It Takes a Family


As the struggle over “social issues” continues unabated in the United States, the Church universal prayerfully seeks ways to counter a global slide into secularism.

According to a Catholic News Agency report, a meeting of the world’s bishops this October in Rome is likely to identify the family as the key place for beginning the re-evangelization of the Western world.

A Feb. 27 communiqué issued by the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops identified the family as “the primary place for the transmission of faith.” It is in the family, the communiqué said, where “the faith is communicated to young people, who, in the family, learn both the contents and practice” of Catholic belief.

As “charity begins at home,” so does faith.

The Synod of Bishops will meet Oct. 7-28 to discuss the “New Evangelization,” a topic that has been dear to the hearts of popes since Paul VI.

It makes sense that the Vatican should focus on families at a time when Western governments are increasingly embracing values that put the traditional family under great pressure. As the Church strives to defend the family, so families are being called to witness to the importance of marriage and family at a time when many people view other arrangements as equally legitimate.

Most Catholics are not called to be priests, religious or preachers. Most people are called to the married life, and most married people have children.

Yes, the Church needs the laity to help in many and various ways. Primarily, the Church needs her married laity, whether they have been blessed with children or not, to be faithful to their vocations.

They are called to live out that vocation in a “domestic church,” a community of life and love, each spouse helping the other to get to heaven, and both striving to lead their children to eternal beatitude.

On this Solemnity of the Annunciation, celebrated this year on Monday, March 26, it is worth recalling that it was through a family — the Holy Family — that Christ entered the world. God is still using families to sanctify that world.