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Rome Reports

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World Meeting of Families: “When the Church was formed, it happened at home”

Over five days, families from across the world gathered in Rome to explore ways of promoting family life within the Church at the tenth World Meeting of Families.

It's keynote speakers, Greg and Lisa Popcak, spoke before those gathered at the Vatican to address what they see as a key problem in the Church: the disconnect between parishes and family life at home.

What often happens is we go to the parish, and try to find our connection with God in the time that we can spend there, whether it's Mass or women's group or sending our kids to youth group or whatever those times are, and we leave and we don't know how to bring that grace home.

In response to this problem, they propose a Liturgy of Domestic Church Life, which seeks to promote the early Church's idea of family life in modern day. 

The pandemic really started a conversation in the Church about what does it mean to live the Church at home. Which frankly was something that was just assumed when the Church came on the scene in the book of Acts, Church happened at home.

And as the Church grew and became more institutionalized we lost that domestic Church sense.

Together, the Popcaks founded CatholicHOM, which stands for households on mission. It's an app that helps Catholic families implement the Liturgy of Domestic Church Life at home, by developing practices to be healthy and holy.

This whole thing is not about doing more things and adding more stuff to your already busy schedule. It's about learning how to do the things you're already doing in a more intentional way that allows you to draw closer to Christ and to create a Catholic home community that allows families who are interested in pursuing that path to holiness to support each other.

This couple says that by returning to a model where Church takes place at home will enliven parish life as well, and hopes that the ongoing synod will offer the Church a chance to better hear what families need to fulfill their mission.