The Christian family IS a church.
Within the family we have our unique rituals and patterns of behaviour. To the untrained eye, it can look rather “hectic” but in this raw material of eating, dressing, going to bed, preparing meals, homework, cleaning, the gap between everyday life and our spiritual life can become one and be lived out in its humanness and ordinariness and become transformed. This is a reality, this is the daily “stuff” of Christian Marriage and Family life. Four families share how their family expresses their church life.
John and Francoise Cummins have seven children, but apart from being generous to life they have also remained focused on family prayer.
Francoise said: “I come from a big family of 11 children and I can always recall us kneeling down at night for family prayer.
“It is a memory that has stayed with me and has a deep impact on me. I remember that we used to giggle sometimes but I can say our family has been blessed.
“It has helped me in the way we have brought up our own family of seven children.
“John and I have been married for 28 years. We love praying and believe in the power of prayer.
“In our lounge we have an altar with images of the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart, a crucifix and other holy pictures that lead us easily to turn to prayer when we need to.
“We have the sayings that a “family that prays together stays together” and also “a world at prayer is a world at peace”.
"In the morning, I always light two candles; one to Jesus and one to Mary.
"It was easier to say prayers together when the children were younger, but we still say prayers, especially those who can, Dominic and Stephen, who are still at school.
"When we say the Rosary even the dog comes and joins us.
We thank God for the new day and all the good things He has in store for us, we unite ourselves to Him.
"As a mother I place each one of my children under Mary’s mantle of protection.
"All of us wear a Miraculous Medal as a token of love and need for protection. Our home has been blessed by a priest more than once and St Anthony is one of our dear friends.
"When I look for something I have lost I have learnt not to stress (to the best of my ability) but to light a candle to St Anthony and there in no time I can remember finding whatever I was looking for.
"Last month we heading off as a family to World Youth Day.
"I consider it such a privilege and prayed that WYD would be truly an enriching experience binding us together more and making us true evangelists."