#WMOF22: Marriage is a vocation to be thoroughly prepared for

On the third day, Gabriella Gambino and Giovanni Nuzzi gave a lecture on Catechumenal Itineraries for married life
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The second day of the Theological Pastoral Congress was dedicated to the in-depth study of the matrimonial vocation. After the morning Mass presided over by Card. De Donatis, Vicar of His Holiness for the Diocese of Rome, the main conference was focused on the identity and mission of the Christian family. In the two panels that followed, crucial aspects of family pastoral care were addressed, particularly related to the digital world and existential peripheries (migrations, addictions and violence in the family).

The afternoon was opened by the speech of Gabriella Gambino, undersecretary of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, who, together with her husband Giovanni Nuzzi, presented the document on Catechumenal Itineraries for married life, published last week by the Dicastery. 

The main question of their presentation was: "What is the greatest concern for us as parents when we think about the future of our children?" Themselves the two speakers gave the answer: "That they find a way. And particularly for us Christian parents? That they find their calling."

It was precisely this preoccupation that guided the Dicastery in writing the document, which provides an initial answer to the solicitation, reiterated on numerous occasions by the Holy Father: that marriage preparation itineraries should be redesigned in a catechumenal key.

The itineraries, available for now only in Italian and Spanish, present an elaborated program that begins with a remote phase of preparation for marriage that must start from the children's catechesis, followed by a next phase of preparation lasting about a year and an immediate one preceding the wedding day. 

"The document", Gambino and Nuzzi explained, "aims to renew the preparation for marriage for the next generations and to accompany our children in their vocation. It is not a packaged course, but a tool for pastoral reflection which, starting from some general principles, aims to be an aid to the particular Churches, so that they may prepare their paths, in line with the Holy Father's suggestions, according to the possibilities and pastoral requirements of every community, with freedom and pastoral intelligence".

"The very essence of the catechumenate", the speakers continued, "is a welcoming path, provided by a community, which knows how to accompany you, cherish you, and encourage you. Because marriage is truly a vocation".

The itineraries propose a journey that is not completed on the day of the wedding, which is "not a point of arrival, but the beginning of a spousal life, in which husband and wife will gain a renewed Christian identity, as is the case for priests and religious. And during this life they will need to be accompanied".

Gambino and Nuzzi concluded their emotional and inspiring presentation without hiding the challenges that this new initiative brings with it: "The process that the Holy Father is proposing to us will be complex: many will be perplexed about the feasibility of this proposal, inertia will afflict the path, we ourselves may be discouraged by obstacles and fears. But we must have the courage to do our best to accompany young people towards the beautiful and abundant grace of marriage and family life. It is a wonderful mission; our children's lives are at stake!"

During the following panel, dedicated to the formation of accompanying agents, there was presented the Goodlove platform that provides to the parents the best affective-sexual education programs inspired by Christian anthropology. The Goodlove platform, accessible at www.goodlove.org, is also intended to be a resource for all those who are called upon to collaborate with parents in carrying out their educational mission within the family.

The day ended, in a very original way, with the panel on "Family communion, a style of ecclesial communion", which was held in fifteen parishes on the peripheries of Rome.

24 June 2022
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