Earlier this year, the Pope inaugurated the Amoris Laetitia Family Year, which is due to culminate with the celebration of the World Meeting of Families in Rome in June 2022.
He invited the faithful to “live a year of rereading the document and reflecting on the theme” of the beauty and joy of conjugal and family love.
A number of events have been scheduled at the local, national and global level, including in Australia.
Later this week the Vatican will host an international webinar with the theme “Where do we stand with Amoris Laetitia? Strategies for the pastoral application of Pope Francis’ Exhortation.”
The Australian participants are:
• Perth couple Derek and Karen Boylen – Derek is a member of the Australian Catholic Council for Life, Marriage and Family, director of the Centre for Life, Marriage and Family in Perth and chair of Fertility Education Australia;
• Archbishop Peter A Comensoli – chair of the Bishops Commission for Life, Family and Public Engagement;
• Lara Kirk – manager of Marriage, Family and Relationships in the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn;
• Anna Krohn – chair of the Australian Catholic Council for Life, Marriage and Family; and
• Louise Zavone – executive secretary of the Bishops Commission for Life, Family and Public Engagement.
The webinar, which runs across four evenings Australian time, will feature presentations from officials within the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, as well as several couples from different parts of the world.
The program includes sessions on the marriage catechumenate, the spirituality of spouses, the missionary spirit of the family and the fragility of the family.
Archbishop Comensoli said for all COVID-19’s negative consequences, the move to online events has improved access to some Vatican gatherings.
“It’s unlikely we would have been able to have six people attend an event in Rome, but we will now increase our local involvement with the conference via webinar,” he said.
“The participation of our Australian delegation will bear fruit for the wider Church in this country.”
Mrs Kirk recently organised a Marriage and Family Summit for the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn. She encouraged dioceses, parishes and other Church ministries to be creative in engaging with the Amoris Laetitia Family Year.
“There is no shortage of ways that the Church can invite families of all types to come together to reflect upon, learn about and pray for their family and all families,” she said.
“We know when our families are strong, so is our Church, our community and our country. The Church has much to offer in strengthening and nurturing families.”