Aussie couple to speak at World Meeting of Families

Ron and Mavis Pirola (supplied/Catholic Outlook)

Well-known champions of marriage and family, Ron and Mavis Pirola, will be speakers at the 9th World Meeting of Families in Dublin this year. Source: Catholic Outlook.

The focus of the gathering will be Pope Francis’ encyclical  Amoris Laetitia (Joy of Love).

World meetings of families were instituted by Pope St John Paul II and they occur approximately three-yearly, alternating with world meetings of youth. The 2018 family gathering will take place in Dublin on 21-26 August. There will be a three-day international congress, followed by a festival of families celebrating family life in different cultures. On the final day, Pope Francis will celebrate a giant open-air Papal Mass.

The Sydney couple have participated in the previous seven such family gatherings. However, they have a special interest in this one as they spoke at the first of the two recent family synods, one of the fruits of which was the publication of the ‘Joy of Love’.

Ron Pirola said that his hope was that all participating families would be renewed in their confidence in family life.

“We live in a period of rapid change”, he said.

“Yet some things remain constant. One is the central importance of relationships; and the core training for that is in the family, the domestic church.

"That’s where we develop our sense of self-worth and our understanding of how to relate to others. When that is combined with our faith in Jesus, then our families become powerhouses of evangelisation.”

Mavis Pirola pointed out that there are two things that we can all do to unite ourselves to this international event.

“One is to join in prayer with Pope Francis and with all participants. The other is to follow the discussion material of Joy of Love.

She said the international catechesis can be downloaded at www.worldmeeting2018.ie/en/Resources and can be followed as an individual, a couple, a family or in a small group.

The Pirolas were Members of the Pontifical Council for the Family from 1982 to 2009. They introduced Worldwide Marriage Encounter to Australia and established the Parish & Marriage Resource Centre (PMRC Australia). It was this organisation that co-convened, with the Australian Catholic Marriage & Family Council, the highly successful Renaissance of Marriage national conference for marriage educators earlier this year in Sydney.

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Exploring the ‘Joy of Love’ (Catholic Outlook)

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