The fifth National Week for Life and the Family will be celebrated across Canada, May 14 to May 21, 2017, from the 5th to the 6th Sunday of Easter. The 5th Sunday of Easter also coincides with Mother's Day. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) is again offering dioceses/eparchies, parishes and other non-profit groups possible resources and options for planning and organizing local activities. The theme this year is "Love Grows by Giving". The resources have been prepared by the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF), working in collaboration and consultation with the CCCB and in cooperation with diocesan organizers for Quebec Family Week / Semaine québécoise des familles.
The materials include a poster which can be freely downloaded and reproduced; a prayer card, also for downloading and photocopying; a proposed plan for pastors and lay pastoral workers on how they might organize the Week; a message from the CCCB President, the Most Reverend Douglas Crosby, O.M.I., Bishop of Hamilton; proposals for homily notes and Prayers of the Faithful; suggestions for related events and activities; and COLF's recent document entitled "The Joy of Love" At the Heart of the Family. This new resource from COLF provides a brief overview of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love) which Pope Francis issued following the two Synods of Bishops on the Family. The document is also available separately from COLF.
The dates of the National Week are determined primarily by the United Nations 1993 resolution which declared May 15 the International Day of Families. In turn, the International Day is used to establish the dates for Quebec Family Week (Semaine québécoise des familles). Each diocese/eparchy decides how to adapt or use the suggested annual resources, in view of its own specific pastoral priorities, needs, and capacities.