"I am pleased to announce the release of my first Pastoral Letter to the people of the Church in the Archdiocese of Portland. 'A True and Living Icon' are my reflections on the reading of Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, in light of Church teaching. I pray that you are uplifted, educated and inspired by this document."
~Archbishop Alexander K. Sample
After two years of prayer, dialogue and discernment, Pope Francis released a new Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, “The Joy of Love,” which can be found HERE:
The Pope has encouraged all Catholics - married and single - along with all people of good will to read this papal document. Rather than reading only news commentary and blogs, we at the Archdiocese of Portland are encouraging people to go to the source, and to read the Apostolic Exhortation in its entirety.
Both The Vatican and The Archdiocese of Portland also suggest using the following resources to help understand Amoris Laetitia:
Since the beginning of his papacy, Pope Francis has called our attention time and again to the family. The family is the first school of love and life. This is where each of us begins our journey and forms relationships. It is here that we see how the love of a father and mother creates new life. It is within the family that we learn how to share, listen, apologize, ask forgiveness, and sacrifice for each other. We learn to love like Christ. Living in a family prepares us for living in the world.
Unfortunately, the health of today’s families is suffering for many reasons. Much of the conflict and trauma in our world can be traced back to the breakdown of the family. But with God’s grace and mercy, the body of Christ (the Church) can accompany sick families back to health. As members of Christ’s Body, we are being inspired to bring His merciful light into whatever darkness may be found in our own families and communities. By the Holy Spirit, families can become “missionary disciples” to their neighbors and peers, extending the Kingdom of God into daily realities.
The Holy Father dedicated numerous Sunday audiences to “Catechesis on the Family,” where he expanded on different elements of family life and faith. Aware of the many struggles facing families, Pope Francis then called two Synods, to examine how the Church can better serve, support and strengthen the family. Here, church leaders, along with couples and experts from all over the globe, gathered together to pray, listen, discuss and discern where the Holy Spirit is calling us. In between those two Synods, Philadelphia hosted the World Meeting of Families, which was a celebration and reminder of the beauty and dignity of the family.
All this brings us to this Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia – “The Joy of Love”, which was released April 8th, 2016.
In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, let us strengthen the bonds of love in our families so that we can become the face of Christ in the world.