Panaji: The church in Goa is preparing for XIV ordinary synod on the family in Vatican from October 4 to October 25, 2015, and archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao has issued a pastoral letter to the priests and laity with an appeal to strengthen family life.
The pastoral letter 2015-16 titled “Family, become what you are,” seeks to proclaim the values of the family and urges priests, religious men and women, family associations and small Christian communities to build a community of persons, to be at the service of life, participate in the development of the society and thereby share in the life and mission of the church.
Neri pointed out that how the family acts has an impact on society and the society on the family as well.
“The mission of the family and the society complement each other,” he stated in the letter.
Presenting his reflections, Neri pointed out that the culture of the family was the lifeline of the church from her very inception. “The church is the temple of Christian life and the family a domestic church, a stage where the mission of the church is carried out.”
The church has drawn up various programmes to be observed during the next few months. A programme based on natural family planning propagation (day and week) will be held in Curca parish from July 19 to 25, 2015.
Grandparents day will be celebrated on July 26 with a special programme in Bicholim parish. A family apostolate Sunday will be observed on November 8, 2015. During the advent season, a pro-life month will be observed, too.
Various other events, world marriage day and week, day of the unborn are planned in Margao and Galgibaga parish respectively.
Brochures on various topics will also be made available to the priests and laity, The Times of India reported.
The archbishop pointed out that after exchange of marital vows and uniting of two families, the family needs love to live, grow and built a community of persons.
” It (love)is geared, not only to survive the joys and sorrows of daily life, but to help husband and wife become one in her heart and mind, and together attain their human fulfillment,” he stated in the letter.
Many couples are living examples of a faithful married life and testify that faithfulness unto death is the source of profound and enduring happiness, he stated.