CATHOLIC families should think about whether they are called to go and become missionary families to the poor in Australia or abroad, a high profile American Catholic Church leader told a national gathering of Catholic families in Melbourne last Saturday.
Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver, Colorado, was giving the keynote address at the “Dare to Dream” National Catholic Family Gathering at Melbourne’s Dallas Brooks Hall.
Archbishop Chaput, a Franciscan Capuchin, came to national prominence in the US just over 12 months ago as he comforted the grieving families of students killed in the Colombine high school massacre.
His address to the Melbourne gathering, a major national Jubilee Year event for Australia sponsored by the Bishops’ Committee for the Family and for Life, was entitled “The Family – A community of life and love”. Archbishop Chaput also gave advice and suggestions to parents on how to build Catholic families which will help create the civilisation of love envisaged by Pope John Paul II as opposed to the current culture of death which afflicts the US and similar countries like Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
However, supporting missionary families had to be a community effort, he said.
“Every missionary family needs three things – prayers, friendship and material support. So if six of the families here today were to go on mission, surely 60 more could tithe to support them,” he suggested.