National Families Week 2017 will be held from Monday 15 May to Sunday 21 May 2017 (coinciding with the United Nations International Day of Families on 15 May).
The aim of National Families Week 2017 is to celebrate the vital role that families play in Australian society. The theme ‘Stronger Families, Stronger Communities’ has been embraced as an enduring theme for National Families Week as it encapsulates the important role families play as the central building block of our communities. Community wellbeing is enhanced by family wellbeing. National Families Week is a time to celebrate with your family, make contact with your extended family and friends, and share in the enjoyment of family activities within the wider community. It is a time to celebrate the meaning of family and to make the most of family life. Let’s take the time to reflect on the critical role that families play in teaching, supporting and nurturing children, especially as they grow. Each year, over a hundred thousand people and hundreds of organisations celebrate National Families Week – Australia’s annual celebration of families.
National Families Week is run by Families Australia, a national, peak, not-for-profit organisation which strives to improve the wellbeing of all Australian families and is sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.
International Day of Families
The United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution 47/237 of 20 September 1993, proclaimed that 15 May of every year shall be observed as the International Day of Families.
The United Nations states that “this annual observance reflects the importance which the international community attaches to families as basic units of society as well as its concern regarding their situation around the world. The International Day of Families provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families as well as to promote appropriate action. The Day can become a powerful mobilizing factor on behalf of families in all countries, which avail themselves of this opportunity and demonstrate support of family issues appropriate to each society.”
The UN theme for the International Day of Families in 2017 is “Families, education and wellbeing“. This year’s observance of the International Day of Families focuses on the role of families and family-oriented policies in promoting education and overall well-being of their members. In particular, the Day is to raise awareness of the role of families in promoting early childhood education and lifelong learning opportunities for children and youth.
On Friday 8th April 2016, Pope Francis published a new papal document called, Amoris Laetitia, ‘The Joy of Love: On Love in the Family’ at the Vatican in Rome.
A reflection on Amoris Laetitia by Fr Kevin Murphy below:
Pope Francis has chosen two very positive words "Amoris Laetitia" – Joy and Love" as the title of his report on the recent two-stage Catholic Church Synod on family life.
All people are designed by God to live with love and joy. All people live in a family or come from a family.
Family life can open us to the mystery of God's goodness and love. Ideally, this always works well. In real life, that is not always the case.
The Pope's post-Synod document can help us reflect on these issues. It can help us clarify and share good insights.
It can also draw our attention to challenges which can undermine family life in our real, imperfect world.
Not every page of The Joy of Love is easy to read and comprehend. Some concentration is required. If parts are too difficult to understand, skip over them as you look for statements that are clearly relevant to the situations you are familiar with.
The Synod and the Pope's Synod document are designed as important parts of a reflection and decision-making process in the Church. In church circles this process is often called discernment.
All members of the Church are invited, even urged, to engage in this process, and we have Pope Francis offering us guidance in the process. Thank God.
The papal document is also known as an ‘Apostolic Exhortation’. The document and more information can be found here.
Presentation of the Apostolic Exhortation "Amoris Laetitia"
The Joy Of Love Digital Resource Kit
The Redemptorists have made available a simple collection of resources to support study and reflection on the Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation on The Joy of Love. You will find a helpful summary of the document, a collection of ten inspiring quotes amongst other items in the The Joy of Love digital resource kit. Click here to go to the website.