NWLF 2019 Initiatives

In Manitoba, the National Week for Life and the Family promotes several events and actively works to enrich faith and community throughout the National week in May, but also extends the celebration to both before and following the National week (May 12-19, 2019).  Every year the committee focuses on a new topic and theme that is pertinent to the church and families today. The theme for 2019 is: "Listening to the Gospel as a Family".  The Tri-Diocesan committee seeks to offer events, activities and initiatives that promote the strengthening of families, the unity of the church community and takes on the challenges that families face in our world today, especially with regards to the unborn, children and the elderly.  This year’s focus will be on “renewing the family bond” and will have two main elements – “Receiving the Gospel” and “Sharing the Gospel”.

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What is Lectio Divina?

This year, our three Catholic Archbishops in (southern) Manitoba invite families to grow in faith by reading the Gospel together as a family. They propose Lectio Divina.

Lectio Divina ("Divine Reading" in Latin) is a traditional Benedictine practice of scriptural reading, meditation and prayer intended to promote communion with God and to increase the knowledge of God's Word. It does not treat scripture as texts to be studied, but as the Living Word to be embraced.

Traditionally, Lectio Divina has four separate steps: read; meditate; pray; contemplate. First a passage of scripture is read, then its meaning is reflected upon. This is followed by prayer and contemplation on the Word of God.

The focus of Lectio Divina is not a theological analysis of biblical passages but viewing them with Christ as the key to their meaning. For example, given Jesus' statement in John 14:27: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you", an analytical approach would focus on the reason for the statement during the Last Supper, the biblical context, etc.

In Lectio Divina, however, the practitioner "enters" and shares the peace of Christ rather than "dissecting" it. This form of meditative prayer leads to an increased knowledge of Christ.

The roots of scriptural reflection and interpretation go back to Origen in the 3rd century, after whom Ambrose taught them to Augustine of Hippo. But Lectio Divina was first established in the 6th century by Benedict of Nursia, and then formalized as a four-step process by the Carthusian monk Guigo II during the 12th century.

In the 20th century, the constitution Dei verbum of the Second Vatican Council recommended Lectio Divina to the general public and its importance was affirmed by Pope Benedict XVI at the start of the 21st century. (source: Wikipedia)

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John12,12-22.

The next day the great crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem.
So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord the King of Israel!’
Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it; as it is written:
‘Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion. Look, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!’
His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written of him and had been done to him.
So the crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to testify.
It was also because they heard that he had performed this sign that the crowd went to meet him.
The Pharisees then said to one another, ‘You see, you can do nothing. Look, the world has gone after him! ’
Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks.
They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, ‘Sir, we wish to see Jesus.’
Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.

Suggested Lectio Divina readings

As a family, you may wish to deepen your faith and family bond by reading the Sunday Gospels ahead of time, using the Lectio Divina methed proposed by St. Boniface Archbishop LeGatt (see homepage).

To assist you and your family, here is a list of the Lenten Sunday readings, with questions to help guide your reflections. May Lectio Divina bring you closer to Jesus, the Divine Author of the Gospel!

Second Sunday Lent March 17th

The Transfiguration   Luke 9:28-36

1.       What word or phrase caught your attention?

2.       Recall a special time in your life when you felt on top of the world.  How was God present in that experience?

3.       What direction was God inviting you to go after it was over?


Fifth Sunday of Lent April 7th

The Woman Caught in Adultery    John 8:1-11

1.       What word or phrase caught your attention?

2.       Are we able to see our sins or only those of others?


 Second Sunday of Easter April 28th

Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene     John 20:19-31


1.       What word or phrase caught your attention?

2.       Mary Magdalene is the first in every listing of Jesus’ female disciples.  How are you being a disciple today?


Fifth Sunday of Easter May 19th

The New Commandment      John 13:31-35

1.       What word or phrase caught your attention?

2.       The song says:” You will know they are Christians by their love.”  Will they know you are Christian by your love? 

3.       How do you show love to others?

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Parish Bulletin Inserts

Below are our ready-to-use bulletin insert requests for parishes.

Inserts to follow here

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Suggested Activities and Resources

You will find below links to our suggested activities and resources for the National Week for Life and the Family (NWLF).

Papal Encyclical Letters and Apostolic Exhortations on life and the family:

Amoris Laetitia (Pope Francis - March 19, 2016) (Français)

Evangelium Vitae (St. John Paul II - March 25, 1995) (Français)

Veritatis Splendor (St. John Paul II - August 6, 1993) (Français)

Familiaris Consortio (St. John Paul II - November 22, 1981) (Français)

Humanae Vitae (Paul VI - July 25, 1968)(Français)

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2019 Events

Please click on the button below to view our listing of events for the 2019 National Week for Life and the Family.