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Church at Home





The Catechism of the Catholic Church (# 1655) explains that "from its origins, the nucleus of the Church was often made up of those who," with their whole house ", had become believers (cf. Acts 18,8). When they were converted, they also wanted "their whole house" to be saved (cf. Acts 16,31 and 11:14). These families who became believers were islands of Christian life in an unbelieving world. "

The early Christian communities after Pentecost were organized into families, groups of families, and houses. In the early Church the house church was the cornerstone of the local Church.

According to Saint John Chrysostom, we can prepare a double table: one for food, the other for the reading of the word of God: "Make your house a Church," he wrote, "where there is indeed psalmody, prayer, the hymns of the prophets, he is not mistaken who wants to call such a meeting a Church (Saint John Chrysostom, Exp. in Ps 41, 2; PG 55, 158).

Pope Paul VI teaches that the family, "like the Church, should be a place where the gospel is transmitted and from which the gospel shines. (...) such a family becomes evangelizer of many other families and of the environment in which it is inserted (Evangelii Nuntiandi # 71). Pope John Paul II, for his part, insists on the missionary dimension of the family, explaining that the latter "receives the mission of keeping, revealing and communicating love" (Familiaris Consortio # 17).

It is the Holy Family of Nazareth which is the model of the domestic Church: "The house of Nazareth, in fact, is a school of prayer, where we learn to listen, to meditate, to penetrate the deep meaning of manifestation of the Son of God, taking the example of Mary, Joseph and Jesus" (Benedict XVI, General Audience, Wednesday, December 28, 2011). "Oh! If there was reborn in us the esteem for silence, an admirable and indispensable atmosphere of the spirit: while we are stunned by so much din, noise and shrill voices in the hectic and tumultuous life of our time. Oh! Silence of Nazareth, teach us to be steadfast in good thoughts, seeking the interior life, ready to hear the secret inspirations of God and the exhortations of true masters" (Paul VI, Address to Nazareth, January 5, 1964).

To do Church at home, therefore, is to seek to imitate the Holy Family, which had Jesus at its center. In doing so, we live the different dimensions of the Church: prayer, catechesis, evangelization, fraternity, and solidarity.

Finally, let us know that putting Jesus at the heart of our lives is above all an attitude and an interior disposition, that of staying with him, that of thinking of him, that of loving him, and that of wanting to share his mission. For where the love of Jesus is, there is the Church!

Pierre-Alain Giffard

Archidiocèse de Gatineau
180, boulevard du Mont-Bleu,
Gatineau (Québec) J8Z 3J5
Téléphone: 819 771-8391
Télécopieur: 819 778-8969

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