Third Annual National Week for Life and the Family: The Family, a school of Christian Love - where Life begins and Love never ends
April 13, 2015
The National Week for Life and the Family (NWLF) is an annual initiative of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and occurs, this year from May 10 to May 17, 2015. In Manitoba, we have a tri-diocesan coordination committee whose mission is to assist parishes in recognizing, during this week and throughout the year, the importance of faith and Church in the lives of Catholics in our Archdioceses. In the first year of this initiative the theme was, “Celebrate Family, Nurture Life.” All were encouraged to recognize the families and life of the Parish and celebrate it. Last year the theme was “Living Includes Dying. Protecting our unborn, caring for all until natural death.” All were encouraged to discuss the issues pertaining to dying and to consider what each parish did to support the suffering people.
The theme this year is The Family, A School of Christian Love: Where Life Begins and Love Never Ends. As is stated in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, # 212: “The family has central importance… It is in this cradle of life and love that people are born and grow. When a child is conceived, society receives the gift of a new person who is called from the innermost depths of self to communion with others and to be giving of self to others. It is in the family, therefore, that mutual giving of self on the part of man and woman united in marriage creates an environment of life in which children develop their potentialities, become aware of their dignity and prepare to face their unique and individual destiny.”
This year we encourage all to reflect on how we recognize our families as schools of love and faith and how our families help to build a world of justice, mercy and charity. It is our hope that each of us be able to relate to the topic in some way, as we are all part of a family. We would like to take the opportunity of the National Week to challenge parishes to consider whether there is anything they can do to become more family-friendly. We would also like to encourage families to consider whether there is anything they can do to engage more fully with each other and with their Christian faith. We would also like to take this opportunity encourage everyone to follow and discuss the issues being raised by Pope Francis’ Synod on the Family and the upcoming Philadelphia World Meeting of Families.