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Pastoral Care for Families Is Priority Apostolate: Bishop

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BELLARY, AUGUST 29, 2014: “Providing pastoral care for families is a priority apostolate”, declared Bishop Henry D’Souza, Bishop of Bellary. He was addressing the members of the Diocesan Pastoral Council at its meeting held at the Bishop’s House today.

“The family being the basic unit of society and the Church, it has a God given sacred function to foster life in fullness”, added Bishop.

“Family is the first and the best institution erected by God. It emanates from the lifelong bond between a man a woman, it is a cradle for next generation”, declared Bishop D’Souza.

“The family apostolate today’s entails education in loving, caring, sharing and forgiving among its members”, insisted Bishop.

“The pastoral care for families of today demands sensitization to respect human life at all stages and accompaniment with distressed, migrant and separated couples” said Bishop.

Also, quoting Pope Francis, the Bishop said “Families are the precious places to transmit faith.”

The resource person of the day was Fr. Martin Anthony, Director of Family Center of Archdiocese of Bangalore. He said that a family which frequently uses the simple three simple words – ‘please’, ‘sorry’ and ‘thank you’ builds up a loving, forgiving, sharing and mutually supporting family.

“The sacramental union of marriage which gives the dignity, faithfulness and the sacredness to sexuality”, declared Fr. Martin.

Quoting Pope Francis, Fr. Martin spoke about the importance of grandparents transmitting human and spiritual heritage to the next generations and also stressed on the need of inter-generational exchange of values especially in the context of a family.

In the context of pastoral care of families in our parishes, the need to create family cell was stressed, wherein couples in the parish, who lived a faithful and happy life could be invited to help and guide the families in crisis.

The DPC recommended to conduct two-day pre-Cana conferences for young in deaneries, to conduct orientation programmes for couples who have completed 10 years of their family life, to launch a helpline for distressed families and a marriage bureau and to have a senior citizens home in the diocese. 

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