The phrase “domestic church” has been used to describe families since the beginning of Christianity. In his Letter to Families, Pope St. John Paul II explained, “The Fathers of the Church, in the Christian tradition, have spoken of the family as a ‘domestic church,’ a ‘little church.’”
The domestic church is believing that how you live your faith in your councils, families, parishes and community has a ripple effect that changes the world.
It is the council, the family and the parish that knows that everything they do must be based in surrendering prayer.
It describes the imperfect family and council who deliberately chooses to live contrary to what seems like a Godless world and says, “In our home, council and parish, we choose to live our faith.”
It is the family and council who prays together, goes to Mass weekly, frequents the Sacrament of Confession and (because they realize they are powerless without God), deliberately avoids that which pollutes their minds and hearts.
It is the imperfect, humble and joy-filled family and council that rarely preaches the faith because they are too busy living it.
The Knights of Columbus seeks to strengthen family life through its Building the Domestic Church While Strengthening Our Parish initiative. Through this initiative, the Order endeavors to support Christian family life and encourages councils and families to more fully integrate with the sacramental and social life of their parish. We thereby hope to not only help each family participate in the Church’s mission of evangelization, but to also strengthen our members and revitalize our parishes.
The Building the Domestic Church initiative is the inspiration and foundation of the new Faith in Action program model, which greatly emphasizes faith and spirituality. Those councils that thoroughly implement Faith in Action will be living and exemplifying the domestic church.
Take a leadership role in your council, your family and your parish in becoming the domestic church. It's what we signed up for as Knights of Columbus. By choosing to be Knights, we have chosen to be different from secular society and to live our faith boldly.
Encourage your brother Knights to live the Supreme Chaplain's Monthly Challenge. It allows all Knights of Columbus to be united in a simple challenge each month to live their faith.
Living as the domestic church is extremely effective. Throughout all of Judeo-Christian history, there has been nothing more effective at evangelizing the culture than regular, everyday people choosing to live their faith at home and in the public square. Salvation history was changed forever by a family.