The Family Commission of the Diocese of Sindhudurg, headed by Fr Alex D’Mello and his team, organised its periodical seminar on parenting of newly married children. The event took place on 12 December 2019 in Navsarni Kendra Sawantwadi. A total of 35 participants from across the diocese signed up for the seminar.
Fr D’Mello conducted a session on ‘catechesis on the parenting of married children’ and how to foster relationships with in-laws. Sr Rita Fernandes SFN gave a session focussing on the importance of the family in a man’s life.
Offering feedback on the seminar, the participants found the sessions enriching and good learning. Mrs Kosu Bardeskar said that the sessions were thought-provoking and critical for building healthy families. Mr Arkangle D'Souza and Mrs Julie D'Souza from Sawantwadi found the session on ‘catechesis on the parenting of married children’ interesting and affirmed the importance of such seminars to counter the new challenges which emerge in family life.
The Diocese of Sindhudurg is one of the first dioceses in India to have made a law for all parents whose children are getting married to attend the seminar, which is conducted every four months and a lifetime certificate is issued to the participants.
The decision to mandate such a seminar was taken when the Conference of the Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI Latin Rite) discussed Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia. The Bishops realised that one of the prime reasons for divorces in Catholic families in India is the interference of parents in their children's marriage.
Speaking on the importance of the seminar, Fr D’Mello said: “The programme was inspired by Pope Francis' Amoris Laetitia. We want the parents to spiritually accompany the couples and therefore, they are made aware and trained on how to journey with newly married couples, especially in the initial period of their married life.”