Mum's the word

By Madelaine McDonald

Have you seen a beautiful, colourful prayer card designed as a triptych and containing a lovely prayer for family life (and potentially available in your parish)?

This is the official prayer of the World Meeting of Families, which takes place once every three years. This year Pope Francis has chosen Ireland as the host country for the meeting on 21-26 August in Dublin.

The 2018 theme is based on the Pope's ‘Amoris Laetitia’ (The Joy of Love), his apostolic exhortation on the family which the Union of Catholic Mothers has used as its study topic.

People from around the world will gather ‘to reflect on the central importance of marriage and the family as the cornerstone of our lives, of society and of the Church’ – which chimes beautifully with our own aims.

The last line of the prayer is ‘Saints Louis and Zelie Martin, pray for us’. I, for one, had not heard of these two saints so I hastened to find out about them. They were a husband and wife who lived in France in the 1800s and did great work in their church and their community, devoting themselves to the glory of God. Five of their daughters became nuns, one of them being St Thérèse of Lisieux. In 2015 they were canonised, becoming the first married couple in the Church's history to be declared saints – hurrah for marriage and family life.

• On Wednesday 7 February, Bernard Dillon from Mary's Meals came to my own parish of St Margaret Mary to show a video of the progress of the programme to provide children's backpacks. The film featured the entire process – from the assembly of a backpack in a parish to its distribution at a school in Africa. Congratulations to the UCM foundations who have provided so many of these packs.

See you all at St Aidan's, Winstanley on 7 March for our bi-monthly Mass.