Read inspiring, engaging stories on the family

Members of Sacred Heart Church in McAllen, Texas, participate in a virtual town hall meeting with Pope Francis connected via satellite link from the Vatican Aug. 31. The meeting also included Catholics from Chicago and Los Angeles and was arranged and hosted by ABC News. (CNS/courtesy of ABC News)
This article appears in the Synod on the Family feature series. View the full series.

We are counting down to Oct. 4, the start of the second Synod of Bishops, when bishops from around the globe will discuss important issues facing families today.

If this story by Austrian correspondent Christa Pongratz-Lippitt is any indication, family is a very important topic for Catholics. So important that over 12,000 people from 42 countries responded to a single questionnaire handed out in parishes by three unknown German college students.

Questionnaires have been cropping up here and there (here’s just one example) since Francis told the bishops to get responses from the faithful on last year’s synod document. Some bishops honored Francis’ request and went out of their way to ensure their parishioners had a say. Others didn’t.

Francis has also spent the last few months defining family in his weekly Wednesday general audiences, discussing the role of each figure, from parents, grandparents, children and beyond.

To keep you up-to-date on those important family issues, NCR has been gathering stories for almost two years. You can read all of the stories here.

Continue to keep a watchful eye as we ramp up coverage on the family in anticipation of the October synod. We will have stories from Argentina that focus on answering these two questions: What kind of families did Francis know? And what is family life like?

Also, look for stories published on Europe’s idea of family and a portrait of American Catholic family life.

So far, NCR has published commentaries (like this powerful piece from Patrick T. Reardon), opinions, news and feature stories ranging on topics from immigration to contraception to same-sex marriage to divorce and remarriage, all stemming from one single theme: just what exactly does it mean to be a family in today’s society?

NCR will continue to update our feature series on the Synod on the family here. Also, follow us on Facebook and Twitter for coverage.

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