Mass to celebrate the one year countdown to the World Meeting of Families 2018 in Ireland

Families and individuals from across Ireland travelled to Knock, Co Mayo, on Monday 21 August to be part of the celebrations for the official launch of the preparatory programme and to mark the one year countdown to next year’s World Meeting of Families 2018. The WMOF2018 Icon of the Holy Family was unveiled and anointed at Mass in the basilica. The prayer was also presented at the Mass. The Amoris: Let’s talk Family! Let’s Be Family! Programme was also launched. Using a range of online and parish based resources, this programme will offer families, parishes and wider society an opportunity to think about and discuss our vision and hopes for family and marriage, particularly in light of Pope Francis’ The Joy of Love (Amoris Laetitia), his 2016 Apostolic Exhortation on love in the family.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said in the homily, “God’s love reaches out to all.  We have an obligation to preach the Gospel of love to all. There is no family that is ideal. Plates fly in every family. There are however great families who struggle, at times heroically. The celebration of a World Meeting of Families would be hypocritical were it to be a celebration that ignored this struggle. A civilization of love must involve the search for a new politics for families, a politics of care for the marginalised and those who struggle.” For more information see



Arrival of the new Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo

His Excellency Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo arrived in Ireland on 14 August where he was greeted by bishops and the staff of the Nunciature. The delegation of bishops included: Cardinal Seán Brady; Bishop Brendan Leahy of Limerick; Bishop Donal McKeown of Derry; Bishop Francis Duffy of Ardagh and Clonmacnois; and Bishop Denis Nulty of Kildare and Leighlin.

Archbishop Okolo was born in Nigeria in 1956 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1983 for the Diocese of Nnewi. Called to the Diplomatic Service of the Holy See, he began his first assignment in June 1990, in Sri Lanka. Later, he served in the following Pontifical Representations: Haiti, the Antillean Islands, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Australia. Archbishop Okolo was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to the Central African Republic and Chad on the 2 August 2008. Subsequently, on 7 October 2013, he was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to the Dominican Republic and Apostolic Delegate in Puerto Rico. Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Okolo as Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland on 13 May 2017.


New bishop for the Diocese of Raphoe: Alan McGuckian SJ

Monsignor Alan McGuckian SJ was ordained Bishop of Raphoe on Sunday 6 August, the Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord. Bishop McGuckian is the first bishop in Ireland to be appointed from the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).

Preaching at the Episcopal Ordination, Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh said, “Father Alan, at this life-changing moment for you, and in these challenging, but exciting times to serve as a bishop, I encourage you to be always attentive to the voice of the Lord who is with us to the end of time.”


News Snippets           

  • The full text of Archbishop Eamon Martin’s homily for Mass celebrating the centenary of the Marian apparitions in Fatima is on
  • Trócaire wishes to thank all those who contributed generously to the recent Church collection for east Africa. “The collection will enable us to reach even more people with life-saving aid. The support of the Catholic Church in   Ireland will make a significant contribution to saving lives in East Africa over the coming weeks.”
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