The year of the family has provided us the opportunity to have a 360 degree view of the family life. The Archdiocese has created the rare opportunity for families to take a whole new approach to family life that meets the spiritual and temporal dimensions of this sacred vocation. Fortunately, the Archdiocesan year of the family coincides with the 20th Anniversary of the International Year of the Family (2014) organized by the International Federation for Family Development (IFFD). According to IFFD, part of the focus of the anniversary ceremony is to review challenges faced by families world-wide and recommend solution.
The United Nations Department for Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) wrote “owing to rapid socioeconomic and demographic transformations, families fi nd it more and more diffi cult to fulfi l their numerous responsibilities. Many struggle to overcome poverty and adequately provide for the younger and older family members. It is also more and more diffi cult for them to reconcile work and family responsibilities and maintain the intergenerational bonds that sustained them in the past”.
While the church and these global bodies may not adopt the same view on many issues bordering the families, they cannot agree less on the
foregoing statements. There is no gain saying the fact that the family is bedeviled by many challenges, troubles and tribulations. Many families are ravaged by abject poverty, lack of access to food, shelter and education. Many are abused by the powerful and the mighty. Access to justice and equity is lacking. These issues have also been the focal point of the church’s teaching and evangelization.
The Family is the basic unit of society. The church defi nes it as a small church. Pope Francis, in his apostolic Exhortation “Evangeli Gaudium (The joy of the Gospel) emphasizes the church’s primary mission of evangelization in the modern world. The document touches on major issues including obligations to the poor, the duty to maintain a just economic, political and legal order, as well as the moderation of the infl uence of market forces that tend to promote a winner-