What a wonderful time to be Catholic in the US! As I write this column, our Holy Father, Pope Francis is getting ready to come to our country. I wish he would come to Chicago just as Pope John Paul II (now a saint) did in 1979. I can only imagine the excitement that filled the air during that visit. I am hoping and praying that everything on this trip will go just right and produce the desired results. Please join me in praying for our Holy Father that he will be safe and that his visit will re-charge Catholics all over our great land.
The principal reason the Pope is coming to America is to participate in the conclusion of the World Meeting of Families that is taking place in Philadelphia. Saint John Paul II, known as the Pope of the Family, began the World Meeting of Families in 1994 in Rome to celebrate the critical role of the family in society and to give families opportunities to discuss the challenges and blessings of family life. The document of the Vatican Council on the Church calls the family “the domestic Church” where the faith of children is nourished. As the baptismal rite states, the parents are the first and the best teachers of the faith.
All of us can emphatically declare that many social problems in our society can be traced back to the breakdown of the family. When the comfort of a secure home is taken away from children, they grow up fearful and uncertain. In spite of the Church’s teachings on marriage and family life, Catholics are facing the same problems that couples and families are dealing with in the larger society. Mother Church cannot pretend that these problems do not exist. Hopefully this meeting in Philadelphia and more importantly, the Synod in Rome will help those Catholics who are hurting because of divorce.
All of us belong to families of one type or another. How do we keep ourselves healthy and strong? How do we build good, faith-filled families? When I write my columns, I draw my inspiration from several sources. This week I am drawing from the homily that our Deacon Bob delivered during our Sunday Masses. Based on the Pope’s talks and writings, he offered four suggestions to build our families on the Rock that is Christ.
May the Holy Family watch over all our families! May we build our families on the Rock, on the teachings and example of Jesus Christ!
Born in India to deeply-committed Catholic parents, Fr Britto is one of seven children. He joined the Salesians of Don Bosco as a young man and was ordained a priest in 1981.
After he completed his priestly formation and his early education in India, he came to the US for his graduate degree in Journalism at...Read more...