January 31.  William was a great fan of St John Bosco. He told his kids, “There are many saints who were priests and religious but there are also some saints that are recognised more as family people or concerned about family issues and children, youth, or women or married couples. I’m intrigued by the saying that a saint is a sinner who keeps on trying.  Well, I wonder if these people had a difficult childhood themselves or have a special gift from God for their particular ministry. Maybe we can still all become saints, one day.”

Mat 18:1-5 Unless you turn and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Pope Francis:  The spirituality of family love is made up of 1000s of small but real gestures.  In that variety of gifts and encounters which deepen communion, God has his dwelling place. AL 315. Jesus presents children as teachers on account or their simple trust and spontaneity towards others.  AL18


Introduction. A popular saying  “ Love wasn’t put in your heart to stay – love isn’t love till you give it away” teaches a great message for families. Love is a feeling but also much more, a decision to act. Love includes the Valentine romantic aspect but every kind deed and good word for another family member or an attempt to overcome a negative situation is an expression of love. The tenderness of intimate relationships is a special family quality.   The intimacy of marriage in good times and in bad and the patient and enduring love in all families in times of difficulty all require decisions. Love in its different forms is the foundation for all relationships within families and beyond.

 Love one another as I have loved you. John15:12. Against a backdrop of love so central to the Christian experience of marriage and the family another virtue is often overlooked in our world of frenetic and superficial relationships, it is tenderness.  AL 28  “Marriage based on an exclusive and definitive love becomes the icon of the relationship between God and his people and vice versa.“ Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.  AL70  

February 1. Blessed Benedict Daswa.  A respected school principal and family man, Daswa was stoned and killed by fellow-villagers in Venda on 2 February 1990 because of their jealousy and his opposition to witchcraft. “One of Benedict’s friends, a principal, spoke about his attitude towards family life, “When men were at a District meeting, Benedict said, ‘Men should help their wives. For example, if there is a baby at home and the Mother is busy, the Father should take care of the baby. The time has come for men to realise that we can do women’s work.’ Some men used to laugh at him, saying that he was overpowered by his wife. Benedict Daswa’s response. ‘You will be looked down on if you are the boss in the family, yet do not help your wife, and expect that the women will do everything for you. Biologically, we are meant to help one another.”  He was beatified as South Africa’s 1st martyr in September 2015.  The  Pearl Jubilee of his death will be celebrated from 1 February 2019 until 2020.   Visit  for info.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls,  who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”  Matthew 13:45-46.  Pope Francis. By their witness as well as their words families speak to others of Jesus.  They pass on the faith, arouse a desire for God and reflect the beauty of the Gospel and its way of life.  AL 184


1 February.  In South Africa the Termination of Pregnancy Act was introduced in 1997 legalising abortion on demand.  Mothers, fathers and grandparents too have been responsible for the death of thousands of unborn babies in these years.  Let us remember and pray for forgiveness, healing, and an end to this serious injustice.   There will be a Mass for Life on 23 March at St Martin de Porres parish, Craighall Park, Johannesburg.

10 February. WORLD MARRIAGE DAY is a marriage commemoration each year on 2nd Sunday of February.   It was initiated by Marriage Encounter but has been approved by the Vatican for any use.  Parishes could focus on the Sacrament of Matrimony and include married couples, those preparing for marriage – from early childhood on and even those not or no longer married.  After all marriage is a sacrament of the Church, for the Church.    Marriage Day Liturgy:




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