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Saturday, April 12, 2014


By Julita, SOCCOM Tawau
Telupid : Married life appears ordinary but has many challenges experienced by all married couples. Denying the needs of spiritual enrichment in their journey as husband and wife or as a family will surely lead to confusion and frustration. This will lead to strained relationship within family members.
There are many ways to reach those in need of the opportunity for healing and reconciliation. One such activity is the 'Spiritual Enrichment in Marriage' - a seminar that focus on issues of marriage and the responses with spouses.
The Diocesan Family Life Commission (DFLC) team led by Julita Kantod, the Commission chairperson conducted a two-day 'Spiritual Enrichment in Marriage' seminar on the 4th and 5th April 2014 at St. Martin's Church, Telupid.
56 participants ( 27 married couples and 2 single mothers ) attended the seminar. The sessions aim to provide awareness to the couples in discovering their  level of relationship and spiritual needs in their journey as a family. Participants would be enlightened on their obligation as a 'domestic church' and their calling to serve freely and joyfully for the church.
The Seminar began  with the Bible Enthronement on Friday evening, 4th April followed by an overview on the seminar by Julita. The first input session was facilitated by Teodolfo from St. Dominic's Church Lahad Datu on 'God’s plan on the vocation of marriage'.
Rev. Fr. Jasery Gabuk,  the  rector of St. Martin's Church Telupid facilitated the second session on the Church Teaching on Family. 'God is love and his love is live' and that's what a family is called for to share the love of God. The family must be protected, to be continually and spiritually enriched', he said. The Church taught us that the family must take heed in treasuring and respecting lives,  reject abortion and euthanasia, living in communion with others peacefully, participating in sustaining solidarity. Such values if practiced will bring forth 'New Life' where there will be no more pain, suffering, grieve, hatred, revenge but unity and love. He also stressed on the importance of caring and respecting  all living things, God's creation.

Other topics covered during the seminar included the following;

Responsibility of the Husband and Wife ~ Jocelyn  
The responsibilities of both husband and wife are most needed not only to discover their priority and focus in life but in opening ways for their generation ( children ). This aspect seems to be neglected and taken for granted by most parents.
Challenges in Marriage ~ Julita
 Facing challenges in marriage without the strength from God is like facing the opposite flows of a river without the skill of swimming. Challenges never end but problem will disappear once its settle. We have to face challenges in order to make sure it will not shift to a problem.
The Global Impact on Family ~ Adaris
Globalization has a strong impact on today’s family environment. It involves culture, tradition, economy, education and many more. If allowed to take root it will illiminate the original culture and social life both adult and children. A prayerful life and sustaining our faith is the key to overcome all these influences. Having good knowledge and control in handling the usage of social communication could be one way of our self resilience specially to help the young.

Communication in Marriage ~ Melvin Lajanti
Studies and testimonies prove that marriage without communication ends up in separation. Communication is the “ bridge” between two different peoples to reach and to meet each other's  needs. Neglecting this important skill will destroy the relationship between husband and wife, between children and other members of the family.
Sacredness of Sex in Marriage ~ Mario Domingo
The beauties of sex in marriage seem to be deviated from its main purpose. Marriage concerns sex , though true but how do we live our life of it. Another important matter that both parents need to understand well is the intimacy / sex in marriage which mean a pure and the highest communion between husband and wife in order to create another life ( pro creation ). It should be respected and honoured by both with faithfulness. Sex before and having another sex outside marriage is sinful and breaks the communion between husband and wife.

The reconciliation session took place in the afternoon led by John and Jocelyn. The prayer of forgiveness in the reconciliation moment showed that couples are really in need of renewal in their spiritual life.  The personal reflection on their attitude towards each other brought them to a beautiful reconciliation at the end of the session.
In winding up the seminar, Julita shared on the wonders of marriage through the blessings of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. God is present in each marriage. 
The seminar ended with a thanksgiving mass presided over by Fr. Jasery followed with an agape dinner hosted by the PFLM of St Martin, Telupid.

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