Couples for Christ India, Mangaluru unit celebrated their Family Day ‘Revive’ on Sunday, September 2, 2018, at The Pastoral Institute, Bajjodi. The theme for the Family Day was chosen in accordance with Matthew 11:28-30 which is CFCI’s theme for the year 2018. Around 250 were present to celebrate the day which was made all the more significant by the fact that this year is celebrated as the Crystal jubilee. The day was filled with lots of fun, fellowship and faith building.
The gathering was welcomed by the warm words of the Area Servant, Gerald & Jane Castelino. The entire CFCI family then began their day with a power-packed ‘Praise and Worship’ followed by a ‘Praise Fest’ where everyone danced and sang hymns aloud with all their heart. After a short break, the entire community entered the venue by a ‘Praise Parade’ led by the Kids and Youth, followed by the Singles and then the Couples. The cultural programme then kick-started with vibrant performances that came from all the participants- kids with their adorable action songs, youth with their lively dance, acapella and skit and the couples with equally fun-filled and meaningful entertainment. All together gave a fantabulous performance. Life changing testimonies shared by few strengthened the faith of many. The audience too was kept involved by spot games that tickled their brains and gave them an opportunity to win prizes.
The Holy Eucharist celebrated by Most. Rev. Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza, Bishop of Mangalore was the focal point of the entire programme. Fr. Victor D’Mello, parish priest of Kirem, Fr. Aquin Noronha, parish priest of St Dominic Church, Ashoknagar and Fr. Anil D’Souza, Spiritual Director of CFCI Mangaluru and Director of Family Life Service Centre joined as concelebrants. The Word of God was broken by Fr. Aquin and he spoke on the theme ‘casting our burdens on the lord and sharing the yoke of Christ’ inspired from Matthew.11:28-30. He shared how we are called to surrender all the burdens of the world that weigh us down to the Lord and instead carry His light yoke and to rest in the lord. In the missionary work, challenges are bound to come in the form of waves, but when we place our faith in Christ, He guides us, strengthens us to face them and He never disappoints.
The Mass was followed by formal recognition of the pastoral services of the Bishop of Mangaluru for the past 22 years. This was done by one of the couples who were a part of this community right from its inception in Mangaluru. The Most Rev. Bishop then gave his message to the community which echoed Pope Francis’ words that our society can improve only when family life improves. His Holiness appreciated and encouraged us to carry on the good work of making families better. The Bishop also lauded the services of Fr. Victor D’Mello who was instrumental in the origin of CFCI in Mangaluru. The family day celebrations thus came to a close with group photographs, followed by a sumptuous lunch. The smiles on the faces of people returning home was a heartwarming sight, telling the story of a day that had been well spent with wonderful memories to cherish for years to come.