KUALA LUMPUR: The Archdiocesan Family Life Commission (AFLC) organised a meeting of the parish representatives on November 4, 2017 at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Institute to inform and explain its direction for the next five years. The meeting also informed the parish representatives about the various programmes planned for 2018 and beyond.
After the opening prayer in Tamil from Michael and Agnes, the Commission’s Tamil representative couple, there was a brief ice-breaker to enable the group to get to know one another.
Fr Edwin Peter, the Ecclesial Assistant for the Family Life Commission, in his opening address said that he was encouraged at the good response of the family representatives from as far as Banting, Port Klang and Seremban.
The chair couple of the Family Life Commission, Joseph and Anita, explained how the eight cluster groups operate. The family life cluster is an important component in addressing three areas of concern raised at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Assembly (APA) last year. For the benefit of all present, the chair couple explained what a parish Family Life Ministry could do to form Family Life Ministries in their parishes. They encouraged the representatives present to form their ministries to administer to the urgent, important and unique needs of their parish. The Parish Representatives were reminded that they are the best persons to know the needs of the families in their parish.
Citing Amoris Laetitia and the words of Pope Francis, Joseph and Anita spoke of the call for the Church to be “like the beacon of a lighthouse” giving hope and confidence to those who have lost their way. The Church, through the Family Life Ministry, can be a source of solutions for what ails a lost and struggling society. Developing a good family life ministry is one of the most effective means of helping our people learn what it means to become instruments of God and to reach out to our communities.
The chair couple further emphasised that a strong marriage and family ministry serves as salt and light in a world that is confused, with its disoriented and disintegrating families. By offering resources, support groups and programmes, it shows that the Church cares about the community.
This meeting also served to promote and encourage networking and collaboration between the different parishes, especially those within the same district. The need to share resources and work together to minister to the needs of families was emphasised. The language groups too were well represented at this meeting. The commission pledged assistance to the parish family life representatives to set up and form their ministries.
The chair couple then presented the schedule of programmes for 2018: Evenings for Couples and Evenings for Parents, sessions on marriage tribunal matters, Conflict Resolution, as well as training and workshops for presenters of the CMPC.
Fr Edwin also highlighted the Archdiocesan five-year pastoral plan, to give an overview of the direction and plans of the Family Life Commission.
Archbishop Julian Leow, who was present at the meeting, gave the closing address. He noted that “The family is important in the life of the Church. Without the participation of families in church and in the BECs, nothing will happen for we are the hands and feet of Christ.” Archbishop Leow blessed the gathering and encouraged all to persevere in their efforts.
Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online