By Allyson and Michael Dwarka
What does it mean to reignite our call to serve as Catholics? Traditionally, we have seen persons serving as catechists, lay ministers, lectors, altar servers and holding other visible positions. We may wonder as a young person, how do I become involved and give back to the Lord, community and to others in society?
Pope Francis offered advice for reigniting one’s spiritual life on October 27, 2021 at the Vatican: “The Holy Spirit nourishes our lives, so we can continue to engage in our spiritual battle….”, another important teaching in St Paul’s Letter to the Galatians.
As Catholics we will inevitably face a spiritual battle, whether as a single Catholic, or a married one. However in combatting this spiritual conflict, there are several ministries with which we can become involved in the Church, and these ministries will serve us in good stead throughout our life.
It is against this backdrop that we can share of our involvement with the CEETT Ministry.
We had the pleasure of completing our CEETT weekend March 9–11, 2001, and now 21 years later we are still involved in this wonderful ministry. CEETT is not just a ministry but a real commitment that a couple can make to serve others. The weekend, which is typically held at Emmaus Centre, Arima, involves engaged couples being present from a Friday evening to Sunday afternoon and journeying as a couple, while participating in various presentations/activities, facilitated by presenting couples.
As a young couple, we answered the call to serve; we were asked to be responsible for scheduling couples that had previously completed a CEETT weekend, for them to return to physically assist with duties over another weekend.
This meant contacting couples to chat with them, and request that they return to assist either with hosting i.e., welcoming couples on the Friday evening, serving meals to the couples, or assisting with the general restoration of Emmaus Centre, following the conclusion of a weekend.
Contacting these couples naturally resulted in good Catholic conversation, sometimes focusing on married life, children, work, and life in general.
As a result of contacting couples over the years, we have formed several friendships. When we did eventually meet in person, it would be like reuniting with a long-lost friend.
Our involvement with the CEETT ministry then evolved to the writing of prayer letters for couples. The prayer letters provide words of encouragement and marital sharings, so that writing these prayer letters as a couple helped us to deepen our union and overcome any ‘petty’ issues that may have been troubling us.
A prayer letter cannot be written if your mind and heart aren’t in the right place, and similarly, genuinely chatting with a couple can’t take place if your spiritual life isn’t in good order.
Our call to serve as Catholics has had a two-fold effect, in that not only are we giving back to a particular ministry, but it has served to deepen our union as husband and wife.
We have come to the stark realisation that we are not alone in some of the struggles of life. As a couple, you can share the struggles, the joys, the highs, and lows with others of a similar faith, or on a similar journey.
Giving of your hands to serve, and your hearts to love, can only strengthen your union as a couple, strengthen your Catholic faith, and help overcome some of the challenges that may be faced along this journey called life.