MARFAM’s 2020 family theme, as should be fairly well known by this time, is OUR WORLD, A FAMILY OF FAMILIES. There is a family focus which applies to human families but also a particular ecological focus on creation, nature and the environment built into the year theme. This is also further complemented with each month’s theme and other topical days, some secular and some religious feasts. This list of commemorative days for June can look quite overwhelming but can also give families plenty of opportunities to consider both their family life and their faith life. In other words, there is surely always something to pray about.
JUNE FAMILY THEME: CHILDREN BELONG IN FAMILIES.
May 31- June 7. SA Child Protection Week with an overarching theme: “Let us all protect children during COVID-19 and beyond”.
June 1. UN Global Parenting Day.
June 3. Feastday of the Uganda Martyrs, St Charles Lwanga and companions including St Kizito patron saint of children
June 5. World Environment Day.
June 7. Trinity Sunday.
June 13. Feastday of St Anthony, popular patron saint and finder of lost items.
June 14. Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ.
June 16. SA Youth Day.
June 19. Feast of Sacred Heart
June 20. World Day of Refugees.
June 21. Fathers’ Day
Prayer time in families can of course take many different forms. Some members pray privately. Some use a Bible, some pray the Rosary, as was suggested especially for the month of May, but can be continued. Some families say a short prayer together at mealtimes every day. Some take one day a week and spend an hour or so in a faith sharing format, that we call See-Judge-Act. This is in fact an experience of family catechesis and is helpful during this time when there are no formal catechism classes and families can take do what they should as first educators in the faith. MARFAM’s DAILY THOUGHTS are available every day and for the days listed there are specific thoughts e.g. on parenting, youth, the environment or the special feasts. They are based on the scripture readings of the time and also include an extract from Pope Francis often from his letter to the youth and their families, Christus Vivit.
The SEE-JUDGE-ACT approach. For those not familiar with it this is a simplified basic outline.
Step 1. SEE. A Look at Life, a situation taken from experience or a news item and ask “What is going on here.”
Step 2. JUDGE. Consider the situation more deeply. Ask, “Why and What would God say about it?” Seek information from Scripture and Church teaching that is relevant.
Step 3. ACT. Consider if some action is required, decide and conclude with a moment of prayer about the situation or other needs.
The news is that churches in South Africa, which have been closed during the weeks of lock-down, are allowed to open again from now on. They may conduct services with strict safety conditions. The news has been welcomed by some but others have shown concern over safety and practical capacity.
Whatever our parishes decide we all realise that things will never be quite the same. It is my personal prayer that over these last months of coronavirus lock-down we have been able to maintain safety standards and kept healthy. I hope too that the opportunity to build the little church of the home where family members have been able to communicate meaningfully, share their fears and anxieties and their times of family fun too. After all the CHURCH IS FAMILY OF GOD and we as families are its models, to show how and what it means to be FAMILY AS CHURCH. TR FAMILY WEEKLY 3 JUNE 2020
See the REFLECTIONS section of the newsletter for some examples and an overview for the month. Visit www.marfam.org.za and search for blessings and prayers or check out our new shop.