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Tuesday, May 24, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 24 MAY 2011 (VIS) - This morning in the Holy See Press Office, the document "Family: Work and Celebration", the preparatory catecheses for the VII World Meeting of Families, was presented. The gathering will take place in Milan, Italy from 30 May to 3 June in 2012.

  Taking part in the presentation were Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family; Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, archbishop of Milan; Bishop Franco Giulio Brambilla, auxiliary of that same archdiocese, coordinator of the workgroup responsible for editing the preparatory catecheses and co-president of the academic preparatory committee for the theological-pastoral convention; Fr. Gianfranco Grieco, O.F.M., bureau chief in the Pontifical Council for the Family; and Fr. Davide Milani, head of social communications for the archdiocese of Milan.

  Cardinal Antonelli mentioned that the dicastery over which he presides is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its foundation, just like the John Paul II Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family. He further explained that the gathering in Milan in 2012 will be organized in two parts: a theological-pastoral convention on the first three days followed by two days of celebration with the Holy Father in attendance. "The book of catecheses on the theme "Family: Work and Celebration", which was prepared by the Pontifical Council for the Family and the Archdiocese of Milan, has been inestimably helpful in preparing for this gathering. ... It consists of 10 Biblical catecheses accompanied by texts of the Magisterium. The Vatican Publishing House (Libreria Editrice Vaticana) has published it in Italian, English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, and Polish, and it can be used directly by ecclesial communities and by families".

  For his part, Cardinal Tettamanzi hoped that the catecheses could "serve as guide for dioceses around the world, transforming into a point of reference that is useful even beyond initiatives of pastoral care for family and work. It is necessary to disseminate the information widely so that, thanks also to translations, these characteristic materials and intuitions do not remain exclusive to just a few and do not simply constitute an intra-ecclesial patrimony".

  Bishop Franco Giulio Brambilla noted that the catecheses "form a trio that begins from the family to open it to the world. Work and celebration are the forms within which the family inhabits social space and lives human time.  ... The first group of catecheses confronts the way of living relationships at home". A home that "necessarily becomes a space of acceptance and a place where a profound intimacy between the couple and between parents and children is safeguarded. ... The second group introduces the theme of work in daily life, ... which cannot be just a means of economic support but the place of personal identity and social relationship. ... The third group concentrates on the manner in which the family celebrates. It is difficult in today's situations to live Sunday as a time of celebration ... modern humanity has invented free time but seems to have forgotten the celebration ... This is why the family needs to engrave on its lifestyle the sense of celebration ... as a community of encounter".

  On 28 March, the Pontifical Council for the Family initiated the site www.familia.va to provide information on the dicastery's activities and main projects. Among other sections is included one dedicated to the World Meeting of Families in Milan.
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