Theology of the Body
Natural Family Planning
Young Adults (18-39)
DOCUMENTS FOR FAMILIES
Familiaris Consortio , "On the Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World" - (November 22, 1981)
This document was written after the 1980 international Synod of Bishops. Four general tasks of the family, discussed by the synod, are also discussed by Pope John Paul II: to form a community of persons; to serve life; to participate in societyís development; and to share in the life and mission of the Church. Among the topics discussed are: the roles of women and of men in families, marriage as a sacrament, the rights of children and of the elderly, the role of parents in the education of children, family planning and birth control, prayer, marriage preparation, and the pastoral care of families after marriage, and other issues."
Mulieris Dignitatem, "On the Dignity and Vocation of Women" - (August 15, 1988)
This letter, written on the occasion of the Marian year, represents Pope John Paul II’s response to a recommendation of the 1987 world Synod of Bishops. Pope John Paul says that “both man and woman are human beings to an equal degree, both are created in God’s image.” He explores the attitude of Jesus toward women in the Gospels which show that “in the eyes of his ontemporaries Christ became a promoter of women’s true dignity and of the vocation corresponding” to it, the pope writes. Some of his themes include the exploitation of women, marriage, motherhood, the value of religious consecration, virginity, women who suffer, distinct feminine gifts and why women cannot be ordained to the priesthood.
Letter to Families, "Year of the Family" - (1994)
The celebration of the Year of the Family gives me a welcome opportunity to knock at the door of your home, eager to greet you with deep affection and to spend time with you. I do so by this Letter, taking as my point of departure the words of the Encyclical Redemptor Hominis, published in the first days of my ministry as the Successor of Peter. There I wrote that man is the way of the Church. With these words I wanted first of all to evoke the many paths along which man walks, and at the same time to emphasize how deeply the Church desires to stand at his side as he follows the paths of his earthly life. The Church shares in the joys and hopes, the sorrows and anxieties of people's daily pilgrimage, firmly convinced that it was Christ himself who set her on all these paths. Christ entrusted man to the Church; he entrusted man to her as the "way" of her mission and her ministry..
Dies Domini , "On Keeping the Lord's Day Holy" - (May 31, 1998)
Pope John Paul II highlights “the duty to attend Sunday Mass,” and he says “efforts must be made to ensure that the celebration has the festive character appropriate to the day commemorating the Lord’s resurrection.” Pope John Paul comments, “In considering the Sunday Eucharist more than 30 years after the council, we need to assess how well the word of God is being proclaimed and how effectively the people of God have grown in knowledge and love of sacred Scripture.” The pope emphasizes that “the Mass in fact truly makes present the sacrifice of the cross.” And, he says, the Eucharist’s communal character “emerges in a special way when it is seen as the Easter banquet, in which Christ himself becomes our nourishment.” Pope John Paul writes that “the Eucharistic celebration does not stop at the church door”; and he discusses Sunday assemblies without a priest, singing, the relations of Sunday to Sabbath, homilies, the sign of peace and other matters.
Rosarium Virginis Mariae, "The Rosary of the Virgin Mary" - (October 16, 2002)
This letter announced the start of a year of the rosary, running from October 2002 to October 2003. In it, Pope John Paul II recommends the addition of five new mysteries of the rosary—the mysteries of light—“to bring out fully the Christological depth of the rosary.” These mysteries are: Christ’s baptism; his self-revelation at Cana; his proclamation of the kingdom of God; his transfiguration; and his institution of the Eucharist. The apostolic letter includes numerous suggestions for praying the rosary in ways that foster contemplation of the mysteries of Christ.