The Vatican

Discernment in the family environment

An event organized by the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, in collaboration with the Gregorian University, aims to study discernment in the family setting, in the context of the Year of the Family Amoris Laetitia.

David Fernández Alonso-April 20, 2021-Reading time: 2 minutes
a family attends mass

Photo: ©2021 Catholic News Service / U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The experience of the pandemic has unmasked false security and revealed the traps present in relational dynamics. Fragility and vulnerability have also appeared in the lives of individuals and families.

In the Year of the Family

In the Year of the Family Amoris Laetitia -coordinated by the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life- and the group of professors of the Diploma of Family Pastoral Care of the Pontifical Gregorian University will offer two days of reflection on the experience of local churches around the practice of discernment.

"We chose to address the topic of discernment because it is perhaps the least immediate one to focus on," explains Diploma director Fr. Miguel Yáñez. "Everyone thinks they know what it is, but what does Amoris Laetitia mean by 'discernment'? What does 'making discernment' mean in the family and for the life of families, in the different seasons of planning, between growth and crisis? What does 'making discernment' mean in this context of pandemic?"

Two days

The two days of the "Forum on Discernment in the Family Context" will take place on April 23 and 24. The Forum will open on the afternoon of Friday, April 23 (4:30 p.m.) with greetings from Card. Kevin Farrell, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, and Fr. Nuno da Silva Gonçalves SJ, Rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University.

Then, the professors of the Diploma in Family Pastoral Care will offer some reflections on the reception of the practice of discernment in family pastoral care (Emilia Palladino); on the relationship between generations, adolescence, discernment and Covid (Paolo Benanti T.O.R. - Antonietta Valente); and on the pastoral challenges posed by the fragility of bonds (Giorgio Bartolomei - Giulio Parnofiello SJ).

On the morning of Saturday, April 24, at 9:30 a.m. - after the greetings of Bishop Dario Gervasi, Delegate Bishop for Family Pastoral Care of the Diocese of Rome, and Fr. Philipp Renczes SJ, Dean of the Faculty of Theology of the Gregorian University - will address the discernment between ethics, affections and the body (Maria Cruciani - Giovanni Salonia, O.F.M. Cap.), the ecclesial place of discernment (Giuseppe Bonfrate - Stella Morra) and the challenge of discernment in the face of new situations (Miguel Yanez SJ).

Via streaming

The days of reflection can be followed both through the Youtube channel of the Gregorian University and on the website dedicated to the Year of the Family Amoris Laetitia of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life ( Summaries of the presentations are already available on video on the event's playlist. Simultaneous translation will be available in Italian, English and Spanish.

You can also participate in the debate by sending your questions to the following e-mail address: [email protected].

Now in its fifth edition, the Diploma in Family Pastoral Care, promoted by the Faculty of Theology of the Pontifical Gregorian University, offers a training course for pastoral animators and professionals in the field of marriage and the family. This course - conceived as a contact with the pastoral reality, even before as a theoretical approach - focuses on interdisciplinary dialogue by bringing together scholars of different scientific competencies in the fields of anthropology, sociology, psychology, family therapy, theology and spirituality.

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