The National Association of Catholic Families
What is the National Association of Catholic Families?
We are inspired both
by Pope John Paul II's vision of the family and by the model he proposes
for us, namely the Holy Family of Nazareth. His appeal to us is to love
The NACF is founded
on the family catechesis of the Popes. Our work is therefore based on
the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Familiaris Consortio, The Holy See's
Charter of the Rights of the Family and of course Pope Paul VI's
We endeavour to be
a living family catechesis answering the Servant of God, Pope John Paul's
call for "families to become what they are."
We also welcome families
who are not Catholics and it is striking to see how much effort and commitment
they put into our Association which is uncompromisingly and very happily
We know that we are bringing up our children in a culture which is more and more dominated by hostility to the family, to life and to the Church. We also know that with the grace of God, our mutual support is enabling us to overcome what the Popes have called the Culture of Death and to replace it with Jesus' civilization, the Civilization of Love.
We ask each Local Group to have a minimum of four Family Days a year. Everything else is secondary. Quite simply this is the foundation of everything we do. All including our work hinges on this and without healthy active Local Groups nothing will prosper.
Our Blessed Lady is enthroned in the homes of all of the families of Local Group leaders , who in turn encourage the member families of their Local Groups to enthrone Our Lady as Queen of their family.
Our intention is to help provide the graces necessary for the survival of the families of our Association who are now undergoing an unprecedented level of spiritual and moral attacks and often accompanied by serious health problems.
We are supported by the prayers of very many priests and contemplatives throughout the world.
NACF Family Days
What does an NACF
Family Day consist of?
together to support and encourage one another in the Faith.
1. An image or an Icon of the Holy Family, the model for all Catholic families placed in a position of honour.
2. Pope John Paul's Prayer for Families is then said:
3. A parent or priest loyal to the Magisterium of the Church gives a talk on some aspect of Papal teaching on the Family - in particular Familiaris Consortio followed by relevant discussion of the topic.
4. The day ends with the prayer of Consecration to Our Blessed Lady of the families present.
Two don'ts are insisted on at Family Days
1. Do not criticise other Catholics clerical or lay as it is uncharitable and destroys the peace of the Family Day.
2. Do not allow the Family Day to be instrumentalised for any other purpose because it is only for the mutual support of the families taking part.
Copies of our Icon are available from Mrs. Mary Ashfield, firstname.lastname@example.org
Above all keep it simple. A family invites one or more Catholic families to meet at their house or elsewhere, with each bringing food to share.
The talk should be no more than 25 minutes with adequate time for discussion. All the relevant family catechesis documents are available on our web site www.catholic-family.org
Ensure that there are appropriate and fun activities for children and young people.
Ask some contemplative sisters to pray for the success of the Family Day.
Since the purpose of a Family Day is to strengthen the Faith of families and individuals who feel isolated and marginalised in a society that is at odds with the teaching of the Magisterium, it is important for the peace and unity of the families taking part to invite only those who are not hostile to the teachings of the Church on marriage and the family. With this proviso any Catholic family irrespective of race or social background, should feel entirely free to come to a Family Day. This particularly true of the many recently arrived immigrant families.
Suitable instruction and attractive activities for the children are organised (many ideas and resources are available).
In conclusion. The purpose of a Family Day is simply to provide mutual support in order to help Catholic families survive, recover their strength and confidence, and then go out and respond to the Holy Father's call for the re-evangelisation of families.
Finally remember. It can be done and it will repay your "investment" of time with the mutual support essential to your family.
What is NACF Youth?
NACF Youth is an intrinsic part of the National Association of Catholic Families.
We support one another in the Faith very much against the tide.
NACF Youth is a bridge
between families and the world, a bridge which we build for our mutual
Together with the Executive NACF Youth runs retreats (the most recent on the Holy Isle of Lindisfarne) and other spiritual events often with the spiritual support of the Community of St John or other reliable priests.
Over the past years NACF Youth has attended World Youth Days sending the largest youth delegation from the UK to the World Youth Day Paris 1997. We also gathered round the Holy Father in Rome 2000, Toronto 2003. In Cologne in 2005 we had representatives from our Association from four continents.
Very many of our members have persevered in the Faith.
A striking number of our members have gone into the priesthood and religious life and others have been successfully encouraged to persevere in their vocations to the priesthood. Seminarians have found strong moral support from our Association often in very difficult situations.
Some achievements of the NACF
We have given a faithful living witness to Papal catechesis on the family.
We have the third generation of Catholics attending Family Days.
We have now about thirty Local Groups on four continents.
friendships have been made amongst families.
Our families, who all believe in Humanae Vitae, no longer feel isolated.
Many of our young people have totally gone against the tide and have kept the faith.
We sent the largest contingent of young people from the UK to the World Youth Days in Paris and also sizeable delegations to Rome, Toronto and Cologne.
Young people have found priestly and religious vocations, whilst others have been successfully encouraged to persevere in their vocations to the priesthood.
Bishops and priests have been encouraged by the example of the fidelity of our families to the Church.
Seminarians have found strong moral support from our Association often in very difficult situations.
The annual International Summer School for young Catholics has been in large measure sustained by the presence of young people whose families are members of the NACF.
Whole families have converted to the Faith here and in Australia.
We have had many retreats in England for young people often with the help of the Community of St. John.
We have had retreats and camps for families in Australia.
Our presence on the internet is used as a trustworthy resource by families in more than twenty countries, from Argentina to China, from Vatican City to the Ukraine.
Our internet news bulletins are reliable and of the highest professional standing, They are read throughout the world.
We have a firmly established and growing pilgrimage of families to Walsingham (below)
We have a Group of people who regularly pray for the Association
We have produced a Prayer Calendar that ensures the prayerful support, by name, of individual families.
Dr. Selvan, the Local NACF Group leader in Tamil Nadu South India organised assistance for survivors of the tsunami in part with the financial aid of our members.
Our support for the struggling Catholic families in Lithuania and other former Communist countries.
1. Supporting a large Lithuanian Catholic family for a year when the father died suddenly.
2. Sending Christmas food parcels to individual Catholic families in need in Lithuania.
3. Providing the Family Centre in Vilnius, Lithuania with the financial means to make available the teachings of the Church on the family.
4. Providing a holiday and medical care for poor children from the regions of Byelorussia contaminated by Chernobyl.
5. Support to new Eastern European Associations of Catholic Families.
H.E Alfonso Cardinal Lopez Trujillo, President of the Pontifical council for the Family and H.E. Cardinal George Pell of Sidney have given the talks at our Family Days. We have also enjoyed the encouragement of Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, Cardinal Eduard Gagnon , President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for the Family, Cardinal Desmond Connell of Dublin and Cardinal Thomas Winning of Glasgow, Archbishop Michael Bowen of Southwark, Archbishop Couve De Murville of Birmingham, Bishop Budd of Plymouth , Bishop Dunn of Newcastle and Bishop McMahon of Nottingham. We owe a special debt of gratitude to Archbishop Kazimierz Majdanski., Bishop Emeritus of Szczecin-Kamien and vice President of the Pontifical council for the Family, who was the first Bishop to bless our Association
As an Association of families our absolute loyalty to the Holy See is nowhere in doubt.
So let us thank Mary Immaculate, Queen of the Family for having gained these graces of mutual support for us as we bring up our children in what the Servant of God , Pope John Paul II has called the Culture of Death. Yes the speed at which the last traces of Christian culture and law are being removed is now accelerating and yes there are many signs that our families are finding it more and more difficult to cope but with Pope John Paul II's vision of our families we have great hope.
"Lo, the prospect of building another civilization, a new civilization: the civilization of love. We are here to make a start in making this great project come true: the civilization of love. This is Jesus' civilization, this is the Church's civilization, this is true Christian civilization, and this is your civilization. You must aspire to this civilization, not to any other: the civilization of love " [Pope John Paul II]
Published by the National Association of Catholic Families, UK Registered Charity No.298481
GRANT US, Father a spirit of wisdom and insight, so that we may know the great hope to which we have been called.
Let peace and harmony reign among all the dwellers on the earth.
To those who exercise the ministry of authority in the service of their brothers, send a spirit of wisdom and humility.
Grant us, O God, to fill up in our own flesh what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for his Church.
To our families and benefactors grant the blessing of everlasting life.
Be ever mindful of your mercy, exalt the lowly; fill the hungry with good things.
Both in life and death, let us be yours, O Lord.
Free the world from its slavery to corruption, to share in the glorious freedom of the children of God.