What Does a Holy Family Look Like? What Makes Your Family Holy?

On the last Sunday in December, Catholics around the world will celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family.  It’s an important post-Christmas commemoration, celebrating Jesus, the Blessed Mother, and St. Joseph as a family unit.  Homilies on this feast often promote the holiness of contemporary Catholic family life, too.

“The Holy Family with a Lamb,” by Raphael, 1507

Bondings 2.o  would like to show the world what contemporary Catholic life looks like, especially in regard to sexual orientation and gender identity.   So, to celebrate the feast this year, we are turning to our readers, asking the questions:

  1. “What does a holy family look like?”
  2. “What makes your family holy?”

To answer the first question, we are asking readers to submit electronic photos of your family for possible posting on Bondings 2.o or New Ways Ministry’s website.  Please include your names and location  (city, state/province, nation), as well as any demographic descriptions that you would like (e.g., “lesbian couple raising three adopted children,”  “heterosexual couple with trans daughter,” “single gay dad raising child from his heterosexual marriage.”)   Please do not send PDF photos.

To answer the second question, please submit your response in JUST THREE WORDS!  That’s right, three words to describe what makes your family holy.  It could be a sentence:  “We always love.”   Or it could be three descriptors:  “Faith, Sacrifice, Patience.”  Please be as creative and specific as you can in your language.  Please include your names and location (city, state/province, nation).

On the Feast of the Holy Family this year, December 31, 2017, we will try to post as many photographs and three-word answers as possible on Bondings 2.0.   If we are not able to use your photo or response in the blog post because of space limitations, we will post them on a separate web page to which the blog post will link.

Please send your submissions to:

[email protected]

by Wednesday, December 27, 2017, 5:oo p.m. Eastern U.S. Time.

If we get enough responses, we may end up sending the link to this blog post to bishops around the world (as many as we have email addresses for!).  It’s important for bishops to see what today’s holy Catholic families look like and how they experience holiness in their family life.

Don’t delay!  Send us submissions today!

Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry, November 28, 2017


3 replies
  1. R. Boyle
    R. Boyle says:

    I find myself in a bit of dark humor as I imagine certain Bishops looking at photographs of families that are nontraditional or alternative. And their discomfort with that situation makes me smile. Our Bishops need to understand that the shape and dynamic of family life these days is different and is evolving in amazing and wonderful ways. My firm and deep belief is still that love conquers everything negative. And to try to contain or define love in too restrictive away is tantamount to killing it.

    • Friends
      Friends says:

      Dear “R. Boyle”: That is one of the most incisive and eloquent responsive comments I’ve seen at this site in a long time. I truly believe that the root problem here is the (purported) enforced and mandatory celibacy imposed upon all Catholic clergy — at whatever level of service to the Church they occupy. Our clerical leaders simply do not understand or accept the variety of life situations in which our Church members find themselves lovingly committed. And I won’t even engage the topic of Catholic clergy who are themselves involved in covert intimate romantic relationships. Yet we all know that this is a verifiable (albeit concealed) fact of life. When the rulers of the RCC are willing to “wake up to reality”, perhaps Catholicism itself will find a new level of acceptance among professing and practicing Christians of today’s contemporary generations — i.e., folks under 30 or 40, more or less.


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