The Dublin Declaration: A Clarion Call to Families
Preamble: At this pivotal moment in the history of humanity and in this emerging era of planetary awareness, we as leaders assembled at the World Meeting of Families in Dublin, Ireland, August 21-26, 2018, hear the cries and hopes of families throughout the earth. We, therefore, call on all families around of the Planet, to become leaders in a new way.
We also call upon leaders of family-aware Organizations and Movements, and all People of Good Will everywhere to unite in a common initiative and collaborative effort to answer this cry of need and hope for the future of their own families as well as for a Gospel-centered civilization honoring the Creator and the living community of life.
The over-all purpose of this Clarion Call is to renew the family as the basic cell of the human community, to deeply observe, discern and act together for the common good of families, and to undertake a regenerative approach and Gospel-based global movement that begins in households and communities. We see this movement going forward on their behalf in light of Pope Francis’ inspiring message to the Church and the World.
Section I: The Call: Inviting Families and Leaders of Family Networks, Alliances and Organizations Globally to New Spiritual Vision
To accomplish this goal and reading the Signs of the Times, we will build upon the positive energies of the emerging global civilization, while being cautious of the pitfalls and negative forces. If this Initiative is to be a successful response, we need creative ideas and new resoruces. We intend to tap into the Regenerative Energy which the Creator has offered and continues to offer to us. As we discover, explore, integrate, lead and reach out as Servant-Leaders in accord with our allotted skills, resources and energies, we hope to guide and renew the emerging civilization in the Third Millennium.
In light of God’s Grace and Promise given to each person and to each household of faith, we should listen to the Divine Call in the Visionary Message presented by Pope Francis here at the Dublin World Meeting of Families. This Message is both a call to Families to hear God’s Plan and an inspiration to act to carry out God’s Marvelous Design. This Moment and this Message has been prepared for by five years of strenuous effort by Pope Francis and many co-workers through two World Synods of Bishops and several major Addresses. This amazing effort includes the Apostolic Letters --“The Joy of the Gospel” and “The Joy of Love” – as well as other far-sighted writings that form an Integral Vision for the Future of Families and Humanity through a New Evangelization, a New Ecumenism and a New Humanity.
Section II: The Mission: Realizing the Life-Long Task God Calls Us to Undertake within our Responsibility as Missionary Disciples
As families of the Earth and in particular Christian Families, we are called to a new stage of awareness, unity and mission. We are asked not only to hear the inspiring words of Pope Francis, but to respond to the special Clarion Call of the Gospel as directed to families.
This Call is made to each human heart and to each Household of Faith that we apply our human insights and energies to observe the Signs of the Times, discern the Plan of Christ, and act in specific ways to carry out a renewed Mission and Ministry as Leaders – as Missionary Disciples -- called to a New Apostolic Mission focused on marriage and family. This involves a local, bottom-up and family sensitive mission that calls for a total family ministry touching all the moments of our life cycle as families. This active response forms intentional and covenanted communities of faith and hope. Thus united in faith and prayer, each Family is called to become an intentional and conscious household ready and equipped to carry out this Clarion Call to Mission.
Section III: The Ministry: Becoming Responsive Lay and Family Teams as Servant-Leaders Accompanying Each Other
At this liminal moment of history and planetary crisis we call each individual and family to undertake (through God’s Grace) an apostolic ministry within their Household of Faith and also to reach out to others in need by becoming a Household of Compassion and Divine Mercy. This deeper step demands that we take responsibility as Servant-Leaders and Missionary Disciples for the entire spectrum or range of planetary and familial needs reflected in Catholic Social Teaching in order to heal, to sustain and to enrich each human family and community. This ministry begins with very practical steps.
Having observed the “Signs of the Times” and the renewing documents of the Second Ecumenical Vatican Council, we undertake this deep reflection on the message for families in particular. Thus we must be truly equipped for our mission, formed as leaders with special skills and knowledge, and using new methods of ministry to empower not only Households of Faith but also Households of Compassion. To do this we envision strengthening our present organizations, learning new ways of becoming spiritually and materially effective by collaborative action thereby tapping into New Resources and starting New Family Projects and Enterprises.
Call to Action: Our Response to This Clarion Message.
Each leader, each family and each local community of faith, promise and compassion is thus called to this new stage of maturity, leadership and development inspired by the Spirit and empowered by resources appropriate for our times. This includes new means of communication, new ways of networking, and new forms of funding the projects and enterprises families are called to undertake. What will be your response?
This Invitation and Clarion Call goes forth to begin a new Initiative of Faith, Mission of Promise, and Ministry of Caring for all of the Living Community and Families everywhere.
Presented initially at the World Meeting of Families held in Dublin, Ireland, August 22-26, 2018 by the National Institute for the Family (a.o.a. NIF-USA and NIF-Global), located at 1200 Varnum Street, NE, Washington, DC 20017 USA.