“May we all then, pray together… to help families face their present challenges with the light and strength that comes from the Gospel.”
– Pope Francis
Happy New Year! May 2015 bring us good health, appreciation for the many gifts we receive each day, and a deeper love for family and faith. During the joyous season of Christmas our Church celebrates many meaningful holy days: the Presentation, the Epiphany, the Baptism of the Lord, the Feast of Mary, the Mother of God and the Feast of the Holy Family. What a rich liturgical season is this holy time of Christ’s birth which we celebrate until February 2nd, the Presentation of the Lord. Believe it or not! All these festive days center upon the family and the joys and trials of parenthood.
In this new year of 2015 the Feast of the Holy Family has extra meaning as our dear Pope Francis will visit Philadelphia and New York in September 2015 for the World Meeting of Families. Saint John Paul II inspired the World Meeting of Families in 1994 to explore the critical role the family plays in society and to give families the opportunity to explore the challenges and blessings of family life. Pope Francis, in his letter to families, says, “In your journey as a family, you share so many beautiful moments: meals, rest, housework, leisure, prayer, trips and pilgrimages, and times of mutual support… Nevertheless, if there is no love then there is no joy, and authentic love comes to us from Jesus. He offers us his word, which illumines our path: he gives us the Bread of life which sustains us on our journey.”
A magnificent icon, showing the extended Holy Family, has been created for the celebration of the World Meeting of Families. The parents of Mary, St. Ann and Joachim are included in the icon. How heartening to see the importance of the extended family portrayed. In the many years I have had the privilege to teach I have found that children deeply involved with their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins to be compassionate, respectful, generous and loving. Grandparents, particularly, bring a depth of knowledge, love and patience to children. It is our sincere desire to be part of your extended family as we partner in forming your precious children’s character, faith life and academic knowledge. Let us sustain one another on our journey as a family, giving our children an example of the authentic love and joy in life that only comes from Jesus. May the blessing of the Holy Family be upon you today and all through the year!
Much love and gratitude,
Ms. Deborah Savage