Here are the tentative dates that the Familiaris Consortio group will be meeting at St. Mary’s Parish, 519 E. Fourth St., in Alton. All sessions will take place on a Monday and will run from 7-8:30 p.m. Drinks and light snacks will be included.
"The year 2011 is the 30th anniversary of the very timely and powerful apostolic exhortation so revisiting the document in a purposeful way seems particularly appropriate," said Carlos Tejeda, the associate director of OMFL. "We're looking at starting one in Springfield as well."
The four-part apostolic exhortation, written in 1981 to address the human family and marriage, serves as a summary of the church's teachings on the nature and role of the Christian family and the sacrament of marriage. In it, Blessed Pope John Paul II reiterated that all creation flows from the heart of God.
Blessed John Paul wrote that the Christian family plays a central role in advancing God's reign on earth: "... Each family finds within itself a summons that cannot be ignored and that specifies both its dignity and responsibility: Family, become what you are." (No.17)
Tejeda said Blessed John Paul's document is pertinent to everyone who has lived, currently lives or will live in a family. "That means dating and engaged couples, newlyweds, young parents, established parents, empty-nesters, great-grandparents — everyone has something to learn and contribute," he said, calling the document "perennially relevant."
"If people are interested in coming they're very welcome to join the group even if they aren't parishioners at St. Mary's," Tejeda said. "Even if they can't make all the sessions, we'd be glad to have their company." He is looking forward to sharing information and ideas with the group, he said.
Individuals from other parts of the diocese who might be interested in gathering together a group, or need more information, should e-mail Tejeda at or call him at the pastoral center at (217) 321-1132.