Christian Family Life Communique #3
National Chairperson of Christian Family Life Doreen Gowans, March 16, 2017
“Love is shown by little things, by attention to small daily signs which make us feel at home. Faith grows when it is lived and shaped by love. That is why our families, our homes, are true domestic churches. They are the right place for faith to become life, and life to grow in faith” (Pope Francis).
Marriage and Family
Coinciding with Mother’s Day, the fifth National Week for Life and the Family will be celebrated across Canada from May 14 to May 21, 2017. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) through the Canadian Organization for Life and Family (COLF) is offering resources including: a poster and prayer card which can be freely downloaded and reproduced; a proposed plan for pastors and lay pastoral workers on how they might organize the week; and suggestions for related events and activities. The resources are available at cccb.ca or colf.ca. This year’s theme Love Grows by Giving! resonates with the national theme, Inspired by the Spirit, Women Respond to God’s Call. Families face many challenges such as drug addiction, split families, etc., so this is an opportunity to bring them together in a positive way
COLF has released a new document entitled, “The Joy of Love” At the Heart of the Family. It is a delightful, easy read and includes topics such as “Marriage: A Call to Holiness”, “Conjugal Love: ‘The Greatest of Friendships’”, “The Spirituality of Countless Daily Acts of Love” and much more. It can be ordered from COLF for forty cents each at colf.ca. Promote the use of this material in your provinces.
The World Meeting of Families will be held in Dublin, Ireland August 21 to 26, 2018. The theme chosen by Pope Francis is The Gospel of the family: Joy for the World. To access the newly published website please visit worldmeeting2018.ie. A promotional video and information including a volunteering form are available. I had the privilege of attending the last World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in 2015. It was truly a spiritual time which I highly recommend you promote this event to everyone.
Resolutions to Review and take action on
Please encourage members to continue to act on Resolution 2011.01 Prohibition of Practices re Human Reproductive Material, Resolution 2004.01 Protection of Human Life, Resolution 1996.03 Advance Directives for Health Care and Resolution 1995.02 Abortion Funding. To access the full text of the resolutions visit cwl.ca.
The Commissariat of the Holy Land in Canada, in collaboration with the Franciscan Family Center in Bethlehem, is offering a new resource for prayer entitled Families on the Way of the Cross. Inspired by Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), it can be used as part of public processions or vigils, and to animate various family gatherings throughout the year. Please promote this prayer in your province.
Ministry to Youth
Canada will celebrate its 150th birthday this summer. A challenge has been issued called Canada 150 for 150 Volunteer Challenge, which has a special focus on youth. Using an online platform or mobile app, participants can track their volunteer hours and tell their stories. Encourage your diocesan counterparts to promote the use of this platform for the youth in parish councils. It will help them share their gifts and talents with others. For more information, visit volunteer150for150.ca.
Many parishes are in need of vocations to the priesthood and religious life. How can the League help? The main focus at a recently attended presentation by Bishop Joseph Nguyen (Kamloops) was “We all are responsible for creating a ‘culture of vocations’”. Promote fervent prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament in members’ homes, creating an atmosphere in which young Catholics are open to a personal invitation to discern prayerfully and properly, and for families to embrace the potential vocation freely.
Petition One Million 2018 Project
Alliance for Life Ontario is launching the Petition One Million 2018 Project, as a way to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. The objective is to gather one million plus signatures, to be presented to federal government, in support of pro-life issues across Canada. Alliance for Life believes that at this time citizens need to stand up and express love and concern for human life in all of its stages. Watch for more information as it becomes available.
The Power of Prayer
Do you know couples who want children but may be having difficulty conceiving? After persistently praying, couples have been blessed with children. God is good, but there are times when couples have to be persistent in requesting what they want and trusting and accepting that God will provide. Pray, and pray some more for this request. If you deem this is a priority in your province, please consider the following book Breaking. the silence of Being Barren by Elizabeth Powers or the website: http://www.elizabethpowers.net as resources. To assist these couples, promote the establishment of prayer circles in parishes.
Your Sister in Christ,