On November 10thdespite the rain and strong gale force type winds, about 33 of us were welcomed by Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Fr Francis Sasinowski and a small group of his parishioners who clearly have the charism of hospitality.
Our marriage and Family Seminar begun with Holy Mass.
The aim of the day was to Inform and Inspire all attending to consider either being a part of the Catholic Grandparents Association, becoming an NFP Qualified Teacher or accompany Engaged Couples in our Diocesan sacramental marriage preparation programme.
Deacon Andrew set the scene with a presentation on Marriage. He gave an historical and compelling account including the spread of atheistic materialism from Russia. The Deacon began with Our lady of Fatima’s message in 1917 and touched on the influence of the Bolshevik revolution, following the trajectory of how marriage has been under attack. He progressed to mention the late Cardinal Caffara, archbishop of Bologna’s surprise reply from Sister Lucia of Fatima in 1982.
Deacon Andrew Carter
“ I received a very long letter with her signature – now in the Institute’s archives. In it we find written: the final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family. Don’t be afraid, she added, because anyone who works for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be fought and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue. And then she concluded: however, Our Lady has already crushed its head.”
In Deacon Andrew’s words ‘this hopefully will make clear to you that work in the field of Marriage & Family Life is a great battle which is primarily spiritual in nature. It is a battle foretold by Our Lady and it all ties in to the prophecies of Fatima. And while it is all connected with the forces unleashed in Russia in 1917, ultimately it is a spiritual battle on which the very future of humanity depends. Humanly speaking it might appear to be a lost cause, but Our Lady has assured us she will be victorious.’
Such were some of the thought-provoking words of Deacon Andrew on November 10thin Stubbington when without mincing words, appealed to our married couples to consider offering their time to become Mentor Couples.
‘The role of the mentor couple is critical in the delivery of this course – and I will make no bones about it – one of the reasons I am here speaking to you today is that we are looking to recruit more mentors. The role of the mentor couple is to help take the engaged couple through the course and become a point of contact and friendship for them within the parish – both before and hopefully after their wedding.’
Deacon Andrew progressed with a synopsis of the beauty of the Diocesan Smart Loving Marriage preparation programme. He highlighted the fact that the sacramental marriage preparation programme respects the spiritual, psychological aspects of Marriage and the most important dimension that God, the third person in every sacramental marriage, cannot be ignored.
An introduction to Natural Fertility Planning was presented by Nicola Carter and Aba Shields gave her personal testimony as a ‘starter’ for the riches to follow.
Nicola Carter and Aba
Dr Amanda Buadi offered a ‘technical’ perspective of the benefits of the Creighton Model.
Dr Amanda Buadi
The show stopper was undoubtedly Mat and Esther who shared deeply about living the NFP lifestyle. (see video)
Matt and Esther
Aba interviews Matt and Esther
‘Collapse of our civilisation and the extinction of much of our natural world is at risk of extinction says Sir David Attenborough. He is probably right but is it not bewildering that we go to such lengths about our climate and yet the safest place for any human being – the womb- has increasingly become the most dangerous place? DR Peter Saunders (retired general surgeon serves on the board of International Christian Medical & Dental Association & Coalition for Marriage & Campaign Director for Care Not KILLING Alliance, says 96% abortions paid for by NHS costs £118million i.e. £1400/yr for every tax payer, i.e. you and me.
Perhaps we could help change this figure by rather contributing to promoting Natural Fertility Awareness & Planning. Our NFP Teacher training - the first of its kind – in our own Diocese is happening in January 2019 over 6 weekends. The lectures are offered by the NFPTA association and all interested persons can contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We came to the end of the day with wisdom from the grandparents. Martin & Jan our faithful Leigh Park grandparents shared their experience of being members of the St Michael & All Angels grandparents group and although our technical input let us down, their sharing was encouraging.
Martin and Jan
Dear Reader, please don’t think it was all presentations and no time for a snack! That’s not possible with marriage & family life events. In true family life style, we also enjoyed a bountiful spread thanks to many volunteers who brought home made soup, home baked cakes to ‘die for’, crudités, cheese and crackers with plenty tea and coffee. We can never outdo God’s generosity and so we give thanks for the tremendous kindness of all who attended and gave so much of themselves.
If you would like any further information on any of the above, kindly contact the marriage and family life office at email@example.com. Lets’ STAY spiritually AWAKE – its’ Advent!