Spiritual Advisor: Fr Mario Mendes
Contact Person: Elias Fernandes, Lilia Fernandes, Fr Mario Mendes
About Parish Family Cell: The Family Cell was first started in our Parish on March 26, 1997 under the leadership of Rev. Fr. Joaquim D’Costa. Bishop Bosco Penha celebrated the inaugural Eucharist.
With the transfer of Fr Joaquim from the parish in June 1997, the Family Cell did not survive for long and was then restarted on November 17, 2002 as a fruit of the Archdiocesan Synod which focused on the Family Apostolate as a major thrust to renew the Archdiocese. Henry and Celia Homen took over the baton of leadership of the Family Cell and Fr. Albert Gonsalves provided the spiritual direction during this period.
The activities of the Family Cell were revived in 2006 by Fr Edward Jacinto during the leadership of Fr. Blaise D’Mello. Elias and Lilia Fernandes were the lead couple animating the Cell. Fr. Walter Pinto took over in 2007 and Fr. Barthol Barretto in 2008 (on assuming the leadership of the parish). Presently, the Spiritual Advisor is Fr Henry D’Souza.
Summary of work: Around 15 couples underwent a two- day workshop on Family Counselling and Marriage Enrichment conducted by Fr. Vincent Pereira.
Meeting Date: 3rd Saturday of the month at 8:00 pm
The family cell members met at Asha Kiran on 22nd September 2012 at 6 p.m. for a recollection session. Ten couples were present for the recollection. It started with a meaningful prayer by Fr. Joe D’mello, our spiritual director. In his prayer he brought the meaning of marriage and recalling our marriage vows. After the prayer we had a silent reflection on our married life. During this time we could introspect on our past life spent in each other’s company. The moments of joys and sorrows we had undergone, yet walked hand in hand in all situations. It was only possible with constant prayer life.
Subsequently Fr. Joe asked the couples to share their happiness and sorrows. Every couple then shared their experiences in life, how they overcame their obstacles without losing focus on God. This was the first time all the couples shared their married life experiences with others. After the sharing, the couples prayed for every couple by taking their names. Also we prayed for Fr. Joe.
Mr. Thomas Lobo enlightened us on the topic “Sanity anchors in life”. i.e How in difficult times those pleasant memories, thoughts and actions of care and concern shown by spouse is the strength. It is like a shelter in times of tsunami in life.
Bishop Agnelo Gracias the spiritual director of Diocesan family cell graced the occasion. He encouraged us to attend marriage encounter courses which make our married life happy and fruitful. During the session one thing was very clear that in everyone’s life “Prayer is the strong force that keeps every one united in love”.
Liliya Fernandes proposed the vote of thanks.
The recollection ended with a sumptuous dinner.
We are very grateful to Fr. Joe for organizing this session and giving us the opportunity to get to know each other better.
- Wilfred & Jacintha Rego.