Small gestures, a great goal

A Year of Practical Initiatives in the Parish to Prepare for the Meeting in Dublin

A volume of practical initiatives for the World Meeting of Families, containing mainly suggestions and proposals to be used in the parishes, will be presented on 21 August at Our Lady of Knock, together with two other texts structured specifically for parishes, in view of the year-long journey of preparation, shared by all the communities around the world, for the international event.

The Exhortation Amoris Laetitia is the guide of this collection of simple and engaging propositions and small initiatives that can enrich the key moments of parish life in the course of the year. A few examples? Commemorative cards for baptized children and newly married couples, or the Cube of love for children who have received Communion. Online materials for the project “100,000 gestures of kindness for Pope Francis”—a database of positive acts to put into practice and an online chart that is updated in real time as progress is made—are available for adolescents who will receive Confirmation.

In addition, the Romero Prize is proposed by Trócaire to serve as a preparatory path for the Meeting and an exercise of solidarity with brothers and sisters suffering injustice and inequality. For October, the missionary month, the faithful are invited to participate in the World Missions Ireland Walk or to promote a similar initiative at the local level. At the same time, the Initiative “Family Album,” with contributions from the Society of Missionary Children, will be launched.

This is a photo exhibition that will begin in the parish and then continue online with digital copies. The initiative proposed for November, in memory of deceased loved ones, is the creation of a sacred space dedicated to remembrance at home. Then, in December, on Christmas, the Meeting’s icon of the Holy Family will be widely distributed so that every family can gather around it and pray. January will be a moment to make good resolutions and projects for the family in the New Year, and in March, on St. Patrick’s Day, stickers with the three-leaf clover, the symbol of the Trinity, will be distributed.

On Easter, as is the custom, the houses will be blessed, and in May, the month devoted to the Virgin Mary, there will be small altars for prayer and the recitation of the Rosary in homes and schools. Pentecost will be a good occasion to review the development of the inclusive attitude towards families who live in the most diverse situations, so that our parishes may become increasingly “family friendly.” Each initiative is accompanied by a description of the easy steps for doing the activity in the parish.

20 August 2017