Families, Schools of Human Growth: Pope’s August Intention

“What kind of world do we want to leave for the future? Let us leave a world with families.” These words open the Holy Father’s monthly video for his August prayer intention. In a world where the family is under attack from all sides, the pope’s prayer intention is crucial.

Families, Schools of Human Growth
That families, through their life of prayer and love, become ever more clearly “schools of true human growth”.

How can we put the Holy Father’s words into practice? Morning Air® reflected on Pope Francis’ monthly intention with John Feister of Glenmary Home Missioners.

“August is people going back to school, but we mustn’t forget that the family is the school where children and parents both learn from each other, but especially parents are forming their children to become truly the people that they’re called to be. The family is the school,” explained Feister.

The Pope spoke specifically about the need for prayer in our families. “Let us care for our families, because they are true schools for the future, spaces for freedom, and centers of humanity. And let us reserve a special place in our families for individual and communal prayer.”

Teaching your kids how to pray as children gives them a great foundation for the future. “They say that ‘the family that prays together, stays together’—that was Fr. Peyton’s famous line. Now I’m becoming a grandparent, but it’s amazing that adult children will go back and really depend on the things that they learned as small children. You think that they’ve undergone all sorts of outside influences as they grow older, and they have, but the things that we teach our children when they’re young stay with them for life. And it’s important to have some kind of practices of prayer in the home to help kids turn into adults who can look back on that and have some foundations,” said Feister.

When our families are well-formed and centered around God, we are better able to bring the message of Christ out into the world. It all begins at home with prayer and love.

“In the family, we’re able to nurture that identity—that Catholic, Christian, godly identity—and as we function in our society with other people, we bring that to them,” said Feister. “So we’re on the side of people in poverty, so that we are proclaiming the equality of races, so that we are looking for the good in our society and reinforcing good things that we see. Those are all skills that we learn in our families through a life of prayer.”

Learn more about Pope Francis’ monthly prayer intentions at the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network.

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