Family: A Domestic Church
Believe in the Lord Jesus (Paul said), and you will be saved, you and your household … and he was baptized at once with all of his family … and he rejoiced with all his household that he believed in God.
From Acts 16:32-34
Second Vatican Council
The Church is in Christ like a sacrament or as a sign and instrument both of a very closely knit union with God and of the unity of the whole human race…. The family is, so to speak, the domestic church. In it parents should, by their word and example, be the first preachers of the faith to their children….
From Lumen Gentium ##1, 11
Catechism of the Catholic Church
From the beginning, the Church was formed from believers “and their whole household.” New believers wanted their family to be saved (Acts 18:8).
In our modern world (often hostile to religion), religious families are extremely important centers of living faith. They are “domestic churches” in which the parents are the first heralds of faith (Second Vatican Council). In the home, father, mother, and children exercise their baptismal priesthood in a privileged way. The home is the first school of the Christian life where all learn love, repeated forgiveness, and prayerful worship….
The family home is rightly called the domestic church, a community of grace and prayer, a school of human virtues and of Christian charity.
From Catechism of the Catholic Church ##1655-1657, 1666
St John Paul II
As the domestic church, the family is summoned to proclaim, celebrate, and serve the Gospel of life. This is a responsibility which first concerns married couples, called to be givers of life, on the basis of an ever greater awareness of the meaning of procreation as a unique event which clearly reveals that human life is a gift received in order then to be given as a gift. In giving origin to a new life, parents recognize that the child ‘as the fruit of their mutual gift of love, is in turn, a gift for both of them, a gift flows from them’.
From Evangelium Vitae / The Gospel of Life, # 92
Insofar as you live your love for each other and for all with the help of God’s grace, you become a living Gospel, a true Domestic Church.
From Homily at 7th world meeting of families (2012)
Families are the domestic Church, where Jesus grows; he grows in the love of spouses, he grows in the lives of children.
From Address to 37th national convocation of the Renewal in the Holy Spirit (2014)
Jesus, Mary and Joseph … grant that our families too may be places of communion and prayer, authentic schools of the Gospel and small domestic Churches.
From Prayer to the Holy Family for the Synod (2014)