The National Finance Committee of the World Meeting of Families 2018, wishes to thank all those who generously responded to the recent church collections which enabled the successful hosting of the World Meeting of Families in August, which included the historic visit of Pope Francis to our country.

The response of those attending the liturgical and cultural events – including from the 11,000 pilgrims who came from abroad – reflected a truly wonderful once-in-a-lifetime faith experience. By his words and deeds, Pope Francis offered us the Gospel in action: he met with those on the margins of society; with representatives of the State; with survivors of abuse; with newlyweds; in Croke Park and in Knock he prayed with families and of course celebrated a memorable Mass in the Phoenix Park. Now, in our own parishes, we are guided by these priorities: to care for the poor; be vigilant to safeguard our children; and to support the sacrament of marriage and family life.

The media broadcasts of WMOF benefited millions, nationally and internationally, who followed the intensive schedule of the Holy Father on radio, television and social media.

The overall cost to the Church in Ireland for hosting WMOF comes to €19.4m. To date €15.4m has been raised by way of local church collections and by other donations. This leaves us with a deficit of €4m. In order to help defray this debt I am asking you, once again, for your support in promoting our fifth national collection which will take place in churches, North and South, over the weekend of 10 and 11 November.

While the National Finance Committee isacutely conscious of the many financial demands facing families and parishes at this time, all support offered would be greatly appreciated.