Building the Domestic Church
Marriage and the family are at the very heart of society and in recent years have been the subject of many attacks and culturally imposed changes. Aware of the needs of his own time, the Venerable Servant of God Father Michael J. McGivney sought to respond in both a temporal and spiritual way to the crisis in family life affecting Catholics in 19th century America. Thus it has become the legacy of the Knights of Columbus to be a defender and protector of marriage and family life.
At the 2014 Supreme Council Convention in Orlando, Supreme introduced a new twelve month family program entitled “Building the Domestic Church – the Family Fully Alive” to help our families become what they are called to be. Through this program, our families can realize more fully their mission to be an authentic domestic church through daily prayer, catechesis and Scripture reading, as well as through monthly charitable and volunteer projects they can do as a family. This initative can help all families, whatever their difficulties, deepen their relationship with the Lord. It can especially help divorced parents meet their obligation to raise their children in the Catholic faith and reassure them that their communion with the Lord and the Church is not severed, but rather can continue to grow stronger through the means provided by this program. In these ways, they too can be part of our initiative and grow in their faith.
This initiative is based on the work of Father Luis Granados, DCJM and the parish of St. Mary Catholic Church in Littleton Colorado, “Toward a Family Friendly Parish.” It has been adapted by the Supreme Council to include several charitable works of our Order as Council and family service opportunities. Under the direction and support of our Supreme Chaplain, Archbishop William E. Lori, S.T.D., Archbishop of Baltimore, our Supreme Knight, Carl A. Anderson and Father Jonathan D. Kalisch, O.P., Director of Chaplains and Spiritual Development this initiative has been introduced to continue to advance Father McGivney’s mission and help the members of the Knights of Columbus and their families to remain true to his vision.
In this initiative, the Knights of Columbus turns in a special way to the Holy Family and makes our own the prayer of St. John Paul II that “every family may generously make its own contribution to the coming of the kingdom in the world,” and “through the intercession of the Holy Family of Nazareth, the Church may fruitfully carry out her worldwide mission in the family and through the family.”
Also through this program, the Order will undertake a yearlong preparation for the 8th World Meeting of Families to be held from September 22-27, 2015 in Philadelphia.
Since the program is rooted in prayer, the first step is to set aside a space in your home as a prayer corner. This area should be the focus of the home prayer portion of the program. The prayer associated with the program is “A Family Prayer,” composed by Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William Lori. This prayer (which follows) should be included in your daily prayers:
A Family Prayer
Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of our family. Enlighten our hearts and minds that we may live more fully this vocation of love. In our daily life and work, may we reflect the self-giving love which you, O Father, eternally show with your Son and the Holy Spirit. Let your love be evident in the peace that reigns in our home and in the faith we profess and live. May our family always be a place of generosity, understanding, forgiveness and joy. Kindly give us the wisdom and courage to be witnesses to your eternal design for the family, and grant that the Holy Family of Nazareth may always guide our path of holiness as a family.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.
Divided into twelve monthly themes, the program invites participating families to take part in three monthly events: a home-based family project, a council-wide volunteer project and a movie night. The following is an outline of the twelve monthly themes:
Your participation in this program will enable you to do programming that will enable your Council to submit programs toward the Supreme Columbian Award and the Illinois SP7.