The Pontifical John Paul II Institute and the Italian Bishops‘ Conference are offering a course of formation in family ministry for priests
"Among the places where your presence seems most needed and significant, the very first is the family." These words addressed by Pope Francis to the Italian Bishops have inspired the Course of Permanent Formation in Family Ministry, organized by the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in collaboration with the National Office of the Italian Bishops‘ Conference for Family Ministry and the Pastoral of Vocations. The proposed formation is designed especially for priests, religious and deacons with the aim—explain the promoters—"of moving the deepest part of the priest‘s heart to accompany families so that they can receive, through words and deeds of a priest, the oil of joy that Jesus came to bring."
The two-month part-time course, organized in such a way that the priests may continue their pastoral work in the parishes or dioceses, is multifaceted, with courses in various fields (anthropology, moral theology, pastoral and social studies, with special reference to the Motu Proprio Mitis Iudex), enriched with testimonies, workshops, cultural programs and the sharing of the Eucharist, "the center and source of this unity of vocations that animates all the action of the Church." The course—the organizers add—"aims to show the intrinsic relationship between the family and faith, seeing precisely in this bond the inherent strength in the family as the subject of Evangelization. In the vital comparison between family life and the priestly ministry—they conclude—a richer understanding of their own specific vocation to love develops."