4Th LVF FAMILY CONGRESS
Sr. Mabel Pilar, FMA, President of LVF in her welcome remarks said that the image of the family should be centered on the Nativity Story wherein the models are Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
Sr. Marivic P. Sta. Ana, FMA, Managing Director of LVF gave an overview of Pope Francis Post- Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on Family Life, Amoris Laetita in the Filipino Context. Sr. Marivic emphasized that families, being the first school of socialization and evangelization, should be strengthened and supported. There should be open communication among family meals and prayers together.
Communication is the key to solving difficulties confronting the family. Love is forever contrary to what media presents. They should always be available for each other, an ear that will always listen and a hand that will always reach out. There should be an element of surprise to veer away from the daily routine. Their social responsibility should bring them closer to their families and not far from them. The Sacrament of Matrimony should not be just a luxurious gathering but a gift of love that bonds two people. Every person should be given importance and not be treated as material objects to be used, thrown away and exploited. The family should be a place of hope where moral values are first acquired. The focus should be on the mission on evangelizing family members on God’s great love for man and forging stronger connections. Respect for one another, quality time and putting God as the center of their lives are needed to make their relationship stronger and for keeps. Lastly, they should learn the 3 magic words like Please, Sorry and Thank You. It is because the right words spoken at the right time will protect their unity and nurture love.
Mr. and Mrs. Ray and Gem Dalucapas of Familia Community were the sharers. They emphatically shared the importance of family life, the different attacks against the family and some tips on how to keep the family strong and steadfast by sharing their own family life experiences. Children must feel they are esteemed, accepted for who they are and avoid calling them degrading names. They emphasized on being a blessing not a curse by praying to the Holy Spirit for simple miracles and thanking God for them. They also said to have a personal relationship with the Lord and being persistent in one’s prayers in case problems come their way.
The following were the panel of reactors: Ms. Beth Salviejo, Ms. Charito Pinalas and Ms. Nenita Asuncion. They said that families can surpass the crises in one’s life if there is love and sacrifice. Fr. Edwin Soliva in the Eucharistic celebration said a simple thing done extraordinary well will help the family. Imagine the effect to a family if many good things will be done by each member. As for the sharings, one young girl from Laguna said, she should embrace the pains and be firm that they will be able to overcome the problems in their family’s life. Change should start from within before changing others. Putting God as the center of the family, doing ordinary duties extraordinary well and striving for the best will give joy to loving. Another sharer, Mr. Dennis Cabuang said, in reality it is difficult to carry out what he has heard once trials come in one’s family. But he said putting God as the center of one’s life and never surrendering in doing good will help in the fulfillment of one’s dream. Sr. Aleth Evangelista, FMA, a Trustee of LVF in her concluding remarks said true joy can only be experienced if you love your family. The Congress ended with the Prayer to the Holy Family and the participants’ singing of “Only Selfless Love”.