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Renewal will see families ministering to families

By Sarah Mac Donald - 26 August, 2015

Irish Church may “look at the way we do marriage preparation and to what extent our families are involved in preparing new families for marriage” - Primate.

Primate Eamon Martin and baby in KnockThe promotion of the New Evangelisation within the Irish Church will increasingly see families ministering to families the Primate of All Ireland has suggested.

Speaking to the international Catholic weekly, The Tablet, in Knock after he delivered his homily for the Feast of the Assumption, Archbishop Eamon Martin said he believed there was potential for families to outreach to other families and to be involved in the handing on of the faith.

The current issue of The Tablet reports the Archbishop as citing the Neo Catechumenal Way, Youth 2000 and some groups within the French Church as a model for this method of mission.

The Archbishop of Armagh was speaking after his appeal during Mass to the faithful to pray one Hail Mary at least every day between now and the opening of October’s synod in Rome for the family.

The Archbishop said he hoped the Synod would “float up” some practical ideas on good existing practice on how families can be involved in the Church’s mission of spreading the joy of the Gospel.

“We have to remember that in the very early Church, the basic Christian communities were gatherings of families. Also, in Ireland, the faith was traditionally handed on in the home and in the family. I think we have lost a little bit of that. We have to find a method for the modern family to be actively engaged in helping on the faith.”

He added that the Irish Church, in the light of the recommendations of the synod, may “look at the way we do marriage preparation and to what extent our families are involved in preparing new families for marriage”.

Implementation of the synod’s recommendations may also see the evolution of new practices, he said.

“It is going to take time, but it is happening already in small ways – we just need to grow it and develop it.”

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