In part 2, Bishop Emeritus R. Daniel Conlon, from the Diocese of Joliet, continues sharing his thoughts on the importance of families forming missionary disciples.
He feels that numerous opportunities exist for families/parents to form children as disciples. Ideally, they are most effective because they have such a huge influence on their children. He also talks about the need for many parishes to re-think how they use their resources, structures, budgets and staff to support parents and enable them to intentionally form disciples and missionary disciples.
Click on the audio above to listen.
“In the light of God’s word, I would like to ask you, dear families: Do you pray together from time to time as a family? Some of you do, I know. But so many people say to me: How can we? Prayer is something personal, and besides there is never a good time, a moment of peace… Yes, all that is true enough, but it is also a matter of humility, of realizing that we need God, like the tax collector! And we need simplicity! Praying the Our Father together, around the table, is something all of you can do. And praying the Rosary together, as a family, is very beautiful and a source of great strength! And praying for one another!”
— Pope Francis
“Paul compares his life to a fight and to a race. He kept the faith because he didn’t just defend it, but proclaimed it, spread it, brought it to distant lands. … Saint Paul kept the faith because, in the same way that he received it, he gave it away, he went out to the fringes, and didn’t dig himself into defensive positions.
“Here too, we can ask: How do we keep our faith? Do we keep it for ourselves, in our families, as a personal treasure, or are we able to share it by our witness, by our acceptance of others, by our openness? We all know that families, especially young families, are often ‘racing’ from one place to another, with lots to do. But did you ever think that this ‘racing’ could also be the race of faith? Christian families are missionary families, in their everyday life, in their doing everyday things, as they bring to everything the salt and the leaven of faith!”
— Pope Francis
“Dear families, you know very well that the true joy which we experience in the family is not superficial; it does not come from material objects, from the fact that everything seems to be going well… True joy comes from a profound harmony between persons, something which we all feel in our hearts and which makes us experience the beauty of togetherness, of mutual support along life’s journey. But the basis of this feeling of deep joy is the presence of God in the family and his love, which is welcoming, merciful, and respectful towards all. God alone knows how to create harmony from differences. But if God’s love is lacking, the family loses its harmony, self-centeredness prevails and joy fades. But the family which experiences the joy of faith communicates it naturally. That family is the salt of the earth and the light of the world, it is the leaven of society.”
— Pope Francis