On Church Documents Regarding Families and the Proclamation of the Gospel
A number of Church documents are written to families, supporting parents and spouses, challenging families to grow in and live their faith, and offering them encouragement in their role as witnesses of Christ's love.
Patris Corde(With a Father's Heart) Pope Francis on the 150th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Saint Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church 150 years ago, Blessed Pope Pius IX declared St. Joseph as Patron of the Catholic Church, so that all could better appreciate this humble carpenter and his central role in the history of salvation. Now, Pope Francis is asking all of us to observe this important anniversary with the Year of St. Joseph, from December 8, 2020-December 8, 2021.
Familiaris Consortio Pope John Paul II on the Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World, at the Vatican, 1981 In this exhortation, the pope said, "The ministry of evangelization carried out by Christian parents is original and irreplaceable." It describes the Church's position concerning the meaning and role of marriage and the family, and outlines challenges towards realizing that ideal.
An Introduction to Familiaris Consortio (Dr. Christopher J. Thompson via Catholic Exchange) - Dr. Thompson says, "One cannot underestimate this contemporary summary of the Church’s teaching on marriage and the family. Clearly among the most important documents on the subject to be issued in this pontificate (John Paul II's), Familiaris Consortio ought to become a central component in any marriage program or family spirituality."
Follow the Way of Love United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1994 This document was written as A Pastoral Message of the U.S. Catholic Bishops to Families on the Occasion of the United Nations 1994 International Year of the Family. It invites families to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses, resources and needs. Share the bishops message for families with your community. Invite them to reflect on the questions at the end of each section. Engage them in the conversations around those questions: "The (bishops') message shares with families a vision of their great calling that is rooted in Christ's teaching and developed in the life of his believing community. It urges families to seek the healing, strength, and meaning that Christ offers through his Church."
Go and Make Disciples United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1999 A National Strategy Plan and Strategy for Evangelization
Evangelii Gaudium(The Joy of the Gospel) An apostolic letter from Pope Francis, November 2013, to the bishops, clergy, consecrated persons, and the lay faithful on the proclamation of the Gospel in today's world.
Learn @ CTU's The Joy of the Gospel Series (Catholic Theological Union) - This free online learning series is designed to give insight into Evangelii Gaudium through select passages which illuminate the vision of Pope Francis for the Church. This series is for Catholics and those from other faith traditions who want to learn more about this powerful document in a format that is both substantive and accessible. Watch video clips from CTU's professors, or download the podcast audio series, and listen to it as you go. There is also a study guide you can use for large or small group learning.
Letter from Pope Francis to Families, February 2, 2014 Pope Francis at the Vatican Pope Francis begins the letter, "Dear families, With this letter, I wish, as it were, to come into your homes to speak about an event which will take place at the Vatican this coming October (2014)." And so, he tells families of his concern for the pastoral challenges families face today in the context of evangelization. Read our Current Events section for more information regarding the Synod on Families.
Amoris Laetitia(The Joy of Love) March 19, 2016 - Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation of the Holy Father Francis to Bishops, Priests and Deacons, Consecrated Persons, Christian Married Couples and all the Lay Faithful on Love in the Family,
Gaudete et Exsultate(Rejoice and Be Glad) March 19, 2018 - Apostolic Exhortation of the Holy Father Francis on the Call to Holiness in Today's World