The Archdiocesan Family Life Commission (AFLC) met online on April 30 with representatives of parish Family Life Units (FLUS) and persons interested in parish family ministry throughout the Archdiocese. The Zoom platform session was facilitated by the Episcopal Delegate for Family Life, Tricia Syms.
Some of the parishes represented were: Our Lady of Perpetual Help, San Fernando; St Peter’s, Pointe-à-Pierre; St Benedict’s, La Romaine; St Michael’s, Maracas, St Joseph; Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Port of Spain; Our Lady of Mt Carmel, Carapichaima; St Theresa’s, Barataria; Holy Cross Princes Town; St Philip and St James, Chaguanas; Our Lady of Fatima, Curepe; Rosary, Port of Spain; Santa Rosa /Malabar, Arima; St John the Evangelist, Diego Martin; San Raphael, San Raphael; Church of the Incarnation, Maloney, and St Francis of Assisi, Sangre Grande.
During the session, four distinct levels of Church were identified: the Universal Church led by Pope Francis and all the cardinals and bishops in union with him; the local church or Arch/Diocese led by the arch/bishop who is uniquely positioned to guide the faithful on how best to live the faith; the parish, from which we receive most of our religious instruction and the sacraments; and finally, the Domestic Church which plays a key role because it is the primary place where we practise coming to intimately love other persons.
The Domestic Church is defined as the church at home—the family, as the smallest body of gathered believers in Christ. The home is seen as the place where baptised young Christians learn about God and how to develop a relationship with Him. Family and the home are where we learn to be holy.
The Domestic Church is important and the onus weighs heavily on parents because they are the leaders of the Domestic Church and their responsibility is to teach, guide and help their children have a happy healthy life by knowing Jesus.
The Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy was shared and discussed as ways to reach families during this time of COVID-19 pandemic.
The Corporal Works of Mercy are found in the teachings of Jesus and give us a model for how we should treat all others, as if they were Christ in disguise.
The Spiritual Works of Mercy have long been a part of the Christian tradition, appearing in the works of theologians and spiritual writers throughout history. Just as Jesus attended to the spiritual well-being of those to whom He ministered; these Spiritual Works of Mercy guide us to “help our neighbor in their spiritual needs” (US Catholic Catechism for Adults).
The Acronym HOPE ALWAYS captured the representative’s sentiments of ways they were living at this time.
H-Help for Children
O- Open to connect
E- Eat together
L- Learn to live and tolerate
A-Attend Mass as a family
Y- Yearn for God
S- Share time cooking with each other.
The next FLU meeting will be in June.
For more information, contact the AFLC via email firstname.lastname@example.org or call/WhatsApp 299-1047. Visit aflcrc.org or go to Facebook/Instagram: