family life

Cdl. Wuerl’s plan strengthens outreach to married couples

WASHINGTON — Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl has called on all parishes and individual Catholics in the Washington Archdiocese to help expand and strengthen the Catholic Church's marriage and family outreach, guided by Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation "Amoris Laetitia" ("The Joy of Love.")

He was joined at a Mass March 4 at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle by families from throughout the archdiocese for the release of his broad and detailed pastoral plan for implementing "Amoris Laetitia" at the parish level.

Pope names Dallas bishop head of new office for laity, family, life

Bishop Kevin J. Farrell of the Diocese of Dallas spoke at an interfaith prayer vigil at Thanksgiving Square in Dallas July 8. Bishop Farrell was appointed to direct the Vatican's new office for laity, family and life.

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis has named Bishop Kevin J. Farrell of Dallas to head the Vatican's new office for laity, family and life.

The Dublin-born bishop will celebrate his 69th birthday Sept. 2, the day after the new Vatican office officially begins its work.

POPE'S MESSAGE | A family that doesn't eat together is 'hardly a family'

Pope Francis greeted a baby as he arrived to lead his general audience Nov. 11 in St. Peter’s Square. Continuing his catechetical series on family life, the pope reflected on the theme of togetherness, which is manifested at the dinner table.

VATICAN CITY -- A family that chooses to watch TV or play with their smartphones rather than talk at the dinner table is "hardly a family," Pope Francis said.

"When children at the dinner table are glued to the computer, or the telephone and do not listen to one another, they are not a family, they are retired," the pope said Nov. 11 at his weekly general audience.

BEFORE THE CROSS | Synod tries to better explain, not change, Church teaching

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson spoke to Brother Aidan McDermott and Brother Cuthbert Elliott at the Mass in which the two Benedictines were ordained as transitional deacons. The men will continue their studies toward the priesthood at the Abbey of St. Mary and St. Louis.

In this final article on the family, I want to reflect on the extraordinary Synod of Bishops that the Holy Father has called for the coming fall. The theme of the synod is "the pastoral challenges for the family in the context of evangelization."

Let's begin by recalling a conversation Jesus had with his disciples. One day He asked them, "Who do people say that I am?" They reported the things they had heard: that He was John the Baptist, or Elijah or one of the prophets.

BEFORE THE CROSS | Approaching end-of-life care as people of faith

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson celebrated an exposition and benediction as part of a novena Aug. 5 at the Monastery of St. Clare in south St. Louis County.

As we continue this series on the family, I'd like to reflect about one aspect of our care for family members at the end of life.

In a brilliant and challenging article many years ago, Lutheran theologian Gilbert Meilaender wrote,"I want to burden my loved ones."

His analysis started with the response people often give when they hear a story of someone near the end of life who is sustained by feeding tubes or, more drastically, a ventilator: "I wouldn't want to live like that. I don't want to burden my loved ones."

BEFORE THE CROSS | Our first reaction should be to act with love


As I continue this series on the family, I'd like to reflect on the reality of broken families.

The ideal situation for a family, both morally and statistically, is a "two-parent, intact household" -- children living with their mother and father.

But we know well that, for a variety of reasons, the ideal situation isn't always what happens. There's death. There's divorce. There's having children outside of marriage. There are many factors in our fallen world that complicate things. How do we approach a broken world as people of faith?

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