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World Meeting of Families (21-26 August 2018).

Given the primacy of the family in human life, the Catholic Church holds an international meeting of families at a different venue every three years. It is an international event of prayer, catechesis and celebration. It helps to strengthen the bonds between families, and bears witness to the crucial importance of marriage and the family to all of society. This year it is being held here in Ireland. Pope Francis will be present. His plane will land at Knock, a shrine to Our Lady in Co. Mayo.

The theme of the event this year is: “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World”.

600,000 are expected to attend a Mass in the Phoenix Park, 45,000 in Knock, and 80,000 in Croke Park Stadium. 'Working' meetings will be held in the Dublin Horse Show venues.

But, the big question is, what does a family mean nowadays? Is there such to be found in any community at all?


"family" comes in many shapes and forms
people who will share
people who will listen
people who will be there
that is family
That's a very vague definition! Any dictionary would surely do better. Or do words mean anything you like nowadays?
how can that be vague?

it is based on actions not blood
my own situation is a case in point
by blood i have cousins i have never met
we share a common grandparent
i did know their father
an uncle - i remember him joyously entertaining us children
but i have never met his children
we moved - they moved
my attempts to make contact as an adult were ignored
there are more missing cousins

in my recent bereavement a woman i met on line
sent me much needed money
none of the members of my family that i did know and send christmas cards to
responded to my telling
and who was family?

i am an only child
i have no immediate family
my husbands dear and caring sisters live at a distance
women i know only casually have brought me food
who is family?

in the past women i held dear
listen to my trials
held my hand
gave me comfort
who was family?

is it blood only?
a common ancestor?
or is a deeper link?
This is complete rubbish. You yourself say: "i have no immediate family". You refer to cousins, grandparents, children, husband, sisters. No dictionary would refer to neighbours, friends, or acquaintances as family. Words do not seem to have any accepted meanings nowadays. If one wants to communicate one must use accepted meanings of words.
words can have more than one meaning
any dictionary will show that
this is the one from my computer dictionary

noun (plural families)
1 [treated as singular or plural] a group consisting of parents and children living together in a household.
• a group of people related to one another by blood or marriage: friends and family can provide support | I could not turn him away, for he was family.
• the children of a person or couple: she has the sole responsibility for a large family.
• informal a group of people united in criminal activity.
2 all the descendants of a common ancestor: the house has been owned by the same family for 300 years.
• a race or group of peoples from a common stock.
3 a group of related things.
• Biology a principal taxonomic category that ranks above genus and below order, usually ending in -idae (in zoology) or -aceae (in botany).
• all the languages ultimately derived from a particular early language, regarded as a group: the Austronesian language family.
• Mathematics a group of curves or surfaces obtained by varying the value of a constant in the equation generating them.
adjective [attributive]
designed to be suitable for children as well as adults: a family newspaper.

as indicated family can mean those who share a genetic relationship
either proximate or remote
but, notice it also says a informal group of people - it specifically say a crime family - here in the USA there were the notorious "Five Families" of New York

but it is acknowledging the use of the word as a collective informal group
words are not static - they grow and change to meet the needs of culture

family is more than a simple genetic link
that is just biology
it has as sociological and psychological component

and, by the way, referring to the comments of someone as "rubbish" is not worthy of the standards of civility that usually prevail on your site
i expect better of you
thinking about this discussion a gospel story came to mind

Jesus is talking with a group
someone tells him his mother and his family are looking for him
he replies - who is my mother and family
those who do the work of my father
he seems to extend the term beyond the biological