Building the Domestic Church


Our Worthy State Deputy has stressed the importance of the Family in his focus for his term.  In addition to the traditional family programs that are supported by the State, the Worthy State Deputy has asked me to create a Family program based on the Supreme Council’s “Building the Domestic Church. The Family Fully Alive” program from the last fraternal year.  The program is based on a program created by Father Luis Granados at St. Mary’s parish in Littleton, CO.
Monthly the program will contain the following activity suggestions
1.       Bible verse for the family and council to reflect on for the month.
2.       Family activity for the month
3.       Movie night ideas for the council to host or for families to host in small groups
4.       Charity activity associated with the council movie night
5.       Family prayer to be said as a family during the month
6.       A catechesis reference from the Catechism of the Catholic Church
If councils would like to host a movie night for their parish or in their hall (if they have one) there is an easy way to get licensing rights to show movies to a large group.  This can be done through a yearly paid subscription through the Motion Picture Licensing Corporation (MPLC).  Information on this can be found athttp://www.mplc.org/.  I contacted the MPLC and they recommended that since our council uses the church facilities that the license is best gotten through the church and the council can reimburse the parish from its funds.  The cost of a license covering 1-499 viewers per week for a year is $225.  Each council’s situation could be different so I encourage you to do your own research athttp://www.mplc.org/ and determine how your situation could impact yearly license costs.
I will start my suggested program ideas for the month of August.  August marks the end of summer for many families as they prepare to return to school.  The following are suggested activities for the outline above:
1.       Bible verse to reflect upon: 
The first family
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.” So out of the ground the Lord God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper as his partner.  So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.  And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.  Then the man said,
“This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called Woman, for out of Man this one was taken.”
Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh. (Genesis 2: 18-24)
Now the man knew his wife Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have produced a man with the help of the Lord.”Next she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a tiller of the ground. (Genesis 4: 1-2)
2.       Family Activity
Host a family dinner
Some families are blessed to have other immediate family members near them and can easily bring family together.  If this is your case look to host a family dinner with your immediate family either as a pot luck or by simply having them over as your guests.
If you don’t have immediate family members in your area, look to pair up with other families from your council or whom you are acquainted with that also don’t have families nearby.  The idea is to gather those close to you to share some fellowship, a meal, and quality time together.
Here are some things to consider in planning your evening together:
§  Cell phone drop box – have a box at the door and encourage all to deposit their cell phones so that participants can focus on one another without the distraction of electronic devices
§  Consider a warm up to dinner with light appetizers and some games to bring everyone together in participation
§  Allow all to help in preparing the meal, setting the table, serving, and clean up
§  Allow time for conversation.  Perhaps talk about the importance of family to individuals and how important families are to our society
3.       Movie Night – suggested movie “Despicable Me”
4.       Charity Event 
As the school year is approaching ask those who will be joining in the movie night to bring extra school supplies (paper, pencils, crayons, etc.) which can be gathered and donated to local agencies collecting school supplies for the under privileged.
5.       Family Prayer
Heavenly Father, we thank you for your wisdom in creating the human family.  Thank you your example as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in helping us to know of your love through our family.  We love one another unconditionally and through that love better understand your love of us.  Help us all to be shining examples of that love for one another with patience, understanding, respect, and kindness.  Help us to avoid hurtful or argumentative interactions with one another and to not take one another for granted.  May our lives, our relationships, and our treatment of our family members be for us and others a positive presence of your love in our world.  We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ your Son, who reigns with your and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever, Amen.
6.       Catechesis – from the Catechism of the Catholic Faith
The nature of the family
2201    The conjugal community is established upon the consent of the spouses. Marriage and the family are ordered to the good of the spouses and to the procreation and education of children. The love of the spouses and the begetting of children create among members of the same family personal relationships and primordial responsibilities.
2202    A man and a woman united in marriage, together with their children, form a family. This institution is prior to any recognition by public authority, which has an obligation to recognize it. It should be considered the normal reference point by which the different forms of family relationship are to be evaluated.
2203    In creating man and woman, God instituted the human family and endowed it with its fundamental constitution. Its members are persons equal in dignity. For the common good of its members and of society, the family necessarily has manifold responsibilities, rights, and duties.