The SMA and the World Meeting of Families
The Society of African Missions is preparing to make a major contribution to the World Meeting of Families to be held in Dublin from 22-26 August 2018. The combined SMA offices of Laity, Justice and Communications will be working closely to deliver something that is truly imaginative and inspiring around our Thumbprint Campaign for Climate Justice.
Despite the fact that a number of cities requested to host the next World Meeting of Families, Pope Francis chose Dublin, in large measure as a sign of his respect for the seminal contribution made by Irish Missionaries in proclaiming the Good News of Justice and Hope throughout the world.
A recent press release, accompanying the issuing of the logo for this major global gathering, profiled it as an international and ecological event. It stated: “The World Meeting of Families in Dublin, Ireland will explore how families, as our first home, can help us to care for our common home.”
We are still seeking volunteers who can deliver our Thumbprint Campaign for Climate Justice to schools and parishes throughout Ireland during 2017 and 2018 in preparation for the World Meeting of Families. A full training programme is available with all necessary resources provided to volunteers.
If you are interested, please contact us at 0044 28 3082 1024 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
World Meeting of Families – Logo
During the Winter General Meeting of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, which included Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly SMA, bishops launched the official logo for the World Meeting of Families 2018. The logo and the explanation of its meaning and design are detailed below:
At the heart of the logo is the family. Family members are represented in different ages and roles while walking together in communion and love, helping one another through the journey of life. The cross and the semi-circle represent God’s love, flowing from the cross, embracing and supporting all the families of the world. No one is excluded, no one is left behind. Couples, elderly, single, widowed, consecrated, clergy, children, all are important members of our families and all are invited to participate in WMOF2018.
An international and ecological event
The map of the world shows that families from all around the globe will come to Ireland for what will be a truly international event. While we see only a glimpse of the continents, they represent the whole world: the common home of all families, entrusted to us by God. In his encyclical letter, Laudato Si’, Pope Francis reminds us that families have a vital role to play in caring for our common home. He reminds us that Saint Francis of Assisi described our earth itself as “like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us”. (Cf. Pope Francis, Laudato Si’: On Care for our Common Home, n.1). The World Meeting of Families in Dublin, Ireland will explore how families, as our first home, can help us to care for our common home.
The Church, the Family of Families
The red semicircle with the cross on the top echoes logo of the Archdiocese of Dublin, which is the host diocese for WMOF2018. As well as representing God’s love, flowing from the cross, embracing all the families of the world, the semicircle and cross also represent the ‘dome’ of the Church, “a family of families, constantly enriched by the lives of all those domestic churches” (Pope Francis, The Joy of Love, n. 87). In the logo, as in real life, the Church embraces the family, protects the family and supports the family. When our families are stronger, society is stronger, and the Church is stronger.
The Cross is the ultimate symbol of the self-sacrificing love of Jesus. Self-sacrificing love is at the very heart of marriage and family life. The rays represent the grace of the Holy Spirit, flowing from the cross and uniting our families in love. Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus dwells within our families and gives us the strength to take up our own crosses and follow him. The cross used the logo is also a symbol of Ireland’s Christian roots and history. Known by many as the “Papal Cross”, it stands in the Phoenix Park in Dublin, one of the largest walled city parks in Europe, where, in 1979, over one million Catholics gathered for another major occasion: to welcome, listen and pray with Saint John Paul II, who was also the founder of World Meeting of Families. Christ is the one that gathers us and calls us to come together again in WMOF2018 in Dublin.
The Holy Trinity
In The Joy of Love, Pope Francis speaks several times of marriage and the family as the “living icon” of the Most Holy Trinity (cf. ns. 11, 121, 161, 314, 324). As the family, through marriage, comes together in mutual self-giving, communion and love, it reflects the mystery of the Holy Trinity and immerses itself in “the mystery from which all true love flows” (n. 63). The tri-spiral swirl in the logo draws from ancient Celtic imagery, to reflect this truth. These triple spirals are found on ancient stones and monuments around Ireland. As Christianity came to Ireland, the tri-spiral, or triskele, began to be used as a symbol of the Holy Trinity, together with the well-known shamrock, associated with St Patrick. St. Patrick, tradition has it, used the shamrock to explain the mystery of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit united, as one family: one God and three Divine Persons, in a perfect communion of love.
Location and Date
The logo includes the date and location chosen by Pope Francis to host the next World Meeting of Families: Dublin, Ireland August 22-26 2018. It is a great joy and responsibility for us in Ireland to host this event and the logo includes a direct invitation to families and individuals from all over the world to come and join us for the event.
Design and Usage
The logo for the World Meeting of Families 2018 was designed by Ronan Lynch, of Lynch Design, Ireland, with the support of Aid to the Church in Need (Ireland). For the Terms and Conditions that must be followed for using the logo, please contact email@example.com. Details can also be found at www.worldmeeting2018.ie Dioceses, Parishes and Church organisations can use the logo, for non-commercial purposes only.