Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord:
Recently our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has made the sacramental life of the family a focus of his catecheses and ministry. During the month of September Pope Francis celebrated the weddings of 20 couples at St. Peter’s Basilica and also celebrated a special Mass in honor of grandparents and the elderly. His Wednesday audiences have also focused on the importance of the sacraments in the life of the family, especially keeping Sunday as a day of prayer, rest and the family. From October 5-19, an extraordinary synod of bishops will meet to address the Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization.
This focus on the family only serves to highlight the very important role that mothers and grandmothers play in passing on the faith to the next generation. During the month of October the Church honors the Blessed Mother and all women in a special way. I once again designate October to be Council of Catholic Women Month in the parishes of the Diocese of Palm Beach. I am truly grateful for the invaluable service that the Palm Beach Diocesan Council of Catholic Women provides to the parishes, clergy and religious of the Diocese.
Speaking to the youth and the world on his recent visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida (Brazil), Pope Francis said: "When the Church looks for Jesus, she always knocks at his Mother's door and asks, 'Show us Jesus.' It is from Mary that the Church learns true discipleship. That is why the Church always goes out on mission in the footsteps of Mary."
The Diocese of Palm Beach is grateful to the Council of Catholic Women for having the courage to go on mission in the footsteps of Jesus and Mary, especially by working to enlighten the public about and put an end to Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking. Through our prayers, our acts of charity and our caring involvement, may we create an environment of peace and tranquility where these innocent victims may feel welcome and safe.
May God bless you and fill you with His grace and peace and may the Blessed Virgin Mary always intercede for you and for our Diocese.
Most Reverend Gerald M. Barbarito
October 5, 2014