Blessed John Paul II wrote in his exhortation Familiaris Consortio “the future of humanity passes by way of the family.” Why would that be so? Because it is within the family that children learn to be responsible, caring people who will one day shape the world through their actions and beliefs.
It is vital that every-day families are supported in their efforts to raise children. Often these families are left to it and no one acknowledges the hard work, and sometimes great struggles that families endure in raising children. Our focus seems always to be on those who are completely falling apart at the seams (and rightly so, but not at the expense of building up families that are not dysfunctional).
One way that we believe we can strengthen and encourage families is by holding a Family Fun Day. Family Life International NZ, together with the Secular Franciscans held our second Family Fun Day in Auckland on Sunday 5th February. About 800 people attended this year’s Family Fun Day!
The Day featured running races, entertainment, face painting, candy floss and Old MacDonald’s Farm. Veges were donated for us to sell, and Tip Top turned up with 600 free ice-creams! But more importantly, there was an opportunity for us to shape our children’s minds and hearts by sharing the message that all children – both born and unborn are precious! We did this through releasing 500 balloons (biodegradable) with pro-life messages (yes, its the thing of the moment – but wow what a colourful, joyful way to celebrate life). Bishop Pat Dunn, Bishop of Auckland, led participants on a prayer procession which finished at the grotto for Our Lady. Here, Bishop Pat blessed all the children present, both born and yet to be born.
It is our prayer at Family Life International NZ that the day will stay engraved in each person’s heart. That the children who attended will grow to be the next generation of people who will shape our nation to be one that stands for life. We pray that each family that attended felt encouraged. We pray too, that each family present will warmly welcome any newly conceived child, no matter the circumstances or the difficulties experienced.
While the Family Fun Day is only a drop in the ocean for promoting life, faith and family, it is a brilliant opportunity to spread the pro-life/pro-family message to those who may otherwise dismiss it.
If you would like to know more about our Family Fun Day format, please email us.