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Pope Francis is calling for a new methodology for the 10th World Meeting of Families, scheduled for June of 2022 in Rome.
In a video message, the Pope asks dioceses to be “dynamic, active and creative in organizing this with the families in harmony with what will be taking place in Rome.”
The World Meeting of Families has been held every three years since 1994, the year declared by the UN the International Year of the Family. The two most recent ones were in English-speaking countries: in Dublin (in 2018) and in Philadelphia (in 2015). The Rome event would have been held in 2021, but was delayed a year because of the pandemic.
“At past meetings, most families stayed at home,” the Pope says in the video message. “The meeting was perceived as being something remote, at most followed on television, and unknown to the majority of families.”
Hence, the Holy Father is hoping that a “special format” for the 2022 event will “be an opportunity provided by Providence to create a worldwide event that can involve all the families that would like to feel part of the ecclesial community.”
The Meeting will have a multicentred and widespread format that will encourage the involvement of diocesan communities all over the world. Rome will be the main venue, and there will be a number of delegates of family pastoral care participating in the Festival of Families, the Pastoral Congress and the Holy Mass. These will be broadcast all over the world.
During that same period, each diocese can be the focal point for a local meeting for its families and communities. In this way, everyone will be able to participate, even those who cannot come to Rome.
The theme is Family love: a vocation and a path to holiness.
The Pope says this format is “a wonderful opportunity to devote ourselves with enthusiasm to family ministry with spouses, families, and pastors together.”
Take courage, then, dear pastors and dear families, and help each other to organise meetings in the dioceses and parishes on every continent.