The family, the domestic Church
Following the recommendations of the former Ad Hoc Committee on Life and Family of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), the Bishops of Canada at their October 2011 Plenary Assembly adopted a plan to implement a national pastoral initiative for life and family. The initiative includes a number of possible elements that individual Bishops may decide to use in their dioceses as part of their ongoing pastoral planning.
In his December 2011 letter, the CCCB President, the Most Reverend Richard Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton, invited the Bishops to discuss in each of their dioceses how such a pastoral plan could be implemented during 2013, with 2012 to serve as a preparatory year. As proposed, the various elements include: strategies for formation; the promotion of life and family; outreach for life; programs for youth and the elderly; and collaboration with ecclesial movements and new communities. These options can be adapted and implemented by the Bishops in their respective dioceses, according to their evolving pastoral needs, diocesan resources, and local priorities.
In addition to developing its own resource materials “to build a culture of life and a civilization of love,” the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF) is assisting the CCCB in developing possible documentation that can be part of the diocesan pastoral plan. The documents and activities proposed by the CCCB for possible use are listed below, for downloading and printing free of charge, or for adapting as needed.