All events in the World Meeting of Families (WMOF) are booked out, with all 500,000 tickets for the closing Mass being reserved by Sunday, July 8, according to WMOF organisers.
The Mass, which will be celebrated by Pope Francis, will take place in Dublin’s Phoenix Park at 3pm on Sunday, August 26.
Within 24 hours of tickets being first available for booking at 5am on June 25, 285,000 tickets had been booked, this number rising to 400,000 within the next 24 hours. Several thousand tickets were reserved each day over the following days, with the last ones being claimed just short of two weeks after the original release.
WMOF Secretary General Fr Timothy Bartlett said he was not surprised at the high levels of interest shown by the entire WMOF being booked out.
“While I was cautious at the beginning, and while I am a little surprised every part of the event is booked out six weeks in advance, including the Mass for half-a-million people in Phoenix Park, I am not surprised at all by the incredibly high levels of interest. Family is important to all of us. People like what Pope Francis is saying about family and the Church.”
Aside from the 500,000 tickets reserved for the papal Mass in the Phoenix Park, 45,000 tickets were booked to join the Pope at Knock Shrine within four hours of tickets being available, while the WMOF Pastoral Congress in the RDS was also fully booked, with a record-breaking 37,000 registered attendees.
Urging those coming to Phoenix Park to plan their trips carefully, Fr Bartlett acknowledged that not everybody who would like to attend Mass with the Pope in the Phoenix Park would be able to do so, explaining that attendance limits had been set by statutory agencies with responsibility for health and safety.
“While I know many will be disappointed they have not managed to get tickets for Knock Shrine or the Phoenix Park, we will be broadcasting these events live for those who were unable to secure a ticket,” he said, adding that parishes and dioceses are also arranging gatherings to help those unable to attend join in the events remotely.