On Sunday 10 December last, the Second Sunday of Advent, Bishop John Buckley, Bishop of Cork and Ross, launched a new book entitled 55 Ways to Connect with Families in your Parish at Saint Columba’s Church in Douglas, Cork. The book is written by Sister Karen Kent OSU, a member of the Cork and Ross pastoral development team, and is published by Veritas Publications.
Speaking at the launch, Bishop Buckley described the book as a very useful resource for priests and lay people in preparation for the World Meeting of Families next year.
Inspired by Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation on the joy of love, Bishop Buckley said that the book would be a welcome guide book for priests and people and provides thoughtful and practical ideas for involving families especially in the Church throughout the year.
The book takes in all the key events in the Christian calendar from Advent at Christmas through to Lent and Easter and also covers selected feast days and secular events.
In his address Bishop Buckley referred to Pope Francis’ beautiful description of the family ‘the nearest hospital, the first school for the young and the best home for the elderly’. He said that many of our social ills today can be traced through a weakening of family relationships.
Bishop Buckley encouraged government officials to further promote the importance of the family, saying, ‘No school, excellent though our schools are, and no teacher, dedicated and conscientious though our teachers are, will have the same influence on young people as the home has. Young people may leave their home, they may leave their parish, they may leave their country but they will never leave the home because the lessons learned in the home will never be forgotten. We all carry with us through life the stamp of the home. The kitchen floor, as they say in West Cork, is sacred ground.’
He concluded, ‘One of the great challenges facing families today is how to hand on the faith to their children. It is their first duty and greatest privilege. The greatest challenge facing parents is how to weave the thread of daily family prayer into the changing pattern of modern life.’
For more information on 55 Ways to Connect with Families in your Parish visit www.veritasbooksonline.com.