Family and Life

2016 National Week for Life and the Family

The National Week for Life and the Family is an initiative of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB). The theme of the Week for 2016 focuses on a topic dear to Pope Francis’ heart: “My family: A school of mercy” This year’s resources were developed by the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF).


1. Review the Plan.

2. Choose the Sunday on which your parish will celebrate the family (May 8 or 15).

3. Call the faithful to prayer for the family sometime in April and distribute the prayer card (available on the website and printed in advance).

4. Promote the “Week” in the parish bulletin (see suggested announcements).

A Letter from the President of the CCCB

1. Print out and copy the letter from Bishop Douglas Crosby, O.M.I., to Catholic families for distribution after Mass.

2. The letter can also be read after Mass.

The Eucharist

1. On the Sunday chosen to celebrate the family (either on Ascension Sunday or Pentecost Sunday), decorate the church to reflect Joy and Love, and involve families (including grandparents) in the celebration.

2. Consult the suggested homily notes and use them as you see fit.

3. Use the suggested Prayers of the Faithful (perhaps asking members of a family to lead them).

4. In advance, ask a couple or a family to give a five minute testimony at the end of Mass on their experience of God’s mercy in their life as a family.

Events and Activities

1. Print out the “Suggested Events and Activities” sheet for distribution after mass.

2. Introduce those suggestions after Mass (perhaps after the testimony given by a family) and encourage families to do works of mercy and to celebrate their own family at home (see suggestions).

3. Decide on parish activity to celebrate the family (see suggestions), organize and promote the event.

"Families, Christ calls us to sow Joy and Hope!

“Families, Christ calls us to sow Joy and Hope!

1. A gift for your parishioners! Order in advance copies of this publication from the Catholic Organization for Life and Family ( or 613.241.9461, ext. 141).

2. Distribute at the end of Mass.

3. Organize a parish workshop based on this publication. A Workshop Guide is available on COLF’s website. A great occasion to network!