In October 2015, bishops and delegates from all over the world will meet with Pope Francis in Rome for the Synod on the Family, entitled ‘The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and in the Contemporary World.’
Ahead of this Synod, and following on from last year’s Synod in October, entitled ‘The Pastoral Challenges to the Family in the Context of Evangelisation’, the Holy Father asked us to spend time reflecting on these themes with ‘true spiritual discernment.’ In response to this call a document for reflection entitled ‘The Call, the Journey and the Mission’, was circulated, the purpose of which was to encourage clergy and laity to consider the great gift of marriage and family life. This period of consultation ran from the Feast of the Holy Family in 2014 to the Solemnity of Pentecost on May 24th 2015, during which time many people throughout the Diocese of Westminster responded generously to the Holy Father’s call, submitting their reflections on their own marriages and family lives.
Altogether, 155 people sent in replies online, of which 4 of these were from priests. Across 22 parishes, a further 275 took part in group discussions and we estimate that within this same cohort of parishes, 12 other group submissions probably involved around a further 150 people. We therefore estimate that the total number of people who responded to the reflection questions in the Diocese of Westminster is approximately 580. AVAILABLE NOW is a summary report of all those responses. The complete report with all the comments, replies and submissions that we received during the period of consultation is available on request from the Marriage & Family Life Office.