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At Catholic Charities, our mission is rooted in strengthening families. We endeavor to transform lives by fulfilling immediate and long-term needs for families, and we act as a drawbridge for families to encounter Christ in the poor through almsgiving or volunteering.

So it’s no surprise that Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia or “The Joy of Love,” easily relates to the work of Catholic Charities.

Amoris Laetitia centers on family life — encouraging families to live their faith and to fully experience God’s love. In addition to his reflections on Scripture and Church teachings on love, the family and children, Francis also includes practical advice for families. He encourages us to not be locked on the disillusionment of an ideal family, but rather to take into account the rich complexity of family life.
Pope Francis - Amoris Laetitia

Amoris Laetitia is the result of two Synods on marriage and family in 2014 and 2015 and was signed on March 19, the Feast of St. Joseph, and released on April 8, 2016. It consists of nine chapters with 325 numbered paragraphs — the English text runs about 250 small pages.

Have you had the chance to read it? 

Pope Francis encourages that “each part is read patiently and carefully” (#7).

If you only have five minutes right now, check out Pope Francis’ summary of the document.

And if you have just a few minutes right now, we’ve gathered a few notable quotes from Amoris Laetitia as it relates to family life and our work in strengthening families…

  • The Lord’s presence dwells in real and concrete families, with all their daily troubles and struggles, joys and hopes (# 315).
  • Let us care for one another, guide and encourage one another, and experience this as a part of our family spirituality (# 321).
  • Families should not see themselves as a refuge from society, but instead go forth from their homes in a spirit of solidarity with others. In this way, they become a hub for integrating persons into society and a point of contact between the public and private spheres (# 181).
  • I would also like to mention the situation of families living in dire poverty and great limitations. The problems faced by poor households are often all the more trying… In such difficult situations of need, the Church must be particularly concerned to offer understanding, comfort and acceptance (# 49).
  • The Church is a family of families, constantly enriched by the lives of all those domestic churches (# 87).


How can Amoris Laetitia help you strengthen your family? How can you involve Catholic Charities in your mission to “go forth from [your] home in a spirit of solidarity with others” (# 181)? Please visit our website to make a gift of your time, talent or treasure today. Most importantly, please keep the families we serve in your prayers! You are definitely in ours.