By Francesca Merlo

July 1 2022

Following the World Meeting of Families, Gabriella Gambino, Undersecretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, discusses the successes the Meeting has shown, especially in demonstrating how the worldwide Church is itself one big family.

The Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life has produced a concluding video following the 10th World Meeting of Families, held in Rome on 22-26 June.

The event was a moment of communion that took place not only in Rome but involved all the families of the world who, unable to travel, participated in their dioceses and homes, according to Gabriella Gambino, Undersecretary of the Vatican Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life.

Speaking with Vatican News’ Gabriella Ceraso about the video, Dr Gambino highlighted how the worldwide participation has put even greater emphasis on the message of a united Church, in which families represent a very important aspect, noting that the Pope has given families the task of becoming missionaries in the world.

A worldwide unity

She described the meeting as being “a unique, unprecedented experience”, precisely for its worldwide aspect.

She explained that the event was was able to truly involve dioceses, parishes and communities all over the world, allowing them to live the experience in full communion with Rome.

This, too, she stressed, adds to the idea of “being family”, highlighting each of the themes of the festival.

This festival showed us “a united Church, truly made up of families and pastors together, where we saw co-responsibility and communion truly in action. And this I think is a very important aspect to highlight”, said Gambino.

Linking Amoris Laetitia

She then went on to recall that the Festival marked the end of the year Amoris Laetitia, which “undoubtedly has been a path that has opened up processes, and given surprising results a little all over the world.”

She noted that the journey has really only begun and that it is now “to be continued together, also in the wake of all that the Holy Father has told us during the World Meeting, and in particular of the missionary sending-forth he gave to families.”

The Cross, representing each family

In St Peter’s Square, during Mass on Saturday at the closing of the Meeting of Families, the Pope invited all families to live in freedom, parents to trust their children, and husbands and wives to show their fidelity to their vocation as spouses, so as to continue the journey begun at the Meeting.

Dr Gambino recalled that this wish was accompanied by “a very important and symbolic gesture, which was the handing over of crosses to the families of the delegates of the Bishops’ Conferences and movements who were present at the Mass. These crosses represent all the families of the world, which the delegates today took home, a little in memory of this entrustment that has been handed over to them.”

Families are the Church, continued Dr Gambino, and the Holy Father “called them, for example, to proclaim the beauty of marriage and the family to children, to young people, so that they can learn to desire marriage and family life.” This was also done throughout this World Meeting.

“In the end, this Meeting was a demonstration of how much we need to share the richness and beauty of families,” said Gambino.

Gathering of families in the Jubilee year

Finally, Dr Gambino looked ahead to the next gathering of families, which will take place in the context of the Jubilee Year 2025.

“It will not be an edition of the World Meeting,” she said. “It will really be a meeting within the Jubilee, but it will still be an important appointment because it will once again be an opportunity to meet, to listen to each other and above all to pray together.” – Vatican News