Vatican hosts day of study on family and creation

Pontifical Council for the Family president Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia. Credit: Daniel Ibanez / CNA.

On Saturday the Pontifical Council for the Family sponsored a day of reflection on the family as the custodian of the created world.

“We wanted to promote a day of reflection with the organization Greenaccord, on the theme ‘Family, Safeguard the Creation!’,” Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, told CNA March 29.

“In this time in the Church there is much reflection on the theme of the family,” he explained. “We thought it was important also to link the theme of the family to that of safeguarding creation, under two perspectives.”

The first, he said, is the importance of the family’s responsibility for the created world, “to be attentive to respect creation, to not destroy, not squander, not ruin the life that surrounds us, because all of this comes full circle.”

Just as the family takes care of the created world, the created world is the space where the family grows, the archbishop reflected. The family “safeguards creation, because creation safeguards the family.”

The second perspective is that of practicality. “Safeguarding creation is not an abstract or theoretical thing,” Archbishop Paglia stressed. Families must be attentive to the world around them in a practical way, “not only for themselves but for future generations.”

The archbishop went on to lament the “dictatorship of commerce” that hinders a “life of solidarity.” Instead, if there is less “pressure to consume” the result is “wiser relationships amongst persons.”

Archbishop Paglia also noted that he sees a “contradiction among families who must safeguard the creation” -- that of “not generating life.”

“What will there be if we don’t plant more trees?” he asked metaphorically. “If there are fewer children, there is less development. There is more sadness, more violence.”

“This is why families have the first responsibility to give life. They must understand that to give life means also to do so in fact! It’s not abstract - give it with children and not with theory. In this sense, the family safeguards creation also in the measure in which they obey that which the Lord said at the beginning: be fruitful and multiply, and safeguard the creation.”

The all-day program, held at the Vatican’s St. Pius X Conference Hall, included talks on topics such as “Agriculture as a life choice for young families,” “For a responsible and people-oriented economy,” and “The family’s vulnerability to consumerism.”

Gary Gardner, a senior fellow at the Worldwatch Institute in Washington D.C., was a speaker at today’s event.

Gardner told CNA that “we live in an era where there are many, many threats to, I would say without exaggeration, to civilization as we know it, and the Church has a very important role, and the family has a very important role, to play in addressing those threats.”

He noted that in addition to environmental issues such as climate change, there is a cultural belief “that consuming more is what life is all about.”

Yet there are many practical ways that families can “preserve the creation” and also build healthier relationships, Gardner noted.

He suggested that families might engage in a “carbon fast” during Lent, seeking to consume less, or perhaps do something simple like plant a garden.

“You’re getting the kids involved and they’re learning about the importance of soil health and insects and the worms that live in the soil and how that relates to a plentiful crop that comes out of the garden, and that in turn relates to our own health. It’s a wonderful way to bring the family together and almost without realizing it, care for creation,” said Gardner.

“These are activities that are good not only for the environment but for strengthening the family,” he noted.


Voices

Seeking the face of God in the Scriptures

Archbishop José H. Gomez

Prayer is seeking the face of God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church recalls the story of how St. John Vianney once found a peasant praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament. The saint asked him what he was doing, and the man replied: “I look at him and he looks at me.”

Events

February 2016
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29

February 13, 2016

  • Saturday, February 13

    World Day of the Sick Mass, Mass and Anointing of the Sick, 12:30 p.m., Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels,  555 W Temple St, Los Angeles. Archbishop Gomez presiding with other bishops and priests. Special section designated for those in wheelchairs with volunteers available to help. Limited parking available for $8. Carpooling is encouraged. For more info: Chuck Huebner at cjhuebner @gmail.com or Jim LoCoco at flavialococ0@msn.com.

     

     

    Bosco Tech’s Yurak Memorial Run & Kids’ Fun Run, Check in begins at 8 a.m., Memorial Run at 9 a.m., Fun Run at 10 a.m., Bosco Tech, 1151 San Gabriel Blvd., Rosemead. Race registration is $35 per person. For school groups of 10 or more, the cost is $30. To register online, go to www.boscotech.edu/events or www.yurak.eventbrite.com; same-day registration available at check-in table. Included: racing fees, finisher medal, goodie bag and BBQ lunch. Plaques will be awarded to the top five male and female runners and to the fastest runner under 18.All proceeds to benefit Bosco Tech’s Yurak Athletic Center (YAC). 

     

    Cabrini Literary Guild “Sweetheart Bingo” Meeting, Sat., Feb.13 at Oakmont Country Club, 3100 Country Club Drive, Glendale. Meeting starts at 11 a.m., lunch at 12 p.m. ($30/person), and bingo social at 1 p.m. Bingo cards are $5 each, or $20 for five cards. For reservations, call (818) 790-3485.

     

    Footprints: Making Tracks for Neighbors in Need, 8:30 - 11:30 a.m., Bishop Amat High School track, 14301 Fairgrove Ave., La Puente. Catholic Charities San Gabriel Region will present this annual walk/run fundraiser to increase awareness about poverty, hunger and homelessness in the San Gabriel Region. Proceeds benefit those lacking basic needs, such as food, clothing, transportation and shelter. This is a come anytime, leave anytime event, with the first lap around the track to be led by Bishop David O'Connell. For more information, visit lentenfootprints.yolasite.com or contact Mary Romero at (213) 251-3582 or mromero@ccharities.org.

Get our news by email

Bob Smith BMW 300x250
Bob Smith Toyota 300x250
Bob Smith Mini 300x250