Masayang FAMILIA…Naglilingkod sa Sambahayan, sa Sambayanan!
Introduction: Pope Francis, in his latest Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia No. 229 says: “Parishes, movements, schools and other Church institutions can help in a variety of ways to support families and help them grow.” This can be in the form of brief retreats, talks by experts on concrete issues facing the families, workshop for parents,etc.
We hope that through this simple FAMILIA Workshop we can encourage and train more married couples to assist other couples. As Pope Francis said: “Groups of married couples enable other couples to be generous, to assist other families and to share the faith; at the same time they strengthen marriages and help them grow” (Amoris Laetitia 229).
The workshop flow is as follows:
F– ormulate a Family Mission Statement-
A-nimate Family Worship
M-aximize Family Meals Times and Encounters
I-nspire the Family to Greatness
L-earn the Love Language of each Family member
I-ndividual Attention for each child
A-ttend Family Life Support Groups or Communities
The workshop will first help the families to craft a simple but meaningful “goal or purpose” for their families. “What do you want your family to be?” One reason why families are not able to reach a level of significance and be able to contribute to other families is that they themselves do not know what they are a family for. Having a clear Family Purpose or Mission statement will help families as they live through the years to have a benchmark or standard in journeying as a family of missionary disciples. (Download PDF of Presentation here.)
Families need to pray. Families need to have a time of worshipping together. But the challenge to make these times of prayer meaningful, participative and spirit-filled is daunting. As our children grow older and our family situations change, family prayer times and opportunities to worship must also be animated. “Without prolonged moments of adoration, of prayerful encounter with the word, of sincere conversation with the Lord, our work easily becomes meaningless; we lose energy as a result of weariness and difficulties, and our fervor dies out.” (EG 262)
Meal times, bonding times, vacations or even celebrations with the extended family are great opportunities to build good family memories. Maximizing them means planning. How can we bring out the best in these encounters? How can we make these times enjoyable and fruitful at the same time? How can we train our children to be contributors and not just spectators and receivers during family events?
As a family we need to inspire our children to greatness. We need to share with them noble dreams for our country, our Church, our world and their future. Pope Francis, in his visit to the Philippines and in Amoris Laetitia as well, spoke about dreams. “You can’t have a family without dreams. Once a family loses the ability to dream, children do not grow, love does not grow, life shrivels up and dies.” (AL 169) Dreams and lofty aspirations should become part of family discussions which should also lead to actual family works of mercy.
A tool to help family members determine their primary love language will be shared. The goal of this portion is to help parents give the kind of love their children best understand.
Then the importance of having a one to one with each child and what to discuss during that meeting is presented.
Lastly, an encouragement for married couples to find and join a support group for their spiritual growth is given.
The entire workshop will be very simple in order to make the participants confident that they can also do this. Our hope is that after this workshop, the family/participants will also share the material to others.
The FAMILIA Workshop is an adaptable and adjustable framework. It can be presented to any group of families depending on their time availability or their assessed needs. The sub-topics can be presented in any order and the facilitators may “pick and choose” the sub-topic where he/she is more proficient. They may invite other speakers for the other sub-topics
For this reason, the sub-topics will be presented here as a modular and stand-alone topic within a timetable of 2 hours.
Suggested 2-hour Program Flow
0:00 – 0:10 Introduction/Welcome Participants/ Opening Prayer
0:10 – 0:20 Quick Overview of the FAMILIA Workshop (Refer to Introduction)
0:20 – 0:40 Presentation of the sub-topic chosen using the materials/ FAMILIA Powerpoint provided
0:40 – 1:00 Family Discussion and Activity
1:00 – 1:30 Sharing of Initial Family Workshop Output
1:30 – 1:40 Refinement of Family Workshop Output after hearing new concepts and practices from other families.
1:40 – 1:50 Sharing of refined output to another family
1:50 – 2:00 Announcement of next schedule/session. Closing prayers.