue to help others understand how to combine the chosen theme on a pastoral level.
- Catechesis – There are seven elements of catechesis available to download for anyone interested in using the material. They have been designed to accompany the 10th World Meeting of Families.
Material can be downloaded here.
The seven subjects are:
- “Family love: a vocation and a path to holiness”
- “Called to holiness”
- “Nazareth: Rendering love normal”
- “We are all children, we are all brothers and sisters”
- “Fathers and mothers”
- “Grandparents and the elderly”
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