The word family has many meanings and connotations. There is the traditional nuclear family understanding. There are those whose definition of family has been changed by tragedy and sickness. The word is used as a metaphor for other groups of people. We speak of a “parish family”, or the “family of nations,” or in my own Dominican community the “Dominican family.” Regardless of how we understand it, the Holy Family provides a model for what it means to be family.
It is no secret, especially to those who keep an eye open for studies on faith participation, that these days for the Christian faith present a challenge. It is simple. For more and more people, especially the young, Christian faith is simply not a factor in their lives.
Today is Saint Patrick’s Day. Unlike other years, this year hardly feels like a celebration. But perhaps this year is a chance to see a more accurate sense of Saint Patrick the man than lots of drinking.