Lay Ministry Formation
Excerpts From Papal Documents on Marriage & Family

Here are quotes about marriage and family life that you could use in church bulletins and newsletters to convey a sense of the breadth and depth of church teaching.

Authentic married love is caught up into divine love and is directed and enriched by the redemptive power of Christ and the salvific action of the church, with the result that the spouses are led to God and are helped and strengthened in their lofty role as fathers and mothers.
- Second Vatican Council. Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World.

The Family is the place where different generations come together and help one another to grow in wisdom and harmonize the rights of individuals with other demands of social life; as such it constitutes the basis of society.

The family has the mission to guard, reveal, and communicate love, and this is a living reflection of and a real sharing in God's love for humanity and the love of Christ the Lord for the church, his bride.

The very experience of communion and sharing that should characterize the family's daily life represents its first and fundamental contribution to society.

Joys and sorrows, hopes and disappointments, births and birthday celebrations, wedding anniversaries of the parents, separations and homecomings, important and far-reaching decisions, the death of those who are dear -- all of these mark God's loving intervention in the family's history.

Thanks to love within the family, the church can and ought to take on a more homelike and family dimension, developing a more human and fraternal style of relationships.

Marriage is a unique communion of persons and it is on the basis of this communion that the family is called to become a community of persons.

In the newborn child is realized the common good of the family.

The family itself is the great mystery of God. As the "domestic church" it is the bride of Christ.

What you do in your family to create a community of love, to help each other to grow, and to serve those in need is critical, not only for your own sanctification but for the strength of society and our church. It is a participation in the work of the Lord, a sharing in the mission of the church. It is holy.

A family is holy not because it is perfect but because God's grace is at work in it, helping it to set out anew everyday on the way of love.

As Christian families, you not only belong to the church but your daily life is a true expression of the church.

Your faithful love in a marriage and family is tested by change. It can also be strengthened and brought to maturity through change. The challenge is to remain open to the Lord's gracious, healing presence and to see change as an opportunity for growth.

If society seeks to help children, it has to support families, since children's lives are nurtured or neglected, enhanced or diminished by the quality of family life.
- U.S. Catholic Bishops, Putting Children and Families First

Our families are the starting point and the center of a vocation for justice. How we treat our parents, spouses, and children is a reflection of our commitment to Christ's love and justice. We demonstrate our commitment to the Gospel by how we spend our time and money and whether our family life includes an ethic of charity, service, and action for justice.