From Pope St. John Paul II’s Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio (1981):
To the extent in which the Christian family accepts the Gospel and matures in faith, it becomes an evangelizing community. Let us listen again to Paul VI: “The family, like the Church, ought to be a place where the Gospel is transmitted and from which the Gospel radiates. In a family which is conscious of this mission, all the members evangelize and are evangelized. The parents not only communicate the Gospel to their children, but from their children they can themselves receive the same Gospel as deeply lived by them. And such a family becomes the evangelizer of many other families, and of the neighborhood of which it forms part.”123
As the Synod repeated, taking up the appeal which I launched at Puebla, the future of evangelization depends in great part on the Church of the home.124 This apostolic mission of the family is rooted in Baptism and receives from the grace of the sacrament of marriage new strength to transmit the faith, to sanctify and transform our present society according to God’s plan.
Particularly today, the Christian family has a special vocation to witness to the paschal covenant of Christ by constantly radiating the joy of love and the certainty of the hope for which it must give an account: “The Christian family loudly proclaims both the present virtues of the Kingdom of God and the hope of a blessed life to come.”125
The absolute need for family catechesis emerges with particular force in certain situations that the Church unfortunately experiences in some places: “In places where anti-religious legislation endeavors even to prevent education in the faith, and in places where widespread unbelief or invasive secularism makes real religious growth practically impossible, ‘the Church of the home’ remains the one place where children and young people can receive an authentic catechesis.”126
123 Evangelii nuntiandi, 71: Acta Apostolicæ Sedis [AAS] 68 (1976), 60 s.
124 Cf. Address to the Third General Assembly of the Bishops of Latin America (Jan. 28, 1979), IV A: AAS 71 (1979), 204.
125 Second Vatican Council, Lumen gentium, 35.
126 John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Catechesi tradendæ, 68: AAS 71 (1979), 1334.
— Familiaris Consortio 52