What has struck them most of all, in these 12 years with the Pontifical Council for the Family is "the proximity to couples and families," and the effort, session after session, to "be close to the suffering and the joys, the needs and the growth of those who wager on the family."
"Too often—write the Canadian couple Guylaine Morin and André Belzile, consultors of the Pontifical Council for the Family in a letter addressed to the President, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, and the entire Dicastery—spirituality takes up a great of space, and there is little time for human growth." The two remember how this adventure has brought them to "form thinking and actions for the pastoral promotion of couples and the family. Often, when we talk about family, we think of those who have young children: however, the Council—Guylaine and André note—has never forgotten grandparents, adolescents and young people, because family pastoral ministry concerns everyone. Meeting and listening to the different cultures from the five continents has allowed us—they add—to shape the way we see the universal Church, which includes all nations and all cultures." The Pontifical Council for the Family, the couple writes, "has enabled us to strengthen our work with families. We sought inspiration in its guidelines to better evangelize and support couples, families and people who are suffering, and we are seeing the fruits, even in the participation in parish life."
The couple ended its letter by expressing the hope that "the apostolate of the family may always be at the center of the mission of our diocesan churches to meet those who suffer, who thirst to know God, and for the growth of couples and families. The Holy Spirit acts in the world, and for this He needs our hands, our feet, our intelligence, and our heart, so that He may fully accomplish Christ's mission."