World Meeting of Families

The World Meeting of Families 2018 is taking place in Dublin, Ireland from 21st – 26th August 2018 and the theme given by  Pope Francis is The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World.

Gathering families from around the world to celebrate, pray and reflect upon the importance of marriage and the family as the cornerstone of our lives, of our society and of our Church, this major international event is held every three years.  To help us to engage with this event here in Salisbury, we will be releasing ten simple ‘Insights’ which will be available each week, starting on Sunday 10th June until Sunday 12th August.  Each ‘Insight’ will offer a short reflection on a particular theme from ‘The Joy of Love’ and a couple of questions for you and your family to consider.  Each ‘Insight’ will draw us in to an enriched appreciation and understanding of Pope Francis’ wonderful document  ‘Amoris Laetitia – The Joy of Love’.

OFFICIAL FAMILY PRAYER FOR WORLD MEETING OF FAMILIES 2018

God, our Father,

We are brothers and sisters in Jesus your Son,

One family, in the Spirit of your love.

Bless us with the joy of love.

Make us patient and kind,

gentle and generous,

welcoming to those in need.

Help us to live your forgiveness and peace.

Protect all families with your loving care,

Especially those for whom we now pray:

[We pause and remember family members and others by name].

Increase our faith,

Strengthen our hope,

Keep us safe in your love,

Make us always grateful for the gift of life that we share.

This we ask, through Christ our Lord,
Amen

Ten Insights for Family Life in ‘Amoris Laetitia: The Joy of Love’

In addition to attending Mass, Pope Francis encourages families to pray together in their homes during the week, this includes setting aside time to read Scripture, and maybe start with next Sunday’s reading. He also encourages families to frequently receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, seek out spiritual direction, and take occasional retreats together. It is especially significant when families pray for each other. It is helpful for spouses to give each other quiet times for prayer alone with God since each has his or her secret crosses to bear.

Questions:

1. How would you describe your family prayer life, and your own? How could you find time for family prayer and what are the ways you could do this, even for a few moments every day?

 

2. How are you, as a parish community, helping families to grow in their awareness of being the “domestic church” with a clear mission? What do we do to value the families in our community and what could we do better?

Couples from the same parish or neighbourhood gathering together regularly in their own homes for faith sharing and prayer can be a great source of mutual support, strength, and encouragement in helping each other grow. Older couples can mentor the engaged in marriage preparation and spouses with older children can strengthen those with younger children. When couples grow in their knowledge of each other they can encourage each other to grow and support one another when they face difficulties, like the illness or death of a spouse or child, or when they face crises like the sins of infidelity, addictions, or violence.

Questions:

1. In what ways could you, and your parish community, help married couples, or those preparing for marriage? How might we help young couples and what could we do to accompany newly-weds?

 

2. How are you, as a parish community, helping families to grow in their awareness of being the “domestic church” with a clear mission? What do we do to value the families in our community and what could we do better?

Pope Francis recalls an adage, “still water becomes stagnant and good for nothing.” Young love needs to keep dancing. Lifelong attention must be paid to spending time with one another, forgiving each other, and helping each other grow and mature. The Pope says “Each marriage is a kind of ‘salvation history,’ which from fragile beginnings – thanks to God’s gift and a creative and generous response on our part – grows over time into something precious and enduring. Might we say that the greatest mission of the two is to help one another become, respectively, more a man and more a woman? Love is thus a kind of craftsmanship.”

Questions:

1. Is there time to invest in your relationship? If yes, what fruit does this bear? If no, how can you change this?

 

2. How are you, as a parish community, helping families to grow in their awareness of being the “domestic church” with a clear mission? What do we do to value the families in our community and what could we do better?

Family planning involves being generous in bestowing life while it also entails a responsible parenthood which means making decisions to have children by taking into account God, their material and spiritual conditions, the interests of their extended family, society and the Church. Pope Francis reiterates the moral teaching of Humanae Vitae, that contraception, sterilization and abortion are to be rejected and “the use of methods based on the ‘laws of nature and the incidence of fertility are to be promoted, since these methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them and favor the education of an authentic freedom.” 

Questions:

1. How might we better understand this invitation from Pope Francis? What truly challenges us?

 

2. How are you, as a parish community, helping families to grow in their awareness of being the “domestic church” with a clear mission? What do we do to value the families in our community and what could we do better?

Some couples are unable to have children and suffer under the cross of infertility. While this suffering can at times be acute, marriage still retains its character of being a whole manner and communion of life, and preserves its value and indissolubility. Motherhood and fatherhood are not solely biological realities, but are expressed in diverse ways. Pope Francis encourages spouses who cannot have children “to expand their marital love” through adoption which he says is a “very generous way to become parents. Those who accept the challenge of adoption become channels of God’s love to their children.
 

Questions:

1. Are we aware of the challenges of adoptive parents? How could we better support them? Could you be in a position to give a child a new family and an opportunity to start again?

 

2. How are you, as a parish community, helping families to grow in their awareness of being the “domestic church” with a clear mission? What do we do to value the families in our community and what could we do better?

Pope Francis says:“I feel it urgent to state that, if the family is the sanctuary of life, the place where life is conceived and cared for, it is a horrendous contradiction when it becomes a place where life is rejected and destroyed. So great is the value of a human life, and so inalienable the right to life of an innocent child growing in the mother’s womb, that no alleged right to one’s own body can justify a decision to terminate that life, which is an end in itself and which can never be considered the “property” of another human being. The family protects human life in all its stages, including its last. Consequently, “those who work in healthcare facilities are reminded of the moral duty of conscientious objection. Similarly, the Church not only feels the urgency to assert the right to a natural death, without aggressive treatment and euthanasia”, but likewise “firmly rejects the death penalty.” 

 

Questions:

1. How do we keep the Gospel of Life on our parish agenda? Do we see the proclamation of the gospel as care for all life?

 

2. How are you, as a parish community, helping families to grow in their awareness of being the “domestic church” with a clear mission? What do we do to value the families in our community and what could we do better?

In the family, “three words need to be used: ‘Please’, ‘Thank you’, ‘Sorry’. Three essential words!”. “In our families when we are not overbearing and ask: ‘May I?’; in our families when we are not selfish and can say: ‘Thank you!’; and in our families when someone realizes that he or she did something wrong and is able to say ‘Sorry!’, our family experiences peace and joy”. Let us not be stingy about using these words, but keep repeating them, day after day. 

 

 

Questions:

1. Where do we find ourselves taking others for granted and how might we be better at saying ‘Please’, ‘Thank you’, ‘Sorry’. Where do we find it hard not to say sorry, but to forgive those who say sorry to us?

 

2. How are you, as a parish community, helping families to grow in their awareness of being the “domestic church” with a clear mission? What do we do to value the families in our community and what could we do better?

This insight will appear here on 29th July 2018.

This insight will appear here on 5th August 2018.

This insight will appear here on 12th August 2018.

 

Full Document is available click here

Or, if you would prefer to read the summary document

Summary Document click here