Fr Francis Judge
In Mayo, Crossmolina Parish enjoyed an important and joyful gathering in recognition of the World Meeting of Families, which takes place August 21-26.
Thousands of families and individuals from all over Ireland and the world are expected to attend this very special occasion.
During our celebration in June a number of symbols of family were brought to the altar, including a hand- woven globe, representing our connection to each other across the universe.
The Icon of the Holy Family was presented, which told a number of stories.
This icon takes the form of a triptych which looks, from the outside, somewhat like a house with front doors.
When the doors of this icon are opened we see in the centre the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph seated at table, sharing a meal and sharing their Faith. This is a representation of a typical Passover meal – the symbols of which were brought to the altar (three bouquets of herbs, three spices and the unleavened bread and chalice).
On the faces of the altar steps are the words Amoris Laetitia which translates to ‘The Joy of Love’.
Finally, a scroll with the words of Jesus, which is seen in the three panels of the icon was brought to the altar and read.
During our June 10 celebration, we remembered the people from 16 different nationalities living in our community, including: England, Hungary, Poland, Latvia, Ukraine, China, America, Philippines, Germany, Pakistan, Russia, Albania, Scotland, Ghana, Lithuania, Holland, Brazil and Czech Republic.
We also remembered our emigrants living in Australia, Finland, France, Canada, Spain, UAE (United Arab Emirates), Norway and Portugal.
We remembered our community religious around the world and our forgotten emigrants.
We look forward to our opening service of prayer in St Muredach’s Cathedral, Ballina on Tuesday August 21 at 8pm to officially open the World Meeting of Families.