Ordo Franciscanus Saecularis
"In their family they should cultivate the Franciscan spirit of peace, fidelity, and respect for life, striving to make of it a sign of a world already renewed in Christ. By living the grace of matrimony, husbands and wives in particular should bear witness in the world to the love of Christ for his Church.
They should joyfully accompany their children on their human and spiritual journey by providing a simple and open Christian education and being attentive to the vocation of each child" (Rule OFS Article 17).
Dear brothers and sisters:
Peace and good.
“When we are attentive to our families and their needs, when we understand their difficulties and hopes, we strengthen the Church’s witness and proclamation of the Gospel. Particularly by supporting marital love and fidelity, we help the faithful to live their vocation freely and joyfully, and we open new generations to the life of Christ and his Church. (Address of Pope Francis to Bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Sri Lanka on their “Ad limina Visit, May 23, 2014).
During the Presidency meeting of March 2015, it was agreed that to fulfill one of the decisions of the General Chapter of November 2014, and to be in communion with the Church at this time, a commission for the "Family" be formed.
The family is experiencing a profound cultural crisis, as are all communities and social bonds. In the case of the family, the weakening of these bonds is particularly serious because the family is the fundamental cell of society, where we learn to live with others despite our differences and to belong to one another; it is also the place where parents pass on the faith to their children. (Apostolic Exhortation EVANGELII GAUDIUM 66)
The family in this modern world has been beset by the many profound and rapid changes that have affected society and culture and today marriage and the family are in crisis. St John Paul II reminded us that “the future of humanity passes through the family”, the "family is the vital cell for society". There is an urgent need that marriage and the family be preserved, knowing that marriage and the family constitute one of the most precious of human values and it is through the family that love and values permeate society.
Following the Extraordinary Synod Assembly of 2014, there will be the ordinary Assembly in October 2015, which will have the FAMILY as its theme. There will also be the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in September 2015.
The Family Commission will endeavor to send and upload on the website, formation material related to the family, which will be in line with this next Synod convoked by the Church.
We have included the link of the Pontifical Council for the Family, which has a newsletter available in 4 languages, from where great material may be extracted: http://www.familiam.org/pcpf/s2magazine/index1.jsp?idPagina=10484
The family was a significant issue during the General Chapter, where the capitulars brothers and sisters agreed: To encourage OFS Fraternities to organize family gatherings and in general “share the important moments of the family life” (Const. 24) giving opportunities to also share with YouFra and their families. (Conclusions of the General Chapter 2014).
We encourage OFS Fraternities with Youfra to organize a family gathering on or around the 28th April, when we celebrate the memorial of “Blessed Luchesio and Buonadonna", and we hope that you can share a day full of joy, of hope, of fraternal life together with your families; and then share with us your experiences of this meeting, through news, photographs, etc.
We have attached an article on "Blessed Luchesio and Buonadonna", with a prayer for the forthcoming Synod.
A fraternal embrace, and that Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus accompany you as a family with love and affection.
FAMILY – CIOFS PRESIDENCY COMMISSION
Silvia Diana, Jenny Harrington, Fr Francis Dor OFM Cap.
April 15, 2015