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Key takeaways from 2022 World Meeting of Families

“Talk it out, work it out, and seek support.” Catholic News Editor and Antilles Episcopal Conference (AEC) delegate, Raymond Syms offered this practical advice for families to implement in their daily lives.

Syms, along with his wife Tricia were part of the four-member contingent representing the AEC at the World Meeting of Families (WMOF) held in Rome June 22–26. The Syms’ and Fr Matthew Ragbir are consultors to the AEC’s Laity and Family Life Commission chaired by Bishop Robert Llanos of St John’s-Basseterre.

On day three of the WMOF, the couple shared with Trinity TV’s Rome Reports TV news agency on their take-aways from the conference.

Wife Tricia suggested, “Sit down and have a meal together. As simple as that…. Say ‘Good morning’ and ‘Thank you’ for something that they may have done.”

Tricia mentioned that there were conversations on the challenges affecting marriages and families, including single parent households.

“…We’ve heard from families with disabilities, we’ve heard from families just struggling with day-to-day life. But the faith, the faith experience of all the families so far … the struggle with the faith. And that for me has really been a high point so far in the conference,” Tricia said.

Meanwhile, delegate Fr Ragbir shared his views on the WMOF keynote address on the domestic Church and Synodality, and how he plans on implementing these ideas in the Archdiocese of Port of Spain.

“Here, we have a new theology being put forward and what it is saying is that all of us are called to holiness and the way in which that is done has been in the past, often was thought of in terms of priests and religious, religious sisters or nuns, but now how do we live our baptismal call,” he pondered.

Fr Ragbir, Spiritual Adviser to the Archdiocesan Family Life Commission (AFLC), spoke about a session where a young couple shared on accompaniment and its significance.

“…because couples are prepared for marriage and we know that is not enough but there is so much that needs to happen in preparing and accompanying in those first few years of marriage especially… that is extremely important,” Fr Ragbir said.

– By Kaelanne Jordan