On Saturday, 22 October, the preparations for the 9th World Meeting of Families will be launched. This Meeting is scheduled to be held in the capital of Ireland from 22 to 26 August 2018 on the theme chosen by the Holy Father last May: "The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World."
On 22 October, the two co-presidents of the Episcopal Council for marriage and the family of the Irish Bishops‘ Conference, Msgr. Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, and Msgr. Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin, will participate in a special conference to formally launch preparations for the 2018 World Meeting. The gathering, which will begin at 8:30 am, on Saint Patrick‘s Drumcondra campus, will be attended by over 600 delegates, representing dioceses and parishes around the world. Pope Francis‘ Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Amoris Laetitia" will constitute the backdrop. Coordinated by the Vatican Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life, the World Meeting of Families will be presided by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, and Fr. Timothy Bartlett will serve as General Secretary. Instituted by John Paul II in 1992 "to strengthen the sacred bonds of marriage around the world"—as a statement explains—the first World Meeting of Families took place in Rome, in 1994, during the Year of the Family. Since then Meetings are held every three years. The most recent one, which was the eighth, was celebrated in September 2015, in Philadelphia, USA.