A. The Parish Family Service Cell is a coordinating body of the representative families of the Parish for the needs of the Families, through Families and by representative Families to build up the domestic Church as envisaged by the Church documents.
B. Role of the PFSC
To build the family into a domestic Church where the parents are the first catechists.
- To provide Family Catechesis.
- To build Christ centered homes that pray.
- To recognise the equality and human dignity of all, especially the woman and girl child.
- To prepare Natural Family Planning instructors in each Vaddo/Sector/Somudai of the Parish.
- To make spousal couples aware of social evils.
- To conscientise the families about the anti-family/ anti-life tendencies.
- To counsel and support families in crisis.
- To help create a sense of belongingness to one’s own family.
- To make the parish a communion of families.
C. Mission Statement
To build stable Christ centered happy families which will strengthen spousal relationships and promote effective Christian parenting.
- Make the family aware of its role and mission (Educational)
- Development of a healthy family life (Preventive)
- Reaching out to families in distress (Therapeutic)
E. Tasks of the PFSC
i. Educational and Preventive Programmes
- Marriage preparation (Remote, Proximate, Immediate)
- Creative Natural Fertility Management
- Pro-life issues and the Family
- Family Enrichment Programmes
- Sessions on Parenting Skills
- Family get-togethers
- Celebration of Wedding Anniversaries
- Retreat and encounter Sessions for spouses
- Care for Elderly and the Aged
- Helping Inter-faith Marriages
- Exposure to Family Movements
ii. Therapeutic Programmes
- Family Help Line
- Crisis Counseling
- Reconciliation of Marriages and Families
- Rehabilitation of Broken Families
- Rescue Battered women
F. Constitution of Parish Family Service Cell
- The Parish Family Service Cell shall consist of the following persons chosen by the Parish Priest in consultation with the Parish Pastoral Council (PPC):
→ One Priest
→ One Woman Religious
→ One Representative Spousal Couple from each Vaddo/Sector/Somudai.
→ One Medical Doctor
→ One Medical Nurse
- They will choose from among themselves a coordinator, an assistant coordinator, a secretary, a joint secretary and a treasurer to form the executive committee of the Parish Family Service Cell of the Parish.
- There will be no raising of funds for the PFSC. Instead the PFSC will submit the budget of their programmes form either the PPC or Fabrica, as deemed acceptable.
- This Team will be responsible to co-ordinate the Family Apostolate in each Vaddo/Sector/Somudai of the Parish.
- They will meet at least twice a year to animate Family Life in the Parish. The rest of the functioning will be through the PPC.
- They will send from among themselves representatives for the training of trainers (ToT) courses for Family Cell Animators ‘Kuttumb Seveche Adhari’ conducted by the DFSC. Details of such courses are put up on the website www.familyservicecentregoa.org or by phone from DFSC, Goa offices at Panaji and Margao.
- The Parish Family Service Cell will be trained and strengthened by the DFSC
HOW TO START YOUR PARISH FAMILY SERVICE CELL (PFSC)
- Choose a Representative Spousal Couple, preferably, from each of your Somudai/Vaddo/Sector. Also choose a Medical Doctor, a Nurse, a Religious Sister and a Priest (if there are assistants/other religious priests in your Parish) from your Parish, to be on the PFSC.
- Once this selection is done, you are requested to intimate us so that we can send our team to conduct a Brain Storming session on ‘Why the need of Parish Family Service Cell (PFSC)’.
- The second session for the Parish Family Service Cells will be listing out the tasks of the PFSC through a session ‘Introduction to Parish Family Service Cells’. In this, the members will be made well versed in the tasks of the PFSC.
- Following this, they will be invited for a FAMILY ANIMATORS TRAINING SESSION at the DEANERY level (consisting of five sessions) so they are well equipped to manage their PFSC (just like Liturgical animators/Catechetical animators/Biblical animators course).
- For any clarification/suggestions, please contact Fr. Alban Fernandes, the Director or the DFSC Panaji office on 2224140 or via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
MEETING OF COUPLES REPRESENTING THEIR PARISHES TO ESTABLISH THE PARISH FAMILY SERVICE CELL
The first meeting of the Couples representing their Parishes in order to establish Parish Family Service Cell was held on 12/2/2023 at 4.30pm in the Pope John Paul II Centre Margao. There were around 23 couples who attended the meeting.
The director of the DFSC, Fr Albano Fernandes, highlighted the importance of the PFSC by quoting Pope Francis “THE CHURCH IS INVITED TO LISTEN TO FAMILIES AND INVOLVE THEM IN PASTORAL CARE.” Fr. said we are the church and asked us to do what we as a family can do for our church/parish so that the domestic church can be strengthened in our own families.
