OLA Sisters Share their thoughts on the World Meeting of Families

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It was a week of excitement, communion and deep appreciation.  The energy of the week’s events was electric. After weeks of preparation, we set up the OLA/SMA stand for The Pastoral Congress and prepared to greet the pilgrims.

People visited from all over the world, and it was a delight to share with them.

The Festival of Families on Saturday evening was a wonderfully animated occasion, filled with joy, music and prayer. The musicians, dancers and various performers from their multi-cultural backgrounds truly blessed us with their talents and Pope Francis’ enjoyment was obvious.

The highlight of the week was, of course, the Papal Mass in Phoenix Park.  Despite the inclement, and typically Irish, weather, the crowds were overjoyed to be attending mass with Pope Francis.

OLA sisters from all over the world travelled to Ireland to attend and some of them share their thoughts on the week’s experiences:

The program for me was wonderful, vibrant and well organized. I was overwhelmed by the welcoming nature of the Irish people and their sense of humour. I really felt the family spirit of the universal church and the OLA family. We all came from different places to Ireland, meeting people from all other the world, but all of us saw ourselves as brothers and sisters and I think that was wonderful. The talks were always very inspirational and well animated. Thank you. (Italy)

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It has always been my dream to come to Ireland to see the many Fathers and Sisters that God used to bring us the Catholic faith and education.  This wish has come true through this remarkable and memorable event that is taking place . I am really highly impressed with everything .  A country so organised, welcoming and open to all.  For the organization of the event, l must say it is the first of it kind   the solemn opening prayer organized by the Dubliners. The various sessions held  and the various masses said, and above all the various stands that  portrayed  the different activities of the many religious orders and organizations.  I was so blessed by the family spirit that went into the building of our own stand with our SMA brothers and by the number of people that passed by our stand to exchange kind words. These were graceful and beautiful moments. Thanks to all, especially the Provincial Head and her team, for the invitation, and thank you to all our dear sisters who have  been  working  day and night to make  a dream come true.  God bless you all. (Africa)

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The joy of Christ who is Love was manifested in the gathering of families of the nations. Joy was in the air, nothing else! Thank you for the hard work.

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I am so happy with the World Meetings of Families. I was happy with the various organizations, the prayer space prepared for personal prayers, the family spirit that binds us together as Catholics and the readiness of Irish individuals to offer their help. I really felt welcomed and felt a sense of belonging to be part of the Catholic Church. I was happy with the smiling faces of Irish people, their greetings and their well wishes and above all their approach to people and their politeness. (Ghana)

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This was a great time and space to share and receive love. The world meeting of families gave me a moment to stop and thank God for His love upon us as families of His. The number of people at the sacred space for prayer touched me and encouraged me that the faith is still alive in our various countries. The atmosphere was full of joy and excitement. It gave me opportunity of connecting with old friends and developing new friends. Our common home was what I felt and witnessed as we share our love at the various activities during the events of World Meeting of Families.

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The experience was full of grace ... colors ... diversity ... faith ...

It had a feeling of a family of families where everyone finds their place, restraint, respect, justice, rights, living in the spirit of love and unity and taking up the challenges ..
It was an encouragement to us to keep going with our eyes on the true love of God. Children and teenagers filled with joy and creativity filled every moment with music, songs and dances.  The spaces of prayer and blessing were special. Each moment each experience each encounter was a gift of grace. May this spirit of family that we lived and celebrated in these days encourage us to continue building bonds, bridges of brotherhood, union and solidarity throughout the world. May we be that mirror in which the love of God is reflected. (Argentina)

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“The church is a family of families.”

I had the pleasure of experiencing the full meaning of this beautiful phrase from Pope Francis at the World Meeting of Families 2018 in Dublin, Ireland.

From the 21st to the 28th August I managed to meet families from many different places united in the same faith in Jesus, and with the same passion to share with the world our same values: parents, grandparents, children, nieces and nephews! My greatest joy has been to spend today together with my religious “family”, the OLA sisters. (Italy)

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 Thanks to the wonderful Irish sisters, we managed to organize a stand of many colours where each sister (we were 8 sisters coming from different cities) gave their absolute all. The words of the Pope blessed our journey, reminding us of the importance of living together in forgiveness and love for each other. The organization was perfect. A profound thank you to the people of Ireland and to our sisters who made this a day to always remember.