22 August 2018
World Meeting of Families

Msgr. Leahy (Limerick), “An important role in the mission of evangelization.” “No to discouragement”

For Msgr. Brendan Leahy, Bishop of Limerick, who spoke at the Dublin World Meeting of Families, “the theme of the transmission of faith is linked to the much broader theme of the Church itself as a family that transmits its life from generation to generation.” The prelate, moderator of a panel on the challenges that families face in handing the faith on to their children in the home today, in the context of the Pastoral Congress, recalled the commitment of the primitive Church to transmitting the faith and noted that, for St. Augustine, it meant “giving birth to Jesus in others. This,” he warns, “is something that we live together: seeing and loving Jesus in each other, including in our family. The family, therefore, plays an important role in the Church’s evangelizing mission.”

A home, according to the prelate, is not simply a house but “the first school of our socialization, the place of relationships” that “dynamically transmits the faith.” “We can hear,” he acknowledges, “if we have not succeeded in transmitting the faith in our home. Yet, despite the limitations, the example of the parents remains. No family comes down from heaven perfectly. Every family is on a journey of disinterested love, which includes heroic forgiveness.” “By word and example, all the family members—parents, children, and grandparents—have a role to play.” And if the transmission of faith is made difficult “by today’s lifestyles, working hours and the world’s complexity,” he cautions, “we must be discouraged.”