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The Pope's visit has attracted over 2,500 volunteers

The World Meeting of Families is coming to Dublin in August.

Image: Giuseppe Ciccia

OVER 2,500 VOLUNTEERS have signed up to work at this year’s World Meeting of Families.

The event will see Pope Francis visit Ireland.

At an induction day last week, the 2,500th volunteer signed up.

Amongst the volunteers present in the RDS last Saturday was Jinny Malazarte from Drimnagh, Co Dublin. Both Jinny and his wife Resureccion have signed up to volunteer in August but it was Jinny who registered as volunteer number 2,500.

Jinny, who is originally from the Philippines, has been living in Ireland for the past 17 years.

He says that the Catholic church in Ireland and in the Philippines are similar enough but that his enthusiasm to volunteer was sparked 20 years ago.

“The only difference I’ve noticed between the Church in Ireland and the Philippines is that more families go to Mass together at home.

“Over 20 years ago, I saw Pope John Paul II when he came to the Philippines. The World Meeting of Families 2018 is going to be an amazing event for all those who attend. I know that while I am going to be really busy as part of the volunteer team, I am going to gain a once in a lifetime experience from it.

“As soon as I realised that the WMOF2018 was coming to Dublin, I was interested in volunteering for it. The preparations that go into an event like this are meticulous – the organisers have to think of everything including offering the famous Irish welcome to those who will come to Ireland for the event. I am looking forward to being part of welcoming the world to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families.

“I hope to be part of all the different events and to work with many of the volunteers that I have come to know these past weeks and months. It’s going to be a huge team effort.”

Father Tim Bartlett, Secretary General of WMOF2018 said that the total number of volunteers could more than double.

“Our volunteers are at the front line of everything we will be offering at the WMOF2018 and we could not deliver an event like this without them. While we are delighted to have reached this particular milestone in our volunteering numbers, we will need thousands more volunteers to join us for the World Meeting of Families.”

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The World Meeting of Families takes place in Dublin from 21-26 August. Organisers say it is an event to “pray and reflect upon the central importance of marriage and the family as the cornerstone of our lives, of society and of the Church”.

Held every three years, the WMOF “brings together families from across the world to celebrate, pray and reflect upon the central importance of marriage and the family as the cornerstone of our lives, of society and of the Church,” according to a statement sent by the Vatican in March.

The festival will include exhibitions, cultural events and musical performances, with events around Dublin.

It will close this year with a “festival of families” on 25 August and a Holy Mass on 26 August to be attended by thousands of pilgrims from all over the world.

With AFP

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