Today Bishop Tom issued a pastoral letter to whole diocese. At the same time the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales launched a document called ‘The Call, The Journey and The Mission’. The latter was printed and made available, after Mass, for every household.
The theme of these documents is to respond to an invitation from Pope Francis to reflect upon our experiences of marriage and family life. All of us were born into a family; all of us have a mother and father. Therefore, whether we are married or single, have children or not, we all have some experience of family life. Some of these experiences are positive, some are not.
In reflecting upon our experiences of, we have been asked to answer six questions. There is no need to answer them all at once. In fact, we are being asked to take time to think about our reply to each question. As such, there will only be one question given every two weeks. Responses to each question may then be placed in a box provided at the back of the Church. The responses will then be collected by the diocese, before being sent to the Bishops’ Office in London where Vincent Cardinal Nicholls will take the replies to Rome. Alternatively, responses may be made on-line by filling in the form here.
The questions are:
Question 1: For Sunday 01 February 2015. What are your joys and hopes of marriage and family life today?
Question 2: For Sunday 15 February 2015. What are your struggles and fears of marriage and family life today?
Question 3: For Sunday 01 March 2015. How can we better understand marriage as a vocation?
Question 4: For Sunday 15 March 2015. How does marriage enrich you?
Question 5: For Sunday 29 March 2015. How does your family life enrich you?
Question 6: For Sunday 05 April 2015. In what way, through the abiding presence of God, is your family “Salt of the earth and light to the world,” and a place of and for handing on the faith?