Friday, September 25, 2015

Spirit & Life - To know Christ, to love Christ, and to proclaim Christ

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Dear deaconjohn,     
 This week I write to you from the World Meeting of Families, where thousands of people representing over 100 countries have congregated to celebrate God's precious gift of the family. To walk through the long corridors of the massive Philadelphia Convention Center in downtown Philly is to be overwhelmed by the many sights and sounds: the colorful dress of participants from countries outside the US, the various languages being spoken, the noticeable large young families, the numerous baby carriages, the joyful laughter of children, the beauty of priests and religious dressed in their clerical or religious garb, and the hundreds of exhibit booths focused on supporting the family. It is truly amazing!
The overall focus of this momentous gathering is the family's irreplaceable role within the Church and society. In an interview on EWTN on the first day of the event, I spoke about the role of the Church in protecting the family from the deadly onslaught of the Culture of Death. The failure to properly catechize the faithful - to know Christ, to love Christ, and to proclaim Christ - has left the faithful vulnerable and exposed to the global tides of secularism. The great majority are ill-prepared to confront the assault, and thus become easy prey. In my view, there is no more vulnerable institution than the family, which is why the family deserves the Church's full attention and commitment.
In Familiaris consortio 86 Saint John Paul II said, "The future of humanity passes by way of the family." The family is the domestic church, the mission base, the place where children learn how to love and proclaim Christ. A cultural transformation is impossible without the family. The New Evangelization is inseparable from the Christian family, which is why the family must be loved, respected, and defended.
In order to address the current crisis we must strengthen our marital preparation programs and improve our mentorship of young married couples. We need to assist parents in their role as primary educators of their children by providing them with authentically Catholic catechetical and spiritual resources. Parents must be assured that what they are teaching at home is being supported, not contradicted, by parochial and parish catechetical programs.
If we are serious about being leaven in society, then we must support and nourish the family, where the virtues are lived and taught. The French use the word torroir when speaking about the impact that many environmental factors - the temperature, humidity, etc. - have upon the vines and eventually on the grapes and the wine they produce. These many factors can all be discerned in the each wine's unique character. It is the same with the family. It is the cultural torroir that influences the family and ultimately the children and their ability to love and to cherish others; to be honest and respectful to all; and to practice the virtues of mercy and forgiveness. It is also in the family that children learn the virtues of generosity, trust, responsibility, solidarity and cooperation. They learn to serve, to sacrifice, to be patient, to seek the good and well-being of others, and to be open to others. In other words, children learn the heart of the Gospel message - to know Christ, to love Christ, and to proclaim Christ.
Pope Benedict XVI understood the irreplaceable role of the family in transforming culture: "It is in the family that peacemakers, tomorrow's promoters of a Culture of Life and Love, are born and nurtured." (World Day of Peace, January 1, 2013)
Ultimately, the many conferences and talks during the World Meeting of Families are about re-evangelization. The business at hand is strengthening the family, the domestic church. The re-evangelization starts here!

Sincerely yours in Christ,  
Father Shenan J. Boquet
President, Human Life International
Send a reminder: Catholic=Pro-Life!
As we approach the Ordinary Synod on the Family in October, Centro Congressi Cavour in Rome is hosting an International Symposium entitled "The Two Shall Become One" this Saturday, September 26. Among the presenters will be Father Francesco Giordano, Director of Human Life International's Rome office, who will speak on Natural Family Planning as a means to reinforce Catholic marriage.  - continue -
Send a reminder: Catholic=Pro-Life!
In preparation for the upcoming Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, Pope Francis recently issued a letter regarding forgiveness for the sin of abortion that has garnered much attention. On some levels it has raised a few questions, but those are pretty easily clarified. More importantly, the Holy Father's benevolent words are generating a greater awareness about the healing Christ offers through His Church to those who seek it.  - continue -
Send a reminder: Catholic=Pro-Life!
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Send a reminder: Catholic=Pro-Life!
Families, the Building Blocks, Fr. Boquet
real estate for life
Send a reminder: Catholic=Pro-Life!

Human Life International
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