The Importance of the Family in the Church

On March 19, 2021, Pope Francis launched “Amoris Laetitia Family” year, a year-long celebration around the family. “Amoris Laetitia Family” is an initiative of Pope Francis, which aims to reach every family around the world through several spiritual, pastoral, and cultural proposals that can be implemented within parishes, Dioceses, eparchies, universities, ecclesial movements, and family associations.

The goal is to offer the Church an opportunity for reflection and an in-depth appreciation of the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, in order to concretely experience its richness.

The global pandemic experience has highlighted the central role of the family as the domestic Church and the importance of community ties between families. Such ties make the Church an authentic “family of families” (AL 87). The family deserves a year of celebrations so that it can be placed at the center of commitment and care from every pastoral and ecclesial reality. Watch what Pope Francis says about the importance of the family in the Amoris Laetitia Journey Together video. 

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops produced a webcast series on Evangelization and Catechesis and the Catholic Organization for Life and Family that is available for all individuals to learn from. To accompany this webcast series, they also put together a short reflection guide that includes questions to consider. 

The Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life is competent in matters that pertain to the Apostolic See regarding the promotion of life, the apostolate of the lay faithful, the pastoral care of the family and its mission according to God’s plan and for the safeguard and support of human life. There is a list of great resources for parish ministry to the family on their website. Specifically, they will be coming out with 10 videos will be released over the course of the year focusing on love in the Family. The first one has been released and it is entitled: Walking Together. You can view all the new videos coming out on their website.  

The videos produced also come with a reflection guide that can be used to accompany each video. This reflection guide provides guidance on questions to consider, inspiration from Pope Francis on the importance of family, and more.

To mark the year of the family, the Edmonton Eparchy’s religious education department will be holding events throughout the year and has a webpage specifically for stressing the importance of family.