VATICAN CITY (CNS) — As the family gets special focus in two upcoming synods and an international gathering in Philadelphia next year, Pope Francis is highlighting the beauty and value of the family in his message for World Communications Day.

“Communicating the family: a privileged place of encounter with the gift of love” will be the theme of the church’s celebration of World Communications Day, which most dioceses will mark May 17, the Sunday before Pentecost. The pope’s message for the day is expected to be released Jan. 24, the feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron saint of journalists.

The Pontifical Council for Social Communications, in a Sept. 29 announcement of the pope’s choice of the theme, said the news points out many of the difficulties facing families today and “often times, cultural changes do not help us appreciate how much the family is a good for society.”

The challenge facing the church and its work in communications is figuring out how to share with the world, especially those who are hurting, the beauty of love, life and marriage between a man and a woman.

“Today the church must learn again how to show that the family is a great gift, something good and beautiful” and to show this gift of love “more vividly,” the council said.

“It is an exciting task because it moves people to look at the true reality of the human person, and it opens the doors to the future, that is, to life,” it said.


Read the latest details about the 2015 World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia here.