An eastern Indian archdiocese urged Catholic families to proclaim the Good News of God’s love to all.
The Archdiocese of Calcutta, West Bengal state, celebrated the closing of the Year of “Amoris Laetitia” (the joy of love) Family on June 26 at Patrick’s Church, Dum Dum as it is completing 200 years of its foundation.
“Amoris Laetitia” (2016) is a post-synodal apostolic exhortation by Pope Francis addressing the pastoral care of families.
“May every family reflect the unity of the Trinitarian God and become an instrument of love, peace, and joy,” said Archbishop Thomas D’Souza of Calcutta in his opening remarks on the occasion.
In his homily, the prelate echoed the sentiments of Pope Francis, where the latter foresees the futility of the new pastoral approach of the Church if she is not willing to accompany the couples with realistic pastoral care (Amoris Laetitia 36).
Father Gnana Peppin, the director of the Family Commission welcomed the gathering.
He said, “Archdiocesan Family Commission has well-trained people who are involved in family ministry out of their love for family. They work with enthusiasm and dedication.”
Speaking on the theme, “Marriage: A Vocation to Holiness,” Father Prodeep Roy, former director of Regional Family Commission Directors of West Bengal and Sikkim region, made a parallel between the Holy Eucharist and Christian marriage.
He said, “Just as in the Holy Mass, ordinary bread becomes the Body of Christ, so through the nuptial blessing, man and woman become one flesh.”
Marriage is a holy calling where God gives special grace to married couples through the ups and downs of life together, he said.
In the group session, three couples from the Family Commission team namely, Christopher-Sandra Godfrey, Pramodh-Stacy Fernandes and Sudipta-Rebecca Dey shared ways to grow in holiness.
Father Irudaya Raj, the parish priest of Patrick’s Church welcomed everyone, saying, “The bicentenary year celebration swings from February 6, 2022, to February 5, 2023. During this period, several events will be organized by which we hope to become an ‘inclusive and nurturing community.’”
During the Mass, the couples were given roses to exchange and offer the same before the image of the Holy Family.
They also renewed their marriage commitment. An image of the Holy Family was given to each family.
In the workshop session, the couples discussed on happiest moments of spouses, ways to bring each other to God and closer to one another, God’s special gifts and ways to resolve conflicts and differences of opinion as spouses.
In the question hour, marriage cases were clarified with the help of canonists— Redemptorist Father Mukul Mondol and Father Irudayaraj.
Stephen and Veronica Dolby shared the importance of couples’ quality time along with a prayer that makes family life beautiful and joyful.
The Family Commission felicitated Robert D’Gama, Molina Vincent, Gerald and Gloria D’Rozario for their outstanding service to the Commission for the past 40 years. Teresa Rozario/RVA Bengali Service
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