“A Word of Truth and Hope” – this is the title of a series of reflections inspired by the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia which have just been published by the Council for Marriage and the Family of the Irish Bishops’ Conference. The goal was to prepare “a coherent ‘Vision for the Family’, which might shape our response as people of faith and as citizens to the diverse needs and challenges experienced by families in Ireland today”, the Bishop of Elphin, Mgr. Kevin Doran, said at the opening Mass for the Winter General Meeting of the Irish Bishops’ Conference celebrated in Maynooth yesterday. This pastoral “resource pack” deals with a range of topics including preparation for marriage, raising children, divorce, care for the elderly, as well as work, education, health, poverty, migration and the housing problem. The pack is the “fruit” of the “discussions” and reflections carried out by the Council for Marriage and the Family “over the past year”, Mgr. Doran explained. In it, “we have recognised how family relationships are placed under pressure when people have to deal with homelessness, uncertainty about their immigration status, concerns about the protection of children, unemployment, or ill health”: “pain and disillusionment” are part of the “experience of so many families”, alongside “love and commitment”.