As we prepare for the World Meeting of Families in Dublin later this month, it's a good time to reflect on the many faces of love in the family.
In a recent address to the Delegation of the Forum of Family Associations, Pope Francis spoke in his usual down-to-earth way about the beauty of marriage and family, about the human family as the image of God, and about the treasure of children. "Family life is a sacrifice but a beautiful sacrifice," he said. "The family is an adventure, a beautiful adventure!"
The families in the short videos below understand the meaning of that sacrifice and adventure. They are witnesses to the great beauty of human love within the family.
This video series was made for the last World Meeting of Families – in Philadelphia in 2015. But it was too beautiful not to share with you again!
THE STACKPOLES: A LIFE OF SERVICE
The story of the life and death of New York City fireman Timothy Stackpole is a testament to what a true life of faith and service means. Timmy, a father of five children, perished in the collapse of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Today his story, as shared by his widow Tara, continues to inspire hope, forgiveness, and faith in all families, especially those directly affected by the tragedy.
THE GARCIA-PRATS FAMILY: RICHER BY THE DOZEN
Joe and Cathy Garcia-Prats have been married for more than 40 years and are the proud parents of 10… that’s right, 10 sons! Joe is a practicing neonatologist, and Cathy is a former first-grade teacher and author of a number of books, including Good Families Don’t Just Happen. Their inspiring story of love built on faith, respect, and selflessness for each individual member of the family is a powerful witness to modern family life and openness to the Holy Spirit.
THE TAYLOR FAMILY: FINDING HOME
It was work that initially brought the Taylor family to Erie, Pennsylvania, but it was the love of a little boy that made their home a place where joy abounds. This is the story of an ordinary family that opened itself up to God’s will.
THE MCAVOY FAMILY: CHOOSING LIFE ABOVE ALL ODDS
Despite having insurmountable odds stacked in front of them, the McAvoy family never wavered in their faith and chose life. Listen to their amazing testimony, and hear from Clare herself, the young woman whom doctors had thought would never survive.
THE BOLGER FAMILY: A LOVE NEVER LOST
The only thing more beautiful than young love is old love. Uncover the story of the Bolger Family of Toronto, Ontario, a family whose endless faith and eternal love have endured the challenges and struggles of Alzheimer's disease.
THE LIGHT FAMILY: THE BIGGER PICTURE
Ashley and Gregory Light, from Cornwall, Ontario, are learning to deal with the realities of building a new family, one filled with hope for the future. Parents to three little girls, Ashley stays at home while Gregory works to provide for his family. In a world "built for double income families," their choice is not without challenges. Listen to their story to hear how they keep their eyes on the bigger picture.
THE BENEDICTS: ORDINARY PEOPLE, EXTRAORDINARY LIVES
The Benedicts from Michigan, USA, are ordinary people living extraordinary lives. Sam Benedict, the youngest in the family, was born at 33 weeks gestation with Hallermann–Streiff syndrome, a rare genetic disorder. His miraculous and joyful life is proof that there is a purpose and reason for everybody. Through living with a tiny saint, the Benedicts have learned so much about life, sacrifice, and generosity, and they wouldn't have it any other way.
THE EMERSONS: BE NOT AFRAID!
"If the Lord is truly calling you to a life of priesthood, you can only put him off for so long." This statement rang true for the Emerson Family from Madison, Wisconsin, whose third son accepted his call to the priesthood shortly after graduating from college. Learn more about this courageous young man who, with the support of his family, fearlessly lives out St. John Paul II's words: "Be Not Afraid!"
THE REBELLOS: A FAMILY AT PRAYER
Meet the Rebello Family, a family of 14 that has made praying together a part of their daily routine. How does a family with 12 children between the ages of one and 18 manage this? More importantly, why? Watch this video to meet the Rebellos and find out.