Project

Home is a Holy Place

Home is a Holy Place

Home is a Holy Place is a resource pack designed to help families become more aware of how God is already present with them at home. It is also about supporting parishes to work with this understanding of family spirituality and to incorporate it into existing programmes of support and catechesis for family life.

It was developed as part of a three phase initiative of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales called Celebrating Family: Blessed, Broken, Living Love. A greater emphasis by the Church on both marital and family spirituality would increase appreciation or valuing of family life and enrich the wider parish community. Building up the domestic church in no way detracts from the parish church because they are essentially the same body. We see additional benefits for the catechetical and liturgical life of the Church in being able to describe more accurately the relationship between the human and divine as experienced in family life.

Why Home is a Holy Place?

Extracts from the report on Listening 2004 published in July 2005: Not Easy But Full of Meaning: Catholic Family Life in 2004.
Throughout the diocesan conversations of Listening 2004 very little was spoken about marital or family spirituality. There appeared to be relatively low awareness of the vocational nature of marriage and parenthood or of the specific spirituality of the home (domestic church). Spirituality tended to be connected to church-going or to prayer at home, rather than being integrated into the daily living out of family life in response to the Gospel of Jesus. Such an omission indicates perhaps the most significant communication defect of all.

The absence of a broad understanding of the holiness of family life does not help the deepening of relationships between families and their parish. The call to holiness is "rooted in baptism." (Christifideles Laici #16 ) Christian families "have the ability to manifest this holiness and the responsibility to bear witness to it in all that they do." (CL#16). A language for understanding and articulating the holiness embedded within even the messiness of family life could help families in making sense of all their joys, sorrows and hopes and in restoring families "reasons for confidence" in themselves, in the riches that they "possess by nature and grace, and in the mission that God has entrusted to" them. (Familiaris Consortio #86)

Moreover a greater emphasis by the Church on both marital and family spirituality would increase appreciation or valuing of family life and enrich the wider parish community. Building up the domestic church in no way detracts from the parish church because they are essentially the same body. We see additional benefits for the catechetical and liturgical life of the Church in being able to describe more accurately the relationship between the human and divine as experienced in family life. As Pope John Paul II wrote in his Letter to Families in 1994, "God himself is present in human fatherhood and motherhood" (#9).

Home is Holy Place: Web Resources