Pope Francis has written a letter to families asking them to pray for the upcoming Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which will be devoted to “pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelization.”
“In our day the Church is called to proclaim the Gospel by confronting the new and urgent pastoral needs facing the family,” the Pope said in his four-paragraph letter, which was dated February 2 and released on February 25.
“This Synodal Assembly is dedicated in a special way to you, to your vocation and mission in the Church and in society; to the challenges of marriage, of family life, of the education of children; and the role of the family in the life of the Church,” he continued. “I ask you, therefore, to pray intensely to the Holy Spirit, so that the Spirit may illumine the Synodal Fathers and guide them in their important task.”
“In your journey as a family, you share so many beautiful moments: meals, rest, housework, leisure, prayer, trips and pilgrimages, and times of mutual support,” Pope Francis added. “Nevertheless, if there is no love then there is no joy, and authentic love comes to us from Jesus.”
At a press conference presenting the document, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, noted that Christianity spread during the early centuries through families.
“The Pope calls on Christian families to feel the responsibility of their mission in our time, so confused and restless,” he said. “The Pope suggests that the beautiful testimony of believing families” can “deeply touch the hearts of many.”