Meeting the Needs of Your Family and Your ParishHi Fi Vol. 125 (2007) Number 1
Baptism brings all Christians into union with God. Your family life is sacred because family relationships affirm and deepen this union and allow the Lord to work through you. The profound and ordinary moments of daily life - mealtimes, workdays, vacations, expressions of love and intimacy, household chores, caring for a sick child or elderly parent, and even conflicts over things like how to celebrate holidays, discipline the children, or spend money - all are the threads from which you can weave a pattern of holiness.
- Follow the Way of Love
U.S. Catholic Bishops
Because the family is the foundation of all human society and the irreplaceable institution for the education and formation of children, the Church teaches that the needs and concerns of marriage and the family must be made a priority. Through ongoing support and education, the Church strives to lead its members to their full human maturity. It recognizes that many forces are at work today, challenging families as they try to maintain strong family ties... the rapid pace of social change, the revolution of values within our culture, the intrusion of mass media and the day to day struggles of family life.
Impelled by the belief of the intrinsic sacredness of family life, the family office for the English-speaking Catholic community commits to serve families and those who minister with/to families in the Archdiocese. We are committed to help and support families in their vocation as the "sanctuary of life", as the cell of society which welcomes life. We recognize that the face of family varies: married with/without children, single parents, single adults, youth, separated, widowed and divorced, and acknowledges that family needs are as diverse as the people who comprise them.
In keeping with the Department for Family Life's three-fold mandate, we foster family life and faith education in the Roman Catholic tradition through: coordinating a network for family life organizations; coordinating a family resource for individuals and groups; developing support programs for family life.
The family office builds up the Body of Christ by promoting an authentic Catholic vision of marriage, human sexuality, and family life. We provide initiatives in areas of animation of workshops, conferences, education in marriage preparation and enrichment, natural family planning, grief, divorce, aging, family violence, parenting, and other family related matters. Referrals to other organizations and groups for resources, consultation, or information not readily available at the department's offices, are also given.
Our Family Life Newsletter, whose readership has steadily increased, is published several times a year. It is chock full of family-related issues, inspirational and educational articles, and resource information. Individuals and/or organizations are invited to contribute a story, an article or to submit their upcoming events for us to publish.
The Department also has the St. Thomas Aquinas resource centre; a lending library fully stocked with books, pamphlets, videos, as well as motivational, inspirational and educational handouts.
Based on the enthusiastic response from our recent Family Life Conference, there is much to build on. As one participant said, there is a rich and thriving community in the Catholic Church. Together let us seek to uphold families and enable them to recognize and live their real potential as an evangelizing presence in the world today.
Sonia Kesik-Mitchell, coordinator
Department for Family Life
Department for Family Life