Monday, 5 October 2009

Family Days

The Church's teaching on the family is of vital importance in our country today and our Catholic families are at the vanguard of the growth of faith and resistance to secularism. In recent years I have come to understand more clearly how important it is for the Church, and particular, for the parish to promote family life.

One simple, slightly chaotic but immensely rewarding way to do this is to have Family Days from time to time - perhaps once a term. Saturday is a good day; you can keep to the normal parish schedule and then build in special things for the middle of the day. We start off after Benediction with an introduction from me, and from one of the fathers. Lunch can either be a shared lunch or, as we had on Saturday, a few volunteers cooking up hot dogs and hamburgers or something. We then have separate activities for parents, for teenagers, and for children. One of the parents gave a talk to the other adults from the Church's documents on the family. Above you can see me with the teenagers and below, Brother Charles Mary from the Community of St John with the children, making "Sacrifice Beads". This was something that St Therese and her sisters used to do - a simple way of counting sacrifices and acts of love done for God, so as to advance in perfection daily. Here is a How To Guide.

We finish with the Rosary in the Church and a family blessing. The parish schedule includes the Latin Mass (EF) in the morning and an English Mass in the evening, with two periods for confessions, so families can also join in these as they wish.

Family Days are a gentle, enjoyable, and uplifting way for us to light a candle rather than curse the darkness.
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