Home Columnists Fr Paddy: World Meeting of Families….

Fr Paddy: World Meeting of Families….

We can choose our friends but not our family. Truth is most families can be akin to the “Simpsons rather than the Waltons”. Family is a sacred place where hopefully we experience the bonds of affection, conversation and friendship.

We also appreciate that every family carries at time challenges and burden. Being family is ultimately being alive. In August, Dublin, Ireland, has been chosen by Pope Francis to host the next World Meeting of Families from 21-26 August 2018, guided by the theme “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World”.

Held every three years, this major international event brings together families from across the world to celebrate, pray and reflect upon the central importance of family as the cornerstone of our lives, of society and of the Church.

Pope Francis is strongly expected to visit this conference and at the same time reach out to all the peoples on our Island. I have no doubt by his witness and gestures during this visit, Pope Francis, will reach out to the most vulnerable and challenged families.


No family has to tick the right boxes in order to avail of Gods Gratuitous love. Jesus own family was hardly conventional. A family united in love and resilient in the face of adversity. That is exactly what Christian love is all about United and resilient.

This World meeting of families is a very positive and proactive support to all our families. I enthusiastically suggest that all our families will benefit with inspiration and hope from this occasion.

Family life is a also a sacred Gift. The Son of God was born into a living family so that God fully empathises with all our families. All our families celebrate and live with its strengths and challenges. As church we must respond much more creatively and tangibly to the needs of every family. Occasions Such as World meeting of families is a genuine reach out to support and affirm the vital role our families play in the life of every Christian Community especially within all our parishes. Check out www.worldmeeting2018.ie website for further details….


Children Learn What They Live is a poem I became aware of recently. A couple chose it as a reflection to be read. To conclude their baby daughters baptism. Its contents are very rich and sentiments worthy of reflection for the many challenges that every family cope with at this time.

Children Learn What They Live…

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

SEE ALSO – Fr Paddy: What Lent is all about …

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Fr Paddy is the parish priest of Abbeyleix. From Carlow town, he was educated in Carlow CBS and studied Business and Politics in Trinity College Dublin before training to be a priest in Carlow College. He writes for a number of media outlets. He has almost 31,000 followers on Twitter.