Role of the Christian Family

“The future of the world and of the Church, therefore, passes through the family…As the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the whole world in which we live.”

Pope Saint John Paul II, Homily in Perth, November 1986

Understanding God’s Plan for the Family

In her love for the whole family of humanity, the Catholic Church seeks to support and encourage every family to fulfil its mission as a community of life and love, a cradle and sanctuary of life.

The mission of the family is to guard, reveal and communicate love (Gaudium et Spes, #48).
It is in and through the family that each of us learns to love and be loved. In fact, “the family is the centre and the heart of the civilization of love.” This is how we are enabled to know ourselves, and by degrees, to give the gift of ourselves in love.

“Without love the family cannot live, grow and perfect itself… without love man remains incomprehensible to himself, his life is senseless if love is not revealed in him” (Familiaris Consortio, #18).

To the extent that the family is broken down by internal strife and external pressures, each member’s opportunity to reach wholeness and maturity is limited. Whatever undermines the family, also destabilizes society. Healthy families are therefore essential to the vitality of the Church and the good of society.

The Family is the “Domestic Church”

“The… home is the Church in miniature. The Church is the sacrament of God’s love. She is a communion of faith and life. She is a mother and teacher. She is at the service of the whole human family as it goes forward towards its ultimate destiny.

In the same way the family is a community of life and love. It educates and leads its members to their full human maturity and it serves the good of all along the road of life. The family is the “first and vital cell of society”. In its own way it is a living image… of the mystery of the Church. The future of the world and of the Church, therefore, passes through the family… As the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the whole world in which we live.” (Pope Saint John Paul II, Homily in Perth, November 1986)

The Family is the Bearer of Hope

A family which serves the Lord is a reservoir of hope in a world scarred by conflict and confusion. Christian families are called to urgently proclaim and defend the value of life and family, thereby helping to build a new culture of life. Families – your family – are the true shapers of the future.

“You have been trusted to look after something precious.
Guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit.”
2 Tim 1:13