Browsing The Northern Cross

Bishop Paul Sirba: Family, marriage, consecrated life all in the spotlight

Recently, our Holy Father announced he was coming for his first visit to the United States to attend the eighth World Meeting of Families in September 2015. “I wish to confirm according to the wishes of The Lord, that in September of 2015, I will go to Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families,” said Pope Francis. “Thank you for your prayers with which you accompany my service to the Church. Bless you from my heart.”

We are working to send a delegation from the Diocese of Duluth to the meeting and the papal Mass on Sept. 27 — consider yourself invited!

Bishop Paul Sirba
Bishop Paul Sirba
Fiat Voluntas Tua

Planning by our Office of Marriage and Family Life is progressing. Please stay connected to our Office of Marriage and Family Life for up-to- date information. The theme is “Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive.”

There has been much said about the recent Extraordinary Synod on the Family, some helpful, some not. At a colloquium held on the “Complementarity of Man and Woman in Marriage” the same day he announced he would be coming to the U.S., Pope Francis said that “complementarity of man and woman is at the root of marriage and family, which is the first school where we learn to appreciate our own and other’s gifts, and where we begin to acquire the arts of living together.”

The Pope said, “In our day, marriage and the family are in crisis. We now live in a culture of the temporary, in which more and more people are simply giving up on marriage as a public commitment. . . . The crisis in the family has produced crisis of human ecology, for social environments, like natural environments, need protection.”

Jesus revealed the truth about marriage and family life. Pope Francis and the bishops united with him will continue to teach what Jesus taught. As an example of the consistency of teaching, and as a remedy to painful cultural experimentation with other models, we teach the truth that children do best when raised by a mother and father who love them.

“Children have a right to grow up in a family with a father and a mother capable of creating a suitable environment for the child’s development and emotional maturity. That is why I stressed in the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium that the contribution of marriage to society is ‘indispensable’; that it ‘transcends the feelings and momentary needs of the couple’ (66). And that is why I am grateful to you for our colloquium’s emphasis on the benefits that marriage can provide to children, the spouses themselves, and to society,” said Pope Francis.

The preparations for next year’s synod on the family will include an opportunity to share our experience as a local Church in solidarity with the Church Universal. While we await the means proposed for engaging the conversation, I ask your prayers for a strengthening of marriage and family life in the Diocese of Duluth.

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The Catholic Church will open the Year for Consecrated Life on the first Sunday of Advent. Along with all of you, I offer my gratitude and prayers to the religious women and men of our diocese who offer us a daily witness of love, prayer and service. Thank you! By espousing the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience, you point us to heaven and teach us to value what really matters as we live our lives.

The year extends until Feb. 2, 2016. Worldwide sharing and reflection will include gatherings in Rome for consecrated persons, formators and a week of world unity for consecrated life in the Church with the theme “Following the Gospel into the Future.” The year concludes with a prayer vigil and Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica with our Holy Father, Pope Francis.