In God's plan "family has been established as an intimate communion of life and love" (FC 11). The essence and the role of the family are in the final analysis specified by love. It enables people to grow o personal and social maturity. Family values like filial respect, love and care for the aged and the sick, love of children and harmony are held in high esteem. The Christian family, like the Church as a whole, should be a place where the truth of the Gospel is the rule of life.
Christ - Centered stable, happy families
Establishment of loving, serving and prayerful families
Faith filled loving and serving Christian families
DIRECTOR AND MEMBERS
Rev. Fr. Paul D' Souza
: St. Anthony's Church
Shimoga - 577 204
: 08182 - 295113
COMMISSION DIRECTOR AND MEMBERS
Christian Family is hailed as the "domestic Church"(AA 11; LG 11) and a prayer centre where
faith germinates and settles at the deepest being of the member, from his birth. The fear of God taught by the parents gives the child the wisdom of love, faith, hope and all other Christian virtues. "While learning their first words, the children learn also the praise of God. While learning the first acts of love, children also learn to open themselves to others" (CL 62). The Christian Family, as "one of the Church's most effective agents of evangelisation" (EA 46), is called to witness to the Gospel in difficult times and circumstances. The family should be active in Parish life and be involved in service to others. Christian family must be encouraged to come together for prayer, Bible reading and reflection and for healthy recreation. This will help the Christian family to become a hearth of evangelisation, where each member experiences God's love and communicates it to others.
Christian couple are, for each other, for their children and for their relatives, co-operators of grace and witnesses of faith. "They are the first to pass on the faith to their children and to educate them in it" (FC 40). By word and example they form them to aChristian apostolic life. "They offer them wise guidance in the choice of vocation and if they discover in them a sacred vocation they encourage it with all care" (AA 11). The four general tasks of the family are: (a) forming a community of persons, (b) serving life, (c) participating in the development of society and (d) sharing in the life and mission of the
Church (FC 17). This could be realised by establishment of prayerful, faith filled, value based, loving and serving Christian families.
Commission Action Plan
Every Catholic family must be exhorted to come together for prayer and family meals to promote a life of communion, togetherness and a sense of discipline.
Renewal Retreats on family at the parish and deanery levels would go a long way in building a solid spiritual foundation for the family stability.
Exposure to various family movements, sessions on parenting skills, care of the elderly and aged in family, family get-togethers are to be organised in every parish. Father's Day, Mother's Day, Children's Day, Seniors' Day are to be organised in every parish.
Families in every parish should be encouraged to come together to celebrate a Family Day at the parish level at least once a year to spend time together. Parent-teenager interaction programme must be organised at the parish level.
Marriage Catechesis should be conducted in three stages: remote, proximate and immediate preparation. Remote preparation should be given to all the teenagers; proximate preparation should be given to the youth and immediate preparation for those contemplating to get married. Marriage preparation kits are to be made available by the Family Commission for use in these courses.
Family life education is to be provided area wise and age wise for boys and girls and those contemplating to get married by twinning the parishes. Every parish is to organise at least one-day marriage enrichment programme every year for the adults who are married.
Programmes in nurturing, protection and respect for all forms of life by way of Pro-Life Movement should be organised in every parish.
Every parish is to have a Family Service Cell to promote the overall family apostolate, to tackle family, social issues and other crisis situations and to arrange at least a day's programme on family and to convince the faithful of the importance of family life.
A Family Counselling Centre must be established at the diocesan level to help family persons in distress. This Counselling Centre must collaborate with the Counselling Centre for the Youth and Women.
A Marriage Bureau is to be established by the Family Commission at the diocesan level to help the youth who contemplate to get married.
A sustained campaign against alcoholism is to be chalked out. Public consumption of alcohol is to be discouraged. The Alcoholics Anonymous Movement deserves our full encouragement. A De-addiction Centre is to be established at the diocesan level to help the alcoholics and drug-addicts to overcome this habit.