Fr. Albano said that marriage should be joyful and this will happen only when a man and woman help one another. Here he reminded us what Pope Francis said about marriage. He quoted: This is what marriage is all about – Man and woman walking together, wherein the husband helps his wife to become ever more a woman and wherein the woman has the task of helping her husband to become ever more a man” While expounding the idea of marriage, Fr further mentioned that a perfect marriage doesn’t exist nor does a perfect family. We are all sinners. It’s in this state that when we say sorry to one another and ask for forgiveness, marriage will last and the bonds of the family will be strengthened.
Further, Fr. said that ” Marriage doesn’t guarantee you will be together forever, it’s only paper. It takes love, respect, trust, understanding, friendship and faith to make it last. In other words, he emphasized that marriage is an everyday business and that we have to work towards to make it happen. Quoting few more thoughts on marital fidelity and love, Fr said that we should safeguard the value system in families and that there are good families who walk according to the values of our faith and church teachings. He stressed that Christian marriage is the sacrament which builds up the community of the church and of society. Marriage has been inscribed in creations design by God, and by His grace countless men and women have lived married life fully. (Pope Francis) He ended his reflection by saying that ” As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.” John Paul II He said good families make this world a better place to live in.
Dr. Roshan Nazareth then gave a talk on how the families in the parish should be strengthened and for this to materialize, he said that there has to be a family cell in every parish. Before, explaining the steps to establish PFSC, he helped us to understand the importance of giving priority to relationships among the family members, i.e. husband and wife, parents and children and vice versa. He focussed on two things: Firstly, he said we must have fun times with the family for at least 15 minutes every day where each member is asked to share experiences with one another. Secondly, he gave a tip on Mindfulness and explained how this will help us to do things meaningfully by saying slowly the prayers etc,. By practising mindfulness, he said that we will also enrich our family ties.
Dr gave us some advice on how to take forward the works of the family cell.
- One or two couples from every somudai should be selected. This can be done with the help of the PPC. If we don’t get a couple from one somudai then also we must start with the remaining somudais.
- A doctor, nurse and an advocate, if there are would be important for the PFSC.
- After that we have to send an email to the Diocesan Family Service Centre.
- The Centre will organise a formation session and then accordingly the PFSC would be established.
- The Parish Priest and the PPC should be taken into confidence.
- WhatsApp Group of each PFSC will help in furthering the activities in the Parish. The vocation of the Family Mission should be strengthened.
Fr. Albano then told all present that they should not take stress with this mission but that whatever we do should be done out of love and for God. He said that there is no need to have monthly meetings but connect through the what’s app group only. Our family should be a witness for others.
Fr. Albano thanked all the couples for sacrificing their time in attending this meeting especially those couples who had come from distant Parishes. Fr. also thanked all the Parish Priests for sending their representatives. He also thanked Dr. Roshan for making himself available for the meeting.
The meeting ended at 6.00 p.m.
LENTEN RETREAT FOR COUPLES
On March 14th 2023, Canacona Deanery along with Diocesan Family Service Centre, Goa organized COUPLES RETREAT at Divine Springs, Xellim, Loliem.
54 couples across Canacona Deanery Parishes attended the retreat. After the registration, Fr. Alvito Fernandes, OCD, Superior of Divine Springs Centre welcomed the gathering, After that, Fr. Praveen Pinto, OCD, Deanery Animator for Family Apostolate welcomed the preacher and briefed the participants regarding the time table and logistics of the Retreat.
Fr. Albano Fernandes, Director of Dioceson Family Service Centre gave two talks. The first one was based on the Pastoral Theme: ‘Follow me’ and other was on the need of Forgiveness and the importance of the sacrament of reconciliation. In between, these two talks, there was a group discussion. 10 groups were made and 5 questions were given to them.
- Have you given time for prayer and word of God in our families?
- Do you preserve Faith and what step have we taken to reserve it?
- When there are misunderstandings in your family, how did you face them? Did you fail to reconcile and why?
- Why are there less children in our families today?
- Are couples going against God’s Commandments?
All the group members appeared to have participated well in the discussion as there was a good response from them. Fr. Praveen animated well the responses from groups. Before ending the discussion, Fr. Praveen made sure that he got the assurance from the couples to establish the Parish Family Service Cell in their parishes. Later, Fr. Praveen Pinto, OCD conducted a brief service of adoration and inner healing by exposing the Blessed Sacrament. Mr. Mashen helped with uplifting music and singing.
Dean of the Canacona Deanery, Fr. Santana D’Souza was the main celebrant of the concluding Holy Eucharist. Fr. Patrick Luis, SFX, the Parish Priest of Agonda Church preached an uplifting homily highlighting some of the teachings stressed by Holy Father, Pope Francis in his apostolic exhortation: ‘Amoris Laetitia’. He highlighted how families should be and their role in building good families. The other con-celebrants were Fr. Joseph Coreia from Bhatpal Church, Fr. Pravin Pinto OCD and Fr. Albano Fernandes. The retreat concluded with a fellowship meal at 1:30 p.m. The couples went home feeling blessed.
PARISH FAMILY SERVICE CELL
– Nicoleta Fernandes, Mangueiral, Vib. 18
Dor ek firgoz ek mullavi Igorz (domestic church) zaumchi oxi amchea Dhormprantachea voddilamchi dixa zali. Hem monan dhorun Marsache 12ver amche firgojent thodde couples ghevun ek xibir tharailem. Magnneantlean hea xibirak survat dili ani anche Padri Vigaran sogllea ‘couples’ank ieukar dilo ani xibirak hajir zal’lea khatir xebaski dili.
Parish Family Service Cell hem kitem? ani amkam tachi goroz kiteak? tachi mahiti diunk Diocesan Family Service centre hacho vangddi Dr. Roshan Nazareth ail’lo. Gorabo mhonnge kitem? ghorabeant ghov-bail koxim amchem karia kitem? bhurgeank koslem marg dhorxon diumchem? tem tannem amkam bore bhaxen sanglem. Parish Family Service Cell amchem firgojent ghoddun haddchi mhonn amchea Padr Vigarak dislem. Hea Parish family Service Cell hachi akarnni (Formation) he bhaxen zatoli:
* Diocesan Family Service Centre, zacho Director Fr. Albano Fernandes asa hanchea marg dhorxonan he Parish Family Service cell choltoli.
* Dor eke Firgojent, ganvchea Padr Vigarachea fuddarea khal ganvche todde couples ghevun hem Parish Family Service Cell ghoddun haddtoli.
* Hea Cell-ant couples hanche bhair ek madr.bhoinn, ek dotor, ek nurse ani ek skilled personnel
*Ganvchea dor eka vibhagant ek Representative Spousal Couple ascho.
Dr Roshan hannem Pap Saib Francis hachem encyclical “AMORIS LAETITIA” hache voir Pap Saibache mon ani usko ghorabeam sovem kitem tachi mahiti dili. Ghorabeam voir, Pap Saib Francis hea boroupant oxem mhonnta: “The joy of love experiences by families is also the joy of the church”.
Hem monan dhorun dor eka ghorabean, lognachea sounskara vorvim ani familin mogacho sontos onbhovcho ani hoch mog ani sontos firgojent disun ieuncho mhonn Pap Saib sangunk sodta. Archdiocese hanchea akarnne pormonnem hea Parish Family Service Cell hacho role oso astolo:
*Dor ek ghorabo ek mullavi Firgoz zaumchi zoim avoi-bapui poilim sondexkaram aplea
bhurgeank zaunk zai.
*Kristak achea ghorabeacho maz korun (Christ Centered) amche ghorabe magnneache ani
mogache korunk zai.
*Avoi-bapainim somazachea vaittacher lokx dhorun aplea bhurgeank xiddkaunk ani borem marg
dhorxon diunk zai.
*Monisponnache hokk rakhunk, Natural Family Plannimg hi pod’dot xikunk ani vaprunk ani
somaz xikoita te vaitt pod’dot nakarunk.
*Jea ghorabeanim proxnn asat tanchi khobor ghevun, Padr Vigarachea adaran hea ghorabeank
Hea Cell-acho Dixa (Vision)
*Dor eka ghorabeak aplem Karia somzaunk (Educational)
Eg. Logn zaunche adim toiari
Natural family Planning
Ghorabe mozbut korunk xibiram Parenting Skills. Family get-together Ghorabo kosao vorsak ek pautt retir ou xibiramnin vantto ghevop. Zantteank ani ghorabeny asloleam duent vangdeank mog ani man divop.
Ghov-bailank ani bhurgeank proxnn asloleank adhar (Crisis Counselling) Ghorabeamnim vangdeam modem sondhan (Reconciliation) Depression, Addiction oslea proxnnak adhar (Rehabilitationa)
Vidvank, Onatank ani moddlolea ghorabeank adar.
Dr. Roshan-an hi soglli xikoun diun, hajir asloleam couples hanchea monank zaito uzvadd haddlo ani xikoilem. Jem ami ailolem ani xiklim tem amche firgijent dor eka ghorabenk paunchem amchea Padr. Vigarachem mon. Tachea hea uleak zap diun, je couples hajir asle tannim hem kam firgojent padr. Vigarachea fuddarea khal fudden vhorunk khoxi dakoili.
Marche 26ver, Aitara dis 8 horanchem Mis Diocesan Family Service Centