Families, Christ calls us to sow joy and hope! – Workshop Guide

Friday, 05 September 2014
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We can only give love to the degree that we have received love!

The family is the privileged place where we should first encounter the face of love. It is where we learn to relate lovingly with those with whom we live and to see beyond human limitations to the dignity which is ours as children of God and brothers and sisters of Jesus! Today, more than ever, Christain families are being called to allow the love that they share to overflow, to become contagious with hope and joy!

This workshop can be hosted as a parishbased event or in “domestic churches” (our own homes!), with couples and families acting as hosts for themselves or with groups of friends.



  1. Opeing greeting from moderator:

    The moderator extends a few words of welcome to those gathered, summarizing the objectives of the workshop.

  2. Communal Prayer (all together):

    Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we thank you for the gift of family! Bless our families and make them sanctuaries of love. Grant us your grace, so that we can become channels of lifegiving joy and hope in a world that thirsts for you. Amen

  3. Reading from the Word of God: 

    Matthew 25: 31‐46

  4. Small groups discussion:

    The moderator breaks the gathering into small groups — ideally including no more than six individuals. Each group is invited to consider Pope Francis’ “tweets” — found on the last page of the brochure. A photocopy of the last page of the brochure is provided to each participant. Each group nominates a spokesperson/secretary who will report on the group’s reflections (45 minutes).

  5. Sharing with large group: 

    A spokesperson from each of the small groups is invited to report the insights of his or her group. Contributions to the larger group should be limited to one main insight per “tweet” (45 minutes).

  6. Closing thanks and optional prayer:

    The moderator thanks the participants for their presence and their insights and — optionally —closes by inviting all gathered to join in praying the Lord’s Prayer.

  7. Parish bulletin:

    A summary of the main insights emerging from the workshop can be published in the parish bulletin.

Suggested supplementary readings:

  • Declaration on Mission Activity of the Church (Ad Gentes) (paragraph 12).
  • Pope Francis, Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (see especially chapter 4).
  • Catechism of the Catholic Church (see especially paragraphs 1655 ‐ 1658 and 2443 – 2449.
  • Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church (see especially paragraphs 3, 28‐29, 60, 105, 182‐184, 449).
  • Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes (paragraph 1).

For personal prayer and meditation:

  • 1 Corinthians 13:3
  • Matthew 11:5
  • 2 Corinthians 9:9
  • Matthew 19:21
  • John 15: 10‐17
  • Philippians 4: 4-7
  • Proverbs 19:17
  • Romans 15:13
  • Luke 10: 30-37
  • Luke 14:13


With a view to making this workshop as fruitful as possible, copies of the brochure should be made available one or two weeks in advance of the event (possibly following Sunday masses). If the brochure is not distributed in advance, copies should be made available to participants following the completion of the workshop. To order, contact the Catholic Organization for Life and Family: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (613) 2419461, extension 161; suggested donation: 40 cents per copy.