Marriage and Family Life


Fatherhood and Motherhood are the Fullness of the Life of a Person 

Pope Francis Proclaims Importance Of Parenthood

In our continuing catechesis on Saint Joseph, we now consider Joseph’s dignity as the foster-father of Jesus, born of the Virgin Mary. As Mary’s husband and Jesus’ legal father, Joseph had all the rights of a father, including that of naming their child. Yet Joseph had learned from the angel that, in God’s plan, Mary’s Son was to be named Jesus, which means “the Lord saves”. Joseph’s docility to God’s will and his fatherly care for the child Jesus can teach us much about the authentic meaning of parenthood. To be a mother or father is not simply a matter of biology; more profoundly, it entails caring for the life of a family. In this sense, one of the highest forms of parenthood is to take on the responsibility of becoming adoptive parents, prepared to welcome an orphaned or abandoned child as part of one’s own family. Let us pray that through Joseph’s intercession, fathers of families will be given the grace to respond to their noble vocation and that the many children in our world who long for a secure and loving home will find a welcome on the part of good and generous families. 

January 5, 2022 - General Audience - Pope Francis

Family Life and Parenting

The joy of love experienced by families is also the joy of the Church” (Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia, no. 1). Family life – though not without its challenges – is a great gift! It is in the family that all of us learn what it means to love and be loved, to forgive, and how to maintain relationships over time. The family is called to welcome others, in particular children, and to care for those in need. Content in this section can help families become places of prayer and faith (domestic Churches) and navigate the challenges that come with parenting, extended family relationships, caregiving, and more.


“While all members of the family are called to live out the foundational Christian virtues, fathers and mothers have a special responsibility for fostering these virtues within their children. They are the first to proclaim the faith to their children. They are responsible for nurturing the vocation of each child, showing by example how to live the married life, and taking special care if a child might be called to the priesthood or consecrated life.”

– USCCB, Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan, 2009