On this Memorial of Sts. Joachim and Ann, the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the whole Church recalls the gift of marriage and family in the plan of salvation. Before there was the Holy Family of Nazareth, there was the pious couple Joachim and Ann who nurtured and instructed their little daughter Mary and taught her how to pray. These are the grandparents of Jesus!
In our religious community, we have a special closeness to families as the heart of culture, the domestic church, and the cell of society. To honor families, we offer here information and links to two major events concerning the family, and to a few of the beautiful Church documents about the family.
At the end of academic year, we host a “Family Day” at our houses of formation. A few photos from that day accompany the Church documents and on-line resources featured in this article.
Synod on the Family: 2014-2015
The Synod on the Family will have two main parts: the Extraordinary Synod in October 2014 and the General Synod of 2015. These events bring together the Holy Father Pope Francis, cardinals and bishops from around the world, and delegates of family movements and individuals. By discussing and exploring together the contemporary situation for families and the great gift of the vocation of marriage and family, the synod will form working documents and proposals for guidelines to aid diocese around the world in serving and accompanying families. As John Paul the Great said in Familiaris Consortio: Families, become what you are!
They have prepared a section specifically for the Synod of the Family 2014-2015.
8th World Meeting of Families : September 22 – 27, 2015 in Philadelphia
Also, the Pontifical Council for the Family is co-sponsoring the World Meeting of Families which will take place next summer in Philadelphia. Archbishop Chaput gave remarks in English (minutes 13:12 – 23:17) during a press conference for the World Meeting of Families in which he both acknowledged the many individuals and groups who are working to make the event possible, as well as described the real vision and hope for the event (see espcially 14:03 ff).
Online Resources about the Church’s Teachings on Family Life and Modern Society
Chapter and content description from the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church
PART TWO: CHAPTER FIVE THE FAMILY, THE VITAL CELL OF SOCIETY
I. THE FAMILY, THE FIRST NATURAL SOCIETY
a. Importance of the family for the person
b. Importance of the family for society
II. MARRIAGE, THE FOUNDATION OF THE FAMILY
a. The value of marriage
b. The sacrament of marriage
III. THE SOCIAL SUBJECTIVITY OF THE FAMILY
a. Love and the formation of a community of persons
b. The family is the sanctuary of life
c. The task of educating
d. The dignity and rights of children
IV. THE FAMILY AS ACTIVE PARTICIPANT IN SOCIAL LIFE
a. Solidarity in the family
b. The family, economic life and work
V. SOCIETY AT THE SERVICE OF THE FAMILY
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church: #2197 – 2257; Part 3, Section 2, Chapter 2, Article 4: 4th Commandment
Familiaris Consortio: On the Role of the Family in the Modern World (1981)
Apostolic Exhortation, John Paul II
From Our Religious Family
In thanksgiving to all the families who have nurtured the children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren and cousins entrusted to their care–God bless you for your witness of God’s love!
Finally, to all those still enjoying the summertime of family vacations, may these be privileged moments to grow together in love and praise of God. Sts. Joachim and Ann, pray for us!