Bishop Conlon Talks about the Importance of Families Forming Missionary Disciples, Part 1

  
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Bishop Emeritus R. Daniel Conlon, from the Diocese of Joliet, recently shared his thoughts on the importance of families forming missionary disciples.

In part 1, he eloquently shares his thoughts why it make sense that families lead the way in forming disciples in the short audio above. Click on the audio above to hear it and stay tuned as part 2 will be arriving next week.

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“From the beginning of history, God has been generous with his love towards his children (cf. LG, 2), so that they could attain fullness of life in Jesus Christ (cf. Jn 10:10). Through the Sacraments of Christian Initiation, God invites families to enter into this life, to proclaim it and to communicate it to others (cf. LG, 41). As Pope Francis forcefully reminds us, the mission of the family always extends outside itself in service to our brothers and sisters. Each family is asked to participate in the Church’s mission in a unique and privileged manner. ‘In virtue of their Baptism, all members of the People of God have become missionary disciples.’ ” (EG, 120). 

— The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and in the Contemporary World: The Final Report of the Synod of Bishops to Pope Francis

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“The family that prays together stays together.”

— Venerable Father Patrick Peyton

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“It is in the family that children, from the tenderest age, can learn to perceive the meaning of God, also thanks to the teaching and example of their parents: to live in an atmosphere marked by God’s presence.”

— Pope Benedict XVI

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“The family’s catechetical activity has a special character, which is in a sense irreplaceable. This special character has been rightly stressed by the Church, particularly by the Second Vatican Council (118). Education in the faith by parents, which should begin from the children’s tenderest age (119), is already being given when the members of a family help each other to grow in faith through the witness of their Christian lives, a witness that is often without words but which perseveres throughout a day-to-day life lived in accordance with the Gospel. This catechesis is more incisive when, in the course of family events (such as the reception of the sacraments, the celebration of great liturgical feasts, the birth of a child, a bereavement) care is taken to explain in the home the Christian or religious content of these events. But that is not enough: Christian parents must strive to follow and repeat, within the setting of family life, the more methodical teaching received elsewhere. The fact that these truths about the main questions of faith and Christian living are thus repeated within a family setting impregnated with love and respect will often make it possible to influence the children in a decisive way for life. The parents themselves profit from the effort that this demands of them, for in a catechetical dialogue of this sort each individual both receives and gives.

— Pope John Paul II’s 1979 Apostolic Exhortation, Catechesi Tradendae.