22 August 2018
World Meeting of Families
The Family Directory of the Diocese of Toledo: Attention that goes from engaged couples to families in crisis
The “Service Directory of Family Pastoral Care” is a sort of “handbook” prepared by the Diocese of Toledo for “accompanying people individually as they strive to fully live their vocation to love.” The work includes a series of projects, ranging from the preparation of young engaged couples to accompanying families who are living the reality of crisis and separation. The volume was presented, during the second session of the Pastoral Congress at the Dublin World Meeting of Families (21-26 August), by the Santa Teresa Group, which was created to accompany separated and divorced women. “Following the indications of Pope Francis, who invites us to be an outgoing Church,” explain the group’s representatives, “we must not forget the importance of pastoral creativity as a means for expressing the joy of the Gospel.” For example, the Directory of Toledo invokes the Holy Family of Nazareth “to help each family live what God has dreamed for it.” “Families of Emmaus” is a project created for families who want to share their faith. Inspired by an idea of the diocesan Caritas and the “Family and Life” delegation, it proposes two monthly meetings (one formative and one recreational), in the structures of the diocesan Caritas. This group of families, accompanied by personnel working in Caritas and by priests, conducts moments of prayer, formation for family life, and various initiatives, that consolidate the relationships in the family, between spouses and children (contact: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org).
The project “Family Rock” is dedicated to young couples in their first five years of marriage. It was created to accompany young families through their first years of existence, with the help of a blog where they can find food for thought as well as initiatives for leisure. All the families that join the project also gather at an annual meeting open to all. It is essentially a “virtual” project, that can, then, serve to create groups of young families in the parishes where they can meet to reflect on the contents offered by “Family Rock”. (contact: http://familyrock.jimdo.com/; email@example.com; Twitter: @FamilyRock_925). Then, there is the “Santa Teresa Group,” which is dedicated to pastoral care for women who are separated or divorced. The project’s aim is to let these women, who are going through a difficult period of their lives, experience the Church’s motherhood and help them understand that their pain can also be a place to encounter the Lord. The group organizes monthly meetings, usually in the parish of St. John of the Cross, in Toledo. The meetings start with a moment of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, a short meditation and silent prayer, followed by Vespers, and then a moment of dialogue on themes of common interest. (contact: firstname.lastname@example.org). Finally, there is the project “Family Night”, launched as an initiative of the new evangelization. Its volunteers announce the Kerygma in the streets and invite families for a moment of prayer in church. (contact: email@example.com).