On March 19th 2021 (the Feast of St Joseph and the 5th Anniversary of publishing of Amoris Laetitia) Pope Francis announced that this current period leading up to the World Meeting of Families in June 2022 should be considered by the faithful as the “Year of Amoris Laetitia”.

It was hoped that Catholics around the world would revisit the teaching of Amoris Laetitia on the beauty, joy and challenge of love in the family. We were asked to reflect personally and corporately on how we are implementing the insights of Amoris Laetitia in our personal lives and in our pastoral programs.

In response the Pope’s request, a network of ministries, movements and agencies in our Archdiocese who already work to support marriage and family life, met to discuss how best to encourage local engagement with Amoris Laetitia.

It was decided that, as Christmas is a time when people’s thoughts naturally turn to family, an “Amoris Laetitia” themed Advent program would provide an effective avenue for corporate reflection on Pope Francis’ teaching.

And so the Walking Together Advent resource was born.

Keith Linard, a long-time parishioner of Holy Rosary Watson and a member of the Focolare movement for over 50 years, scoured Amoris Laetitia for approachable themes and discussion topics.

Archbishop Christopher Prowse generously provided the teaching element, deftly tying together the themes from Amoris Laetitia with those in the Sunday Readings of Advent.

And 19 families from our Archdiocese – representing a variety of shapes, sizes, ages, origins and experience – agreed to be interviewed over to share their personal reflections on the themes of Amoris Laetitia.

But none of this could have come together without the drive, vision, talent and hard work of our Archdiocesan Communications Manager Jeanine Doyle and the skilful support of our IT specialist Jasper Geelen.

We hope you are enriched by this resource.

To find out more about the programs, ministries and groups providing support for marriage and family life in our Archdiocese go to www.marriagefamily.org.au