TAWAU – The Family Life Ministry of Holy Trinity Parish here held a one-day seminar for eight young couples on 17 Mar 2018 at the church basement room.
The couples have been married from five to seven years.
The course based on Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia (Joy of Love) was conducted in Bahasa Malaysia.
The seminar aimed to make couples more aware of the current challenges affecting family life and to strengthen their marriage bond so that they can manage their marriage with courage and confidence.
The inputs were divided into awareness and formation sessions.
The awareness session touched on family and current issues affecting the family: internet, individualism, and communication (AL chapter 2) while the formation session dealt with parenting, children’s education, love and forgiveness (AL chapter 4), and marriage spirituality (chapter 9)
The awareness session was jointly facilitated by Francis Clement and Petrus Bernadus. Both sessions began with group discussion / sharing on their real challenges experienced during their marriage.
Some pointers touched on addiction, misunderstanding, isolation, suspicion, hidden relationship, health issues, communication, poor parenting and safety.
Part 2 of the Awareness Session was presented by Petrus Bernadus on the culture of individualism.
Marriage is built from two people and not as an individual. The presence of their children will make the home more alive and meaningful.
Pointers gathered from real life experiences caused by individualism in the family include the hardening of hearts, detachment, stress and hurt, dominance, pride, insecurity and poor communication.
The Formation Sessions were handled by Franciscan Sister Julita Joseph (marriage spirituality), Mario Domingo (love and forgiveness in marriage), and Julita Kantod (parenting).
The following were the gist of the sessions;
- love in the marriage conquers every imperfection that may arise in the family
- Christ-centred family will not be easily shaken by the outside world when it is strengthened by the power of Christ’s light
- parenting is an opportunity to raise up God’s children according to God’s plan and that is to help the children encounter Christ.
In winding up the seminar, Kantod, chairperson of the Family Life Ministry, encouraged the participants to learn and observe how other senior couples live their married life, not to be ashamed to seek for advice, guidance or support from them in order to sustain their marriages.
The Seminar ended with a prayer for the family. – Julita Kantod, Sandakan Diocessan Blog