A Rome-based news agency made a recent entry on the new head of the Pontifical Council of the Family, Ennio Cardinal Antonelli can be viewed here.
In 1973, Pope Paul created Committee for the Family and in 1981, Pope John Paul raised this committee to the rank of a "Pontifical Council." The mission, therefore of the Pontifical Council for the Family is being "...responsible for the promotion of the pastoral ministry and apostolate to the family, through the application of the teachings and guidelines of the ecclesiastical Magisterium, to help Christian families fulfill their educational and apostolic mission. It also promotes and coordinates pastoral efforts related to the issue of responsible procreation, and encourages, sustains and coordinates initiatives in defense of human life in all stages of its existence, from conception to natural death."
Here in the US, the faithful know that in the Venerable Servant of God Father Michael J. McGivney they have a heavenly patron for the protection of families.
Hence, the Knights of Columbus has as one of its hallmarks the defense of the family and it frequently stands up for the family from the vulgar attacks the family faces today. It is very clear to me that one can find no other lay Catholic organization that defends the dignity of the family than the KofC today. Also, the work of the US bishops on behalf of the family should be noted.
Let's pray for families especially those facing some difficulty that the protection of Mary Most Holy and of Saint Joseph will be with them. It is the desire of us all that families resist the disintegrating forces of certain elements in contemporary culture which undermine the very foundations of the family. Hence, this desire is only realized through prayer, hard work, education and courage. And as the Pope Benedict asks, "us resolve to make our own homes radiate with Christ's loving harmony and peace."
The 6th World Encounter of Families is scheduled for 13-18 January 2009 in Mexico. It is hoped that the Pope would attend this meeting.