Fr Derek Anton, Spiritual Adviser, CEETT
I congratulate all in the family of Catholic Engaged Encounter of Trinidad & Tobago (CEETT), as you celebrate your 35th anniversary today, the Solemnity Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.
I consider it a privilege to have been associated with the work of CEETT in more recent times. I applaud the tireless commitment and the self-sacrificing energy of the CEE family in helping prepare couples for marriage via a programme of human and spiritual formation. You would have touched the lives of literally thousands of couples, and by extension families, over these 35 years.
It is far from an easy task. We look at the state of marriage today and witness a lack of appreciation for the sanctity of this union, for the giftedness of children and for family life in general. We see the emotional wounds caused by selfishness, infidelity and divorce. Today, the very definition of marriage is being assaulted in the wake of the abandonment of the basic features of authentic marriage by so many, and for so long, in the toxic culture in which we live.
This sad state of affairs reflects the intense spiritual battle that is being waged against the family. And why is this battle being waged? Because it is in the family that faith and fidelity to our loving God is first nurtured. Further, according to Pope St John Paul II, it is in the family that we first learn to live in community.
This experience helps its members to prepare to live not only as loving members of the wider human community, but also, and ultimately, by the help of God, to live in a “communion of life and love” with the Holy Trinity and all the saints in the life to come.
As I reflect on the theme for the anniversary celebrations: Our Family, a Circle of Strength, founded on Faith, joined in Love, blessed by God, I cannot but be convinced that the CEETT family finds its strength from a deep faith and trust in God who is love.
I pray that you will continue, by the strength of your own personal witness, to encourage the couples who enter your care to form families that are built upon Christ as their foundation — families that will continue to grow, united in God’s love, as faith and trust in God is fostered among all members.
May you encourage all couples to form ‘praying families’, recognising that this spiritual battle must be fought spiritually. And may the Family Rosary be one of the family’s preferred ‘weapons’.
May you always have the support of the intercession of Our Blessed Mother, and never tire in your zeal to promote the good of marriage by preparing couples for a married life that reflects an “intimate community of life and love”, a visible sign of God’s love for his people.
On this special occasion I wish the whole CEETT family abundant blessings from Almighty God.