By Carrie Harkey, Special to the Florida Catholic
On March 19, 2021 Pope Francis inaugurated Year of “Amoris Laetitia Family,” an initiative that offers the Church an opportunity to celebrate and reflect on the central role family plays in transmitting the Gospel and shaping society.
It is intended that the teachings reach every family through various proposals of a spiritual, pastoral and cultural nature that can be implemented in Dioceses and Parishes throughout the world. The special year will conclude on June 26, 2022 on the occasion of the next World Meeting of Families in Rome.
During this special Year of “Amoris Laetitia Family,” the family will be celebrated by being placed at the center of commitment and care from the Church. The Church is called to walk with families through all the joys and challenges of family life with special emphasis directed to efforts aimed at youth, the engaged, spouses, the elderly, and those couples that are wounded or facing a crisis. The objective of this special year is to nurture reflection, dialogue, and pastoral practices and, at the same time, to provide encouragement, stimulus and to help the family in its spiritual and concrete daily life. (AL 4)
It is through the Church that Christ bestows the grace necessary to live as intentional disciples. It is through the family that God’s covenant passes from generation to generation. May this special year be a time to recall the great gift spouses have received in the Sacrament of Marriage along with a reawakening to the important mission to which they have been called.
It is the task of the Diocese of Venice Family Life Office to help bring this effort to Catholic families in the region. This will be done by continuing to advance programming and developing many new and exciting initiatives aimed at formation encounters that assist families to embrace the universal call to holiness and live out the vocation of marriage in order to be a light to the world.
During the coming months, this “Joy of Love” column will periodically feature these ongoing efforts (conferences, workshops and access to resources resources) and invite participation as we journey together to rediscover the family as a gift – a gift from God.
Carrie Harkey is the Diocese of Venice Family Life Coordinator and can be reached at 941-484-9543 or firstname.lastname@example.org.