San Antonio Texas (Fides Service) - “Family, become what you are!”: is the theme of a Message issued by Message from the 32nd Meeting of the Bishops of the Church in America San Antonio, Texas 16-19 February 2004. The Bishops voice concern because the whole American Continent is undergoing profound questioning about the fundamentals of society in general and its foundational unit, the family, in particular. Families and family members are confronting ever growing challenges. “ Marriages are often delayed, less stable and more likely to break up - the Bishops say - This lack of stability affects both children and adults. Making a commitment to live together for life is too often today seen as astonishing. Given this cultural and social context, in which so much of the future seems uncertain, many young couples hesitate about starting a family. The demands of modern-day life impose considerable burdens on parents. It is worrisome to see families, no matter how flexible they may be, so overloaded with work, stressed, burdened with financial worries and cut off from the support of the extended family.” Nevertheless the Bishops say they hope that the family will overcome these difficulties because in God’s plan it is the sanctuary of life.
With “creativity in charity” the family reflects God's tenderness, faithfulness and mercy. When this happens, family members become witnesses to the incredible news of Jesus Christ, in whom love triumphed over death, once and for all. Such is the mystery of family life - human beings who transform the world by living the life of Jesus, a full life that fulfils the deepest hopes
The Bishops say that as they evangelize their milieu, families transform daily life into an extraordinary meeting place with God who calls Christians to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth (Matthew 5.13-14).
Therefore the Church must help family members to realise that they form a domestic Church where each member is invited to become a living witness of the gospel of life in the church and in society
The Bishops end their message entrusting the families on the continent of America to the protection of the Holy Family of Nazareth so that inspired in the tender love of Mary and the fidelity of St. Joseph, they may become joyful witnesses of the Gospel of the Family. (R.Z) (Agenzia Fides 3/3/2004; righe 28 - parole 389)