Iloilo parish gets serious about caring for families

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ILOILO City, May 25, 2016 – In response to the CBCP’s declaration of 2016 as the Year of the Eucharist and the Family, a parish in this city came out with an initiative to remind the faithful about the value of the family and their Christian responsibilities through a formation track on caring for families.

On the occasion of the feast of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, or Nuestra Senora de la Paz y Buen Viaje, on May 24, La Paz parish launched “Sessions on the Family”, a manual for the on-going formation of parish leaders and couples towards the pastoral care of families.

According to parish priest Fr. Renato Cuadras, the parish community was moved to “come up an initiative in the hope to renew and strengthen our families as a ‘domestic church’ as they navigate through the shifting waters of this secularized, digital age.”

‘Awareness sessions’

“We decided to discuss all of our formation programs on the family. But we realized that we have no organized modules for our sessions. So we conducted a module-making workshop with representatives of our parish Family and Life Ministry, Catechetical Ministry, Youth Ministry and the Parish Pastoral Secretariat,” related the priest.

According to Cuadras, the workshop output is a compilation of 23 “awareness sessions” on five family-related themes: Pre-Cana Sessions, marital relations, parenting, schools and barangays, and youth.

“These sessions are meant to serve as guides for facilitators, which can also form part of a continuing formation series or as references for newly-designed modules,” he added.

A timely initiative

Explaining the timeliness of the initiative, Msgr. Joemarie S. Delgado, Episcopal Vicar on Pastoral Affairs of the Archdiocese of Jaro, cited Pope Francis’ declaration in his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris Laetitia”: “The welfare of the family is decisive for the future of the world and that of the Church.”

“With the wide range of concerns that encompass present day families, community leaders, through these formative awareness sessions, are empowered to accompany couples and families to be responsible for the evangelization starting from their own backyard… and beyond,” stressed Delgado.

Archbishop’s endorsement

Jaro Archbishop Angel N. Lagdameo expressed his wholehearted support for the initiative of La Paz Parish as he endorsed the manual.

“We have to invite more and more families in this campaign!” exclaimed the prelate as he cited the significance of the parish’s initiative in the context of the Holy Father’s deep concern for the family.

The Parish of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage is making available “Sessions on the Family” through its parish office at Jereos St., La Paz, Iloilo City, telephone number (033) 3296680. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas / CBCP News)

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