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The Church in the 21st Century Center

Catholic Families: Carrying Faith Forward

Picture of family holding hands, praying before dinner.

Few would disagree that in the brief time since his election, Pope Francis has given new hope to the Catholic Church worldwide, emphasizing the life-giving message of the Gospel and reaching out anew to those in the margins of society. It was in this spirit that he announced in October 2013 that the following year there would be an extraordinary general assembly of the synod of bishops on the family and evangelization, and that this extraordinary general assembly would be followed by an ordinary general assembly of the synod of bishops in October 2015.

The family is the community where Catholics first experience the joy Christ brings to the world. His love surrounds the children through the love and care and affection that parents lavish on their sons and daughters. Today we all know this idyllic “first community” can be disrupted by the attractions and distractions of a fast-paced secular society.

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C21 Resources Spring 2015

Catholic Families: Carrying Faith Forward

We are grateful for the thoughtful guidance of guest editor Stephen J. Pope. Please share this magazine with family, friends, students, colleagues, and fellow parishioners. We are happy to fulfill requests for additional copies. Please send an email to


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picture of Steve Pope
Stephen J. Pope received his Ph.D. in theological ethics from the University of Chicago in 1988. He teaches courses on social ethics and theological ethics. He has written The Evolution of Altruism and the Ordering of Love (Georgetown, 1994) and Human Evolution and Christian Ethics (Cambridge, 2007), and he has edited Essays on the Ethics of St. Thomas Aquinas (Georgetown, 2001). Pope's latest book is A Step Along the Way: Models of Christian Service (Orbis, April 2015).He and his wife have three children and reside in West Roxbury, Massachusetts.      


Search under Stephen Pope and family on our C21 Videos page to find all events related to this focal issue.

Still of Steve Pope

Steve Pope at Agape Latte: Theology professor Stephen Pope explores why it is so important to forgive in spite of the trouble and the heartache often involved.

Still of Thomas Groome and Matt Weber

Handing on the Faith in the 21st Century: A conversation with Matt Weber of CatholicTV and Professor Tom Groome about handing on the faith in the 21st century.

Still of Katie Dalton speaking at Agape Latte

Agape Latte with Katie Dalton: Special Christmas Agape Latte speaker, Katie Dalton, shares her story on the importance of Christmas and family.

Still of Fr. Michael Himes

Agape Latte with Fr. Michael Himes on Family: Listen to Fr. Michael Himes on family and the ability to love them.

STill of Colleen Griffith and Thomas Groome

Catholic Spiritual Practices: A Treasury of Old and New: Previewing selections from their latest book, Catholic Spiritual Practices: A Treasury of Old and New (Paraclete Press, 2012), listen to editors Colleen Griffith and Thomas Groome discuss how spiritual practices help to strengthen the life of faith within the family.

Still of Fr. Jim Keenan, S.J.

Family Dynamics of the Church: Love and Disagreement: Jim Keenan, SJ, of the Theology Department spoke on "Family Dynamics of the Church: Love and Disagreement." Father Keenan addressed the topic of disagreement through the concept of family and church community. He discussed how to manage these tensions and real difficulties that are faced on a constant basis, while maintaining a sense of love and respect for one another.

Still of Ernie Collamati

The Eucharist: The Center of Family Life: Ernest Collamati discusses the importance of the Eucharist as the center of family life.


STill of Kathy Hendricks

A Garden of Grace: Spiritual Practices for Family Life: Kathy Hendricks, author and retreat director, leads a workshop on the enriching effects of spiritual practices on real family life.


To view recorded events on the theme of family or listen to Podcast