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Press Conference to present the International Catechesis in preparation for the Ninth World Meeting of Families in Dublin (21-26 August 2018), 25.01.2018

Intervention of His Eminence Cardinal Kevin Farrell

Intervention of Dr. Marco Tibaldi


At 11.00 this morning, in the Holy See Press Office, a press conference was held to present the International Catechesis in preparation for the Ninth World Meeting of Families in Dublin, to take place from 21 to 26 August 2018.

The speakers were His Eminence Kevin Farrell, prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, and Dr. Marco Tibaldi, theological advisor for the project “The Great Mystery” and author of the musical programme linked to the catechesis.

The seven catecheses, the musical programme and the full videos of the artistic pieces will be available online in five languages on the website of the Dicastery ( from 2 February.

The following are the interventions from members of the panel:


Intervention of His Eminence Cardinal Kevin Farrell

In the convocation letter of 25 March 2017, the Pope himself wished to give some indications on the issue so that families could deepen their reflection and sharing on the contents of Amoris Laetitia, asking themselves: “Does the Gospel continue to be joy for the world? Does the family continue to be good news for today's world? ". The meeting in Dublin goes to the heart of the relationship between the Gospel and the world of today and the knot between them is precisely the family. Pope Francis, based on God’s plan, answered the question: Yes! the family is still good news for today. With a realistic look and with accessible language the Pope recalled the common experience of fragility and weakness that we experience daily and the need for a humble attitude leading us to re-educate ourselves, to accompany, to discern and to help each and every one. The dream of Pope Francis, delivered at the meeting in Dublin, is that of “an outgoing Church, not a self-referential Church, a merciful Church ... and we know how Christian families are places of mercy and witnesses of mercy”.

The Pope then entrusted to our Dicastery the task of “implementing the teaching of Amoris Laetitia” to help families on their journey. In this perspective today, seven months before the meeting in Ireland, we offer help in the process of preparation: seven catecheses - simple and stimulating - to mark the steps in the approach for dioceses, but also for parishes and individual families.

The seven catecheses are built around the Gospel page of the loss of the twelve year-old Jesus and his rediscovery in the Temple (Lk 2: 41-52), showing a connection between the text of Amoris Laetitia and the singular story of the Holy Family of Nazareth, revealing how the announcement of the Gospel of the family is current and prophetic.

I will summarize in a few words the themes of the seven catecheses. We start from a concrete overview of the families of today (before), indicating the relevance of the Word of God capable of illuminating daily family life in the home (second) to reach the great dream that God has for each family (third), even where frailties and weaknesses seem to break it (fourth). All this ensures that the family is in the world as the generator of a new culture, that of life (fifth), hope (sixth) and of joy (seventh). Each catechesis opens with a prayer and ends with some possible questions to be shared in the family or in the ecclesial community.

The seven steps of the catecheses are accompanied by an exciting musical itinerary with the same number of pieces performed by Maestro Bocelli in the Concert at the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. This will be explained to you by Dr. Marco Tibaldi, who collaborated on the project.

The catechesis and musical itinerary will be available online on our website and downloadable in five languages from this coming 2 February, liturgical feast of the Presentation at the Temple. As a further aid, small summary videos will be made monthly, useful for screening in groups and parishes. These are also available on the site and on the Dicastery’s YouTube channel.


Intervention of Dr. Marco Tibaldi

The preparation for the Ninth World Meeting of Families, to be held from 21 to 26 August, presents some important and significant novelties regarding both the methods of using and presenting the materials, and their content.

The first strategic decision is to make all materials available in digital format, to enable their free and widespread dissemination, even to those who perhaps might not have the opportunity to view them in the traditional paper format, but may approach them if they encounter them while browsing the web. In this way it is hoped to favour in particular an approach to the world of youth and the increasingly numerous digital natives.

Secondly, it was decided to prepare a series of multimedia products to make the formation itineraries more engaging, through the use of music and visual language.

For these reasons, three types of texts are linked together organically, The first consists of seven catecheses dealing with some significant junctures of Pope Francis’ post-Synodal Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, structured on the basis of a biblical passage serving as an overall framework (the loss and rediscovery of Jesus in the temple in Luke 41-52).

These offer points of departure for biblical and existential reflections, intended to help implement the suggestions of Amoris Laetitia in the life of the couple. Each one ends with some questions to facilitate personal assimilation and the involvement of readers, also in a group dynamic.

The second type of texts consists of seven music videos, with related listening guide cards and links to the catechesis, with pieces performed or chosen by Maestro Andrea Bocelli, as part of the project The Great Mystery. The Gospel of the family, school of humanity for our times, which the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, along with the Maestro, began in 2015. These are meetings taking place inside the great European basilicas (so far, the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, the Shrine to Saint John Paul II in Krakow, and the Basilica of Saint Stephen in Budapest), in which moments of catechesis on the themes of love and the family are alternated with pieces of religious music relating to the proposed themes. Seven of these pieces have been selected and commented on in order to use also the power of music and the interpretation by Maestro Bocelli to present the themes touched upon in the catechesis and in Amoris Laetitia in an engaging way.

The third type of material is made up of a series of seven videos, the first of which we will see, presenting the formation project as a whole. They are intended to be a multimedia tool to stimulate curiosity, to motivate and to accompany the complete use of the formation itinerary. They can also be used as an effective synthesis of the proposed content, inasmuch as they repropose both in a symbolic and a textual way the key issues of the content of the biblical catecheses, the piece performed or chosen by Maestro Bocelli, and some further keys for use in the formative meetings.

All the materials have been translated into five languages, and can be downloaded from the Dicastery’s website ( from this coming 2 February.