Pope Francis recently called for an Extraordinary Synod in October 2014 (which is lightning speed in Vatican terms) to discuss the pastoral care of the Family. The Spirit is moving and is calling many within the Church, even at the highest levels to address the needs of the family. As Blessed John Paul II stated, the future of the world passes through the family. If the family is not healthy, the world will not be healthy.
We see that the world’s approach to the family has crept into the Church. The world seeks to keep every member of the family busy and apart from each other. Even good things like sports, youth groups, academic clubs, etc can be a detriment to family life. We need to implement priorities in our family life to value the interactions between siblings and between children and their parents, family prayer, family meals and family play should not take a back seat to activities outside the home. Right now the priority in many families is to give the highest priority to activities outside the home and family time is only something that happens if there is time. We must reverse this trend. I am excited and eagerly await the Synod to see how the Spirit will guide the Church to assist families in reversing this disturbing trend.