Introduction. During May and June the Church is holding special commemorations for family and ecology as well as Church Unity Week from the feasts of Ascension to Pentecost. Resources have been made available by the Vatican’s Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life for the WORLD MEETING OF FAMILIES June 22-25, and A SYNODAL JOURNEY WITH FAMILIES focusing on family. The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development has provided input for LAUDATO SI WEEK 22 – 29 May on ecology.  References and quotations on these topics are included.  The SA Church Unity Commission has provided resources for Church Unity Week beginning on 29 May.  

 As Mary’s month, devotion and prayers to Our Lady are encouraged and each day an intercession from a Family Litany to Our Lady for today is included.

May Overview. Whether it is a study of anatomy, botany, biology, human physiology or spirituality, the gift of co-creation with God, in nature, should be recognized as one of God’s greatest gifts.  It is the male and female in areas of nature, a man and woman, ideally through a loving committed relationship, who continue God’s work of creation, sustenance and nurturance.   

Parents, human and animal, have the task of forming and educating their offspring. It can have taken different forms throughout history and in various species. An intimate bond is created in parenting figures with their children. The ideal of the love of their father and mother for each other too is an important gift to children.

Effective human parenting is amongst the most important, yet complex relationships today, because of changing conditions and values, yet little training is provided.  We dare not also forget the human capacity for good and evil seen so clearly in intimate relationships.

The gift of a new child entrusted by the Lord to a father and a mother, begins with acceptance, continues with lifelong protection and has as its final goal the joy of eternal life.  God allows parents to choose the name by which he himself will call their child for all eternity. AL166.    Only if we devote time to our children, speaking of important things with simplicity and concern and finding healthy ways for them to spend their time will we be able to shield them from harm.  Vigilance is always necessary and neglect is never beneficial. Parents have to help prepare their children and adolescents to confront the risks of aggression, abuse or drug addiction. AL 260.   In assessing the environmental impact of any project few careful studies are made of its impact on biodiversity.  Little attention is paid to studying the reproductive patterns of species to prevent their depletion and imbalance of the ecosystem.   LS 35.  

Setting the scene.   Parish family faith sharing groups were encouraged during this month to focus on parenting, a recognition of difficulties but especially to promote positive parenting.  All families in nature, especially human as well as animal families can be taken into account.