The Domestic Church The home is the place where we learn to love. It is in our homes that our children are first introduced to love; in our homes where husbands and wives most profoundly model sacramental love; in our homes where we learn and practice forgiveness, compassion, encouragement, humility, trust. We cannot know God without knowing what it is to be loved. Your family home is the school of love where your children learn how to give love and how to receive it. It is where they learn that they are both capable of love and worthy of it. Far from being separate from the Church and irrelevant to its mission, the family is the foundation of the Church. The strength of the Church, in fact, rises and falls on the strength of the families within it. “The Christian home is the place where children receive the first proclamation of the faith. For this reason the family home is rightly called “the domestic church,” a community of grace and prayer, a school of human virtues and of Christian charity.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1666) The Home is… the Sanctuary of the Family the Fertile Soil of the Faith the Birthplace of Vocations the Well-spring of Hospitality the Domestic Church! Bl. Pope John Paul II had a great love for families and spent his pontificate working to promote and strengthen families. He understood that strong families were the key weapon for fighting the Culture of Death so he dedicated an entire Apostolic Exhortation to the family as the ‘Domestic Church’ known as Familiaris Consortio. He also canonised the first married couple in the record number of canonisiations that occurred in his pontificate and gave us Theology of the Body- a radical and profound insight in to sexuality that is dramatically transforming our understanding of marriage and family. Connect with JPII’s message: The whole document of Familiaris Consortio is available on the Vatican Website here. For a good summary and commentary on Familiars Consortio, check out CrisisMagazine.com. For Theology of the Body resources, featuring authors such as Christopher West and Gregory Popcak, check out the MRC Shop. Get in touch with the spiritual mission of your family with this simple CathFamily Home Blessing available here.