More on goal number three here, but today, we’ll take a brief look at the objective “to foster the importance of the family.”
As with yesterday’s objective, at first glance, one wonders about the connection with evangelization. But the truth is that these efforts lay important groundwork, allow believers to practice elements of sharing faith. Bottom line: sharing faith is essential. If we don’t do it with people who are in our closest circles of trust, what hope is there of sharing with newcomers or strangers?
Strategies listed are:
- marriage preparation and support for young married couples;
- family retreats and other religious experiences;
- spiritual, personal, social, and financial counseling for families;
- couple-to-couple faith sharing;
- support groups and networking for families; and
- influencing of social policy to strengthen family life.
Some seem clear in their connection to evangelization: support for young couples before and after marriage. The Church’s blindness here is our emphasis on preparation and “graduation.” That fourth objective, for example, has great promise in preparing couples for marriage. But how often is the preparation “professional,” conducted by a priest or counselor compared to experienced and “proven” married couples?
Another area of weakness is engaging the family in sharing religious and spiritual experiences with other families. Widening the range of the often-insulated and isolated modern nuclear family.
Anybody see anything else in this?