5th Family Congress
An excellent speaker, Fr. Eli Cruz warmed the hearts of the participants present, by discussing some articles of Amoris Laetitia illustrating with video presentation depicting real family life situations, as follows:-
1.The complexities of the reality of the family today with both its lights and shadows as discussed in Pope’s Francis encyclical Amoris Laetitia. Sometimes separation becomes inevitable. He emphasized that children should grow up hearing their mother speak well of their father, even though they are not together and their father speak well of their mother.
2 The value of the family
2.1 Where life begins
2.2 Where love never ends
2.3 Where habits for life are first formed
3) Open and caring families find a place for the poor and build friendships with those less fortunate than themselves. (Amoris Laetitia No. 183)
4) If a family is centered on Christ, He will unify and illumine its entire life. Moments of pain and difficulty will be experienced in union with the Lord’s cross and his closeness will make it possible to surmount them.
In the darkest hours of a family life, union with Jesus in His abandonment can help avoid a break-up. (Amoris Art. 317)
Fr. Eli Cruz concluded with a challenge to the families not to model themselves on the world around them but let their behavior change and be conformed in Christ. This is the only way to discover the will of God and know what is good, what it is that God wants, what is the perfect thing to do. (Rm 12:1-2)
The program host Ms. Carolyn Zepeda Thor spiced up the program with her dynamism.
Skit presentations on how to resolve family problems and demonstrate care for the families were showcased by the different areas:- Laguna, Cavite, Pampanga, Marikina, Judge Jimenez, Hillcrest, Pinagkaisahan, Culiat and other areas in Metro Manila and a panel discussion which highlighted the need for daily family prayers and testimonies of how God can come to their rescue. The panel discussants were families of Mr. & Mrs. Dennis & Linda Cabuang, Ms. Arlene Banta Timuat and Mr. & Mrs. Steve & Eppie Clark.
Sr. Marivic Sta. Ana, LVF Managing Director, concluded the Family Congress with a challenge: Families as a school of life and love, should take care of their families by communicating their pains and joys, resolving conflicts by dialoguing, forgiving and listening to each member of the families and praying together.
What was amazing were the commitments given by the Colegio de Sta. Ana de Victorias students. They committed to do the following:
- Be vigilant. Report cases of human trafficking.
- Educate children and youth especially on their rights.
- Poverty should not be a hindrance. Study well to stop the cycle of poverty.
- Speak up and take action.