Strengthening and Healing Marriages

CFCI Mumbai successfully conducted a one day programme titled “Strengthening and Healing Marriages” at the Divine Child School, Andheri East, Mumbai on the 29th of November 2015 from 8.30am to 4.30pm which was very well attended by over 250 CFCI members.

Members from various parts of Mumbai started arriving at the venue, early morning keeping aside their entire busy schedule. For those who could not keep their tiny loved ones at home came along with them and the venue was full to it’s capacity.

After enrolling themselves and having a hot cup of tea with nice soft sannas, members were slowly lead into the programme by a beautiful Praise and Worship enthusiastically conducted by the CFCI Singles . As the first session was about to begin, the CFCI Youth came forward and took away the tiny tots for some fun games and activities planned for them separately. This was in order that the parents could attend the session without any interruptions.
There were 3 talks which revolved around marriage related topics.

The first resource person was Fr. Gerard Rodrigues, Parish Priest of Holy Family Church, Andheri who spoke about “Marriage as a Sacrament“. He spoke about how God did not intend for man to be alone in the book of Genesis and therefore created woman to be his partner. And the purpose of this companionship was because HIS love had to be shared; but SIN came along and displaced God in the equation. But God relentlessly tries to put order back into marriages eroded because of that lost love. All through the New Testament there are several examples of this effort. Fr. Gerard exhorted all not to achieve this through our own struggle but to allow God to work by making Him the centre of our marriages. He humorously put it as being ‘eccentric‘ and allowing Christ to be ‘centric‘ in our marriages. He continued to say that marriage as a sacrament meant and should be an ‘encounter’ with our Lord and we should be rooted in him and his love. HE should be the head of our homes and just as the head decides everything, HE should decide all matters of our homes. And the only proof that we have done that, would be if we experience the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our marriages.

The Second resource person was Prof. Ruby Cerejo who spoke on “Interdependence in Marriage“. She said that Interdependence is only possible if we as a couple surrender our will and marriage to the Lord. We need to humble ourselves, be patient, gentle and always walk towards one another rather than away. Interdependence is seeing God’s image in eachother and discovering that, through couple prayer, in depth communication and forgiveness for each other.

The Third Resource person Mr. Victor Pereira from the Charismatic Renewal spoke on “forgiveness“. According to him the 3 uppermost areas of repentance in Marriage is unfaithfulness, abuse and conflict. He said conflicts were normal and were meant for our normal growth in marriage. The key is to ‘diffuse‘ it effectively. He spelt out the key as an acronym for “diffuse” as

Defining the problem,
Initiating a good time to talk about it,
Focusing on the perceived problem,
Feeling the pain,
Uncovering the root of the problem,
Setting things right and
Establishing a plan of action for the future.

He added that the 2 wrong ways however, of handling a conflict is being like a shark too aggressive or being like a turtle slow or withdrawing from the conflict. Conflict needs to be addressed effectively by the above technique. Forgiveness is not ‘forgetting’ but genuinely repenting for our actions.

After three enriching talks, there was a lunch break and the second half of the programme was now moved from the hall to the nearby Chapel in the school campus.

The Second half began with a beautiful one and half hour inner healing session and Eucharistic adoration Led by Fr. Vinay Kamath. Several healings were witnessed and the session concluded with the Holy Mass.

Nikita and Natasha interspersed the session with hymns and also conducted the singing during mass. The facilitator for the day was Lalitha Carvalho. Lino and Rupa were the couple who worked silently behind the scenes without whom the programme would have not been possible.

All who attended the programme felt blessed and shared their joy of being part of this programme. The Divine Child sisters who had let out their premises were amazed and filled with awe to see such a large crowd for the first time assembled in their Chapel.

The success of the programme was a collective effort by all CFCI Couples, CFCI Singles and CFCI Youth who worked hard behind the scenes. Praise God!

Report by Dr. Richard Pereira – CFCI, Mumbai

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