On the fifth anniversary of the publication of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, he proclaimed this the Year of the Family and invites all of us to spend a year studying, reflecting on and practicing a new pastoral approach to the family situation. Francis challenges us to recognize that, “in this time and in a profoundly changed culture, there is a need for a new outlook on the family on the part of the Church. It is not enough to reiterate the value and importance of doctrine, if we do not become protectors of the beauty of the family and if we do not take compassionate care of its frailties and its wounds.”
The proclamation of this special observance characterizes the journey of family life as a vocation, a mission, and a schooling in the language of love – and Amoris laetitia emphasizes that the work of a parish is to proclaim good new by accompanying families and placing ourselves at the service of their happiness. More fully, Pope Francis expresses:
When the family lives under the sign of divine Communion, then it becomes a living word of God-love, spoken to the world and for the world. Indeed, the grammar of family relationships – that is, of conjugality, motherhood, fatherhood, filiality and fraternity – is the way through which the language of love is transmitted, which gives meaning to life and human quality to every relationship. It is a language made up not only of words, but also of ways of being, of the way we speak, of the looks, gestures, times and spaces of our relationship with others. Married couples know this well, parents and children learn it daily in this school of love that is the family.
We will be eager to hear from each of you – to see photos, video clips, demonstrations of whatever you and your parish team create together during this year!
Office for Parish Life Team, Diocese of Scranton