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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Mini Assembly For Members of the Family Life Ministry

BY DS, JULITA and BELL
Sandakan : The one-day mini assembly meant for members of the Diocesan / Parish Family Life Ministry  held at the Diocesan Pastoral Centre on Saturday, April 27 2013 was attended by 41 members, coming from across the four parishes of the Diocese.The day's event commenced with the Opening Mass at the Pastoral Centre's Chapel, presided over by Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom.

In his homily, the prelate urged members to preserve, protect and promote the family instituted and designed by God when he created man and woman. The divine family through traditional marriage was God's first earthly institution, a gift to humanity and through the spouses' love begets children.
But today, in the so-called modern society, that sacred institution is under aggressive attack than ever. The Church is vehemently opposed to same sex marriage which some countries are pushing to legalize it. Such unnatural union, threaten the divine institution of the family. Thus he called on members of the Family Life Ministry to bravely commit to promote that institution designed by God. Though small in numbers, if the effort is done throughout all parishes, the ripple effect of the Family Life Ministry will be greatly felt and shall become important.

The assembly was organized to :
  • promote and enhance teamwork among members serving in Family Life Ministries
  • discuss and find solutions on issues / problems confronting families
  • draw up a pastoral plan for effective service
The assembly proper was facilitated by Julita, the Chairperson of the Diocesan Family Life Commission. The session began with the presentation of family issues gathered during the parish level Family Life Ministry assembly conducted much earlier. The participants were then split into six groups of seven members each to elaborate on the issues and to propose ways to overcome the said issues.

Apart from the norm of conducting pre-marriage courses and marriage enrichment activities, the assembly adopted the following ;
  •  to journey with the youth
  •  to be grounded in Church's teaching
  •  to promote the concept of 'parent as first catechist'
  •  to equip members the basic knowledge of counselling
  •  to catechize sponsors / witnesses of marriages
  •  to make a survey on the status of families through BECs
It was a fruitful event. The sharing and discussions had uplifted the spirit of members. They are now more aware of their role and responsibility. They looked forward to another assembly to be better informed and exposed so that they could be effective agents to bring about harmony in the families. All issues raised, discussed and adopted will be documented for submission to the Diocese.
The 41 members of the Family Life Ministries were commissioned by Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom during the Sunset Mass.

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