Mangaluru: Married couples program held at Holy Cross Church, Cordel

Mangaluru, Aug 22: In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Holy Cross Church, a “Married Couples Program” aimed at couples in their first 15 years of marriage was organized on August 13. The event, lasting half a day, saw the participation of 44 young couples. The Missionary Families of Christ (MFC), led by Melwin Fernandes, oversaw the entire program.

The first session of the day was conducted by Dr Amith and Dr Teena D’Souza. Dr Amith delivered a talk on the role of a Christian husband, delving into the intricacies of his responsibilities as the family’s head. He emphasized the husband’s roles as a priest, pastor, and provider, drawing parallels to how Christ cares for the church. Similarly, a father’s role was likened to that of a priest tending to the spiritual needs of his family. Dr Teena discussed the roles of a Christian wife, highlighting her position as a supportive partner to her husband. She underscored the importance of following the path of faith to become wives and mothers who bring blessings, healing, and growth to their families.

In the second session, Jeswin and Lavisha Castelino explored the theme of ‘Building our homes for God.’ They elaborated on the responsibilities of Christian husbands and wives in creating an environment characterized by faith, service, love, peace, and order. Such an environment, they emphasized, enables families to experience God’s providence and blessings fully. The Castelinos emphasized that a Christian home should exemplify the practice of Christian values.

To keep the participants engaged, the music ministry of MFC taught several action hymns. Christopher Machado from MFC Mangalore introduced the speakers and facilitated an icebreaker activity to encourage active participation among the couples.

Concurrently with the couples’ program, a separate program for all the children of the attendees was organized. This was facilitated by the youth and singles of MFC, featuring various art and craft activities centered around Bible themes, along with instruction in action hymns.

The program was inaugurated by the parish priest, Fr Clifford Fernandes. In his opening speech, he emphasized the pivotal role of Christian couples in nurturing faith-filled families and their status as role models for the younger generation. Notable attendees included Ruth Castelino, vice president of the Parish Pastoral Council, Anil D’Sa, secretary of the Parish Pastoral Council, Dolphy D’Souza, coordinator of the 21 Commissions, Rohan Rego, coordinator of the Married Couples Program, along with Gurkars, ward representatives, PPC members, and the organizing team. Lora Pais served as the event’s emcee, and Anil D’Sa proposed a vote of thanks.

The program concluded with a festive lunch and the announcement of plans for a similar event catering to older married couples within the parish.