In this month of June 2021, several highlights marked the intense work of the CANA teams before the busy period of summer meetings in many countries. Of particular note were two international webinars on the Amoris Laetitia Family Year: one to mobilise the CANA Fraternity around the world, the other to participate in the International Forum organised by the Vatican. Pope Francis continues his dialogue with families.
CANA launches the Amoris Laetitia Family Year
On Friday 4 June, CANA International gathered its leaders from 50 countries to launch the Year of the Family Amoris Laetitia within its teams, during a webinar via Zoom. More than 200 members of the national teams, involved in family ministry on the 5 continents, from different Christian confessions, discovered or deepened their understanding of the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis. They then discussed how to contribute to the Year of the Family within CANA during the year 2021-2022.
From 6am for the Californians to 1am for those in New Caledonia, beginning with a time of welcome in joy and thanksgiving, the 200 participants listened to the Pope’s recent message to families.
Then Father Christophe BLIN presented the fundamentals of Amoris Laetitia, underlining the universal and ecumenical dimension of the apostolic letter. Gilles and Véronique CORMIER, the couple in charge of CANA International, presented CANA’s proposals for the Amoris Laetitia Family Year.
The emphasis is on the programs designed to be implemented in parishes from a pedagogical kit: “CANA Welcome” and “CANA Parents”.
Then, divided into 34 sharing rooms, each working in a particular language, the participants were able to exchange in English, French, Polish, Portuguese, Russian or Slovak. Two couples (Belgium and Burkina Faso), spoke about their experience, how they have adapted their programmes during this year of pandemic and what is their hope for the future. Father François MICHON, leader of the Chemin Neuf Community, encouraged with conviction the teams responsible for this mission, serving couples and families throughout the world.
The entire CANA International team was mobilised to bring this meeting to a successful conclusion – a real technical first. Everything was extremely well organised thanks to the precious help of CANA France and 5 interpreters in different countries.
CANA International at the Amoris Laetitia Forum
From 9 to 11 June, CANA International was among 30 international church associations and movements that gathered in a webinar with representatives of 60 bishops’ conferences around the world. The Forum “Where are we with Amoris Laetitia? Strategies for the pastoral application of the Apostolic Exhortation” was organised by the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life.
Pope Francis opened the Forum. He encouraged participants to take a fresh look at Amoris Laetitia and to find what best fits the concrete needs of each local church. And he stressed how “lay people are increasingly needed to accompany families”. He invited us to read the Exhortation from beginning to end and in particular its heart, Chapter 4 on Love in Marriage.
The first day was dedicated to marriage preparation. The second day was devoted to the formation of companions and the education of children. The third day was devoted to marital spirituality in order to become “missionary families”. The last day was dedicated to the theme “Integrating the fragility of families”, and to the presentation of the Family Year Amoris Laetitia 2021-2022.
In conclusion, the participants having “expressed the desire to exchange – for mutual inspiration – the many good practices already in place and planned for the pastoral implementation of Amoris Laetitia in this year dedicated to the Family, it is foreseen that “a common working network will allow to share ideas, projects and to be more effective together on a practical level in order to reach the heart of pastoral work, i.e., families all over the world.”
A summary of the work of each day is available in 5 languages here.
Dialogue between Pope Francis and families
The fourth episode of this dialogue is online. “Love in marriage: it’s not just a feeling”.
Video and pastoral guidebook n°4:
First World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly. The pastoral resources along with a message from Pope Francis are available in different languages on:
It includes a message from Pope Francis and several pastoral resources.