09 December 2020
Family

Sacrament in mission

The address of Undersecretary Gambino to the national meeting of family pastoral workers of Mexico
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“The events surrounding the pandemic have asked us to come to a stop, but we can confidently read this standstill as an opportunity to [...] understand how to be a Church that seeks to walk with families—instead of continuing to look in from the outside like a spectator.”

“It is the time to listen, to understand with the real needs are; i.e., taking families’ reality as our starting point, rather than abstract principles. We must have Christ as our bread, the true food with which families are fed. And we must learn to regard families as witnesses in their natural beauty, in that they are icons of God’s love.”

These are the words that the Undersecretary of our Dicastery, Gabriella Gambino, spoke a few days ago during a video conference for the national meeting of family pastoral workers sponsored by the Mexican Episcopal Conference.

She then underscored the importance of “activating a synergy of gifts, projects, and vocations involving families—families who can make themselves a gift for each other, helping each other. Such families are close to other families, sharing challenges, problems, opportunities, and joys.” But she acknowledged that “we also need bishops and priests who have the desire and the courage to be ‘nourished’ by families; and who know how to listen, ask questions, and spend themselves in human relationships and friendship, just as Jesus did.” The family, she concluded, must be made an active and responsible subject of pastoral care in an organic and systematic way, to become a “sacrament in mission.”