Awakening the Domestic Church

February 13, 2017

Please take some time to review the Awakening the Domestic Church website.  This apostolate is being coordinated by Dcn Darrell Wentworth of the New Creation Community in Virginia Beach.


Synod prep

November 4, 2013

Almost a month after Pope Francis called for a synod in October which will discuss the pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelization, Rocco updates us in this post, which includes the entire text of the preparatory document, which he describes as

…an initial summary to guide the preparations for next October’s Extraordinary Synod on “The Pastoral Challenges of the Family,” with specific questions for the local churches to answer over the year to come with an eye to aiding the process.

Dated 18 October, the summary with a cover-letter from the newly-named Secretary-General of the Synod, Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, was circulated yesterday to the US bishops via the conference, seeking the body’s input by December 31st to forward to Rome. (Ostensibly released to the bench via the private “bishops-only website,” a copy of the package was obtained by Whispers earlier today.) In keeping with Baldisseri’s request that Chanceries share the text “as widely as possible to deaneries and parishes” for their input, some Stateside dioceses have already begun to move toward extending the consultation process into the local level.

He also highlights the primary differences between a normal synod and an extraordinary synod:

…the distinction from the norm lies largely in a more intimate, less clunky – and as a result, arguably more effective – format; unlike the ordinary assembly (comprised of scores of elected bishop-delegates and appointed observers), an extraordinary Synod’s makeup consists mostly of the presidents of the episcopal conferences ex officio, with a select number of papal appointees. In addition, the 2014 gathering’s two-week duration – 5-19 October – is a reduction by half of the Synods’ eventual length over most of John Paul II’s pontificate…Further information on the Synod’s altered modus operandi will be given next Tuesday at a Vatican press conference…

In addition to the synod’s preparatory document, it might be good to review Bd John Paul II’s teaching on the family in Familiaris Consortio and “Letter to Families.”

Click “Read the rest of this entry” to read the text of the preparatory document as it was reprinted by Rocco.

Read the rest of this entry »

Francis on family

November 4, 2013

Pope Francis recently welcomed the “Pilgrimage of the Families of the World for the Year of Faith” at the Vatican.  Read his address, his homily, and his prayer.
Here’s an excerpt from his address:

Some weeks ago, in this very square, I said that in order to have a healthy family, three words need to be used. And I want to repeat these three words: please, thank you, sorry. Three essential words! We say please so as not to be forceful in family life: “May I please do this? Would you be happy if I did this?”. We do this with a language that seeks agreement. We say thank you, thank you for love! But be honest with me, how many times do you say thank you to your wife, and you to your husband? How many days go by without uttering this word, thanks! And the last word: sorry. We all make mistakes and on occasion someone gets offended in the marriage, in the family, and sometimes – I say – plates are smashed, harsh words are spoken but please listen to my advice: don’t ever let the sun set without reconciling. Peace is made each day in the family: “Please forgive me”, and then you start over. Please, thank you, sorry! Shall we say them together? [They reply “yes”] Please, thank you and sorry. Let us say these words in our families! To forgive one another each day!

A daughter honors her father

October 12, 2013

LevElizabeth Lev, a contributing writer to Zenit, writes about her recently-deceased father, who was Jewish.  Brilliant.  Touching.  Inspiring!

Holy housewives

July 5, 2013

Devotion in a married woman is most praiseworthy, but she must never forget that she is a housewife.  Sometimes she must leave God at the altar, to serve Him in her housekeeping.
(St Frances of Rome)

A few months ago, on the Roman Catholic Spiritual Direction website blog, Fr John Bartunek LC responded to an inquiry concerning married women growing in spirituality/holiness.  His response, along with many of the Comments from readers (which can be found at the end of the article), offered quite a few suggestions.  Perhaps this topic might interest some women in our Community, or provide them with resources to suggest to their daughters or daughters-in-law.


June 14, 2013
Fr John and his father

Fr John and his father

We’re about to celebrate Father’s Day.  I hope you can find some time before or on Father’s Day to listen to this tremendously inspiring talk on “Fatherhood” by Fr John Riccardo.  He delivered the talk a few years ago, but I find myself coming back to it again and again.  It is encouraging, convicting and challenging.  The manner in which Fr Riccardo honors his own father throughout the talk is an example for us all.  Enjoy!

2012 Way of the Cross at the Colosseum

April 7, 2012

By now you probably know that this year’s prayerful meditations for the Good Friday Way of the Cross at the Colosseum in Rome were written by a married couple.  You can find the text here or here.

The Zanzucchi's

I found the family-centeredness of the reflections to be very moving.  One of my personal favorites, which gave rise to an extended period of gratitude-filled reminiscing, was the concluding section of the Fifth Station:

The Cyrenean also brings to mind the faces of all those people who have been close to us at times when a heavy cross befell us or our family. He calls to mind the many volunteers throughout the world who generously devote themselves to comforting and assisting those suffering and in distress. He teaches us humbly to let ourselves be helped at times of need, and to be Cyreneans to others.

Pope Benedict XVI’s exhortation at the conclusion of the Via Crucis is also worthy of reflection, highlighting truths that we should never forget or take for granted.