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Myanmar: Archdiocese of Mandalay holds pastoral care for family program

Couples attend the sessions on family life (Photo by RVA News)

The pastoral care and family commission of the Archdiocese of Mandalay in Myanmar held the second gathering of families in St. Michael's Church compound, Mandalay, on October 15.

"Though we had invited only five families from each parish in Mandalay city to participate in the program, in reality, more people came to attend the meeting. So, I was delighted," said Father Paul Thet Khaing, the head of the pastoral care sector.

The program started with a Mass presided over by Father Thet Khaing.

Father Augustine Win Myint, parish priest of St. Michael's Church, and Father Thet Khaing spoke about family matters, their importance, and how family members can help each other.

"A family that prays together will survive with the blessings received from God for a long time. We should give time to our family by holding meals together and praying together. That kind of family can be called a genuine family," Father Win Myint said. "A family should be a safe place for tomorrow's children."

"We celebrate this family gathering according to the instruction of Pope Francis. This is the second time and we intend to pray and live in faith with families coming together and walking to God together," he added. 

By sharing the different aspects of family life, members understand the differences and realize that their families receive more grace from God, the priest explained.

Participants found the input and exchange of experiences and challenges in family life benefited them.

Francisca Daw Mai, a participant from St. John's Parish, said, "There are many benefits that we receive from such meetings. We have come to notice the weaknesses in our family. I will practice some of the knowledge that I learned from the meeting in daily life, even if not all."

Another participant, Lucia Seng Nu Pan from St. Joseph Lafon parish, said, "This is the first time I have joined the family gathering. I feel that I will be able to share the knowledge I learned and how important family is to my family and hope to build a happy family in the future."

"Some families are broken, and it is because there is no understanding between the couples. They do not understand the teachings in the Bible well. I fully understand today that there should not be pride between husband and wife," said Gregory U. Thin Swe from St. Joseph's Parish.

"For me, I always see my parents from a bad side, but after participating in this program, I realized that they are good to me. They brought me up well. I also understand the great love of my parents for me," shared Scholastica, St. Michael Parish.

"Starting from now onwards, I won't look at my mum from the bad side any longer. I will live happily with my parents in love," she added.

U Soe Naing, the director of the family commission, said, "We must always discuss all the bad and good things among the family members. Moreover, we must accept each other's weaknesses as wives and husbands. Problems are inevitable and everyone has to face them, but as soon as we recognize our faults, we stop there and try to turn back."

As the saying goes, "Wives and husbands are like teeth and tongue." So, there is sure to be fighting between couples. The important thing is to turn back instead of going ahead and making mistakes with pride. Or else, it will be difficult to maintain a happy family. - Paul Jone Khaung and Marcus Nyi Nyi Htun 


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