Celebrate Life! Celebrate Family!

Friday, 23 August 2013
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Message on the occasion of the first
National Week for Life and the Family

The Catholic Organization for Life and Family will soon join with Catholics from across the country in celebrating Canada's first National Week for Life and the Family – which will be observed this year between the solemnities of Ascension and Pentecost, from May 12th to 19th. With all the faithful in Canada, we thank our Bishops for setting this week aside as a time of special reflection and celebration around the theme of "The Family: Facing Life's Challenges Together With Christ". During this Week, we are invited to think more deeply about the supreme value of human life and all that the family does and can do to uphold and communicate that value. What a great opportunity to celebrate the joys of family life and to acknowledge everything that is being done (and needs to be done) to support the family!

It is in the family that we first encounter love — the love of mother and of father which is called to be an icon or image of God's tender love. The love that we give – to our family, to our friends, and to the world – is, in large measure, a reflection of the human and divine love that we have received in the home and in the Church—through the Word of God, the sacraments, prayer, and through the relationships we build in our parish communities.

It cannot be said too often that our children are our future. If we are ever to succeed in creating a culture of life — a culture where every person is loved and welcomed — we must work together to support and promote the holy sacrament of marriage and the family, providing children with opportunities for an authentic encounter with Jesus Christ who is love incarnate.

Now more than ever, we need to be encouraged and sustained as we strive to live out our baptismal call to holiness in the context of family life. We all know that no family is perfect, and that for too many, family life has entailed great suffering. Our families, imperfect as they are, are nevertheless the key to the New Evangelization, the leaven of transformation for a world desperately in need of the Good News. It is for this reason that the theme for this year's "Week" in Québec is: "Parents at the heart of the Church today ... and tomorrow! "

Moved by the Holy Spirit, who descended upon the Church at Pentecost and whose gifts we received in Baptism and Confirmation, we can come to understand and experience our sorrows and challenges in the light of Christ's saving passion, death and resurrection. In so doing, we can extend that light and the hope that accompanies it to everyone we encounter. Jesus assures us, "I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5). Together with Jesus we can face every challenge, confident that "all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28).

As families, let us make this first National Week for Life and the Family the beginning of a renewed effort to turn to the Lord in prayer, knowing that with Him all things are possible!

May 12th - May 19th: Celebrate life! Celebrate family!
COLF is co-sponsored by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and the
Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus

For more information:
Michèle Boulva
(613) 241-9461, ext.141 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.