Rome (Italy). On 19 March 2021, the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, protector and guardian of the Holy Family of Nazareth, the Year “Amoris Laetitia Family” begins, a year of reflection and study on the contents of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia on the beauty and joy of family love, on the 5th anniversary of its publication.
The year “Amoris Laetitia Family”, which will end on 26 June 2022 with the X World Meeting of Families in Rome on the theme “Family love: vocation and the way to holiness”, was announced by Pope Francis on 27 December 2020 , Feast of the Holy Family: “ In imitation of the Holy Family, we are called to rediscover the educational value of the family unit: it requires being founded on the love that always regenerates relationships, opening up horizons of hope.” (Angelus 27 December 2020)
His Eminence, Cardinal Kevin Farrell, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family, and Life, underlines how “families are full of potential and gifts for the whole of society and for the Church and therefore must be recognized and actively involved as protagonists of the ordinary pastoral care of parishes and dioceses. And it is very edifying to see how they do not give up and face the difficulties of life with profound joy, that joy that is at the ‘heart’ of the nuptial sacrament and that nourishes the whole existence of the spouses and of the people who live with them. Their very life is a message of hope for the whole world and especially for young people.”
The Dicastery for the Laity, Family, and Life promotes spiritual, pastoral, and cultural initiatives to be implemented in parishes, dioceses, universities, in the context of ecclesial movements and family associations, to deepen the contents of the Apostolic Exhortation and offer tools for formation and pastoral action, rediscovering the central role of the family as a domestic Church: “The experience of the pandemic has highlighted the central role of the family as a domestic Church and the importance of community ties between families, which make the Church a “family of families” (AL 87).
Some of the initiatives that will be proposed throughout the year are presented on the website of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family, and Life:
- Project “10 Video Amoris Laetitia”: every month a video will be released in which Pope Francis will recount the chapters of the Apostolic Exhortation, together with families who will witness some aspects of their daily life, to awaken pastoral interest in dioceses and parishes the family.
- Forum “At what point are we with Amoris Laetitia?”, Strategies for the application of the Apostolic Exhortation from 9 to 12 June 2021, with the heads of the offices for family pastoral care of the episcopal conferences, movements, and international family associations.
- #IamChurch: dissemination of some video testimonials on ecclesial leadership and the faith of people with disabilities.
- “Walking with Families”: 12 concrete pastoral proposals for walking with families inspired by Amoris Laetitia.
The first event “Our daily love”, organized by the Dicastery for the Laity, Family, and Life, the Diocese of Rome, and the Pontifical John Paul II Theological Institute, takes place on March 19, 2021. The event consists of two online meetings open to all at 15:00 (On the fifth anniversary of Amoris Laetitia) and at 16:30 (Theological deepening), broadcast live on the YouTube Channel of John Paul II Institute. The purpose of the event is “to offer a contribution capable of uniting pastoral care and theology in view of the World Meeting of Families scheduled in Rome in 2022”.
The Year “Amoris Laetitia Family”, as Pope Francis exhorted in the Angelus of March 13, 2021, may be an “opportunity for a renewed and creative pastoral impetus to put the family at the center of attention of the Church and of society.”