Families are the foundation of society and we are at the core of the Knights of Columbus. With this in mind, councils regularly sponsor activities, faith initiatives and social events. In addition, the Knights of Columbus regularly recognizes the importance of family and outstanding families. In addition, since its beginnings, the Order has always stood ready to help protect the widows and orphans of it members.
Throughout the year, councils should work to strengthen families by encouraging wholesome home life. Urge families to make time to enjoy each other's company, talk and be active together. Encourage members and their families to choose the Holy Family as their model of independence, sharing and respect each other.
Councils regularly sponsor groups of new parents, scholarships, fund raisers for families in need, pro-life activities and family recognition programs. The Food for Families program can bring joy to a family in these difficult economic times when there is no food to put on the table.
Knights of Columbus Family Week is a special opportunity for Councils to celebrate and emphasize the importance of family through programs that support the Church and the parish, and unite Knights and Squires with their family and the community at large. These programs should be fun and enjoyable for all.
I have also suggested to all councils to submit every month, a Family of the Month. I'm sure that many of the families in your councils are deserving of this recognition. If choosing a family is difficult then have a monthly draw and have some enjoyment in choosing a family. There should be incentives offered to councils participating in the Family of the Month program. Something to think about!
The special Synod of Bishops on Family last October released a final document clearly grounded in traditional Catholic Family teaching.
The Synod of Bishops on the Family approved and released a message expressing solidarity with Christian families around the world. It focused on the challenges and virtues of traditional families. It stated," Christ wanted his Church to be a house with doors always open to welcome everyone."
Pope Francis described the two week summit as a "journey together" and like any human journey, one that feathered moments of "desolation, tension and temptations. A follow-up Synod will be held 12 months from now and both sides are expected to either reinforce existing policy or try to nudge bishops toward a more open approach.
Synod fathers wanted the final document to give more attention to families. The Synod's final report will serve as an agenda for the October 2015 world synod on the Family.
A new questionnaire, which will be used at the October 2015 Ordinary Synod of Bishops, was sent to all dioceses in the world on the theme “The vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and Contemporary World”. All of the Catholic faithful are invited to respond to the questionnaire. The responses will help inform Pope Francis and the Bishops of the Synod about the challenges faced by today’s families and enable them to discuss and develop appropriate pastoral solutions.
Let's pray that the Synod will address today's challenges which affect our families and help make our world a better place for today's and tomorrow's families.
Claude Comeault, State Family Director