Family Matters

Sonia and Jaime Bernardo, SFO
Chairs, National Family Commission

 “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them” (Matthew 18:20)

In his “Letter to Families”, Pope John Paul II urges the family to pray; “prayer must become the dominant element of the Year of the Family in the Church: prayer by the family, prayer for the family, and prayer with the family”.  We should pray as a family, not only during times of difficulties and distress, but every single day.  We should pray not only to ask for favors, but also to give thanks for all His blessings.  Praying together lightens the burden we carry and strengthens the spiritual bond of the family.  Father Peyton, promoter of the Family Rosary Crusade years ago stressed, “The family that prays together stays together”.  It has always been true, is still true today, and will be true until the end of time.  The family united in prayer becomes the hearth of evangelization, where each member experiences God’s love, and, in turn, shares this love with others.  As members of the family grow older, children leave home and start their own families; they continue this practice, thereby spreading the practice of family prayer. Evangelization indeed begins in the home.

In our family, when our three sons were growing up, we prayed the Angelus at dinner time.  Then, one day, we found a beautiful prayer for a family in a book of prayers.  We all liked it so much we made it part of our dinner prayers.  As they left home one by one for college, they took with them clothes, books, and all the things they would need, including the rosary and a copy of the Prayer for a Family.  Years later, after they had graduated and started their own families, they recalled how prayers helped them with their studies, friends, and college life in general.

The National Family Commission has adopted this traditional Catholic prayer, and suggests that the regional fraternities share it with all the local fraternities.  We are sure many of you know this prayer.  It will please our Lord very much if all the families in the SFO will be able to pray together daily.  Our families will be united in prayer if we can all pray the Prayer for a Family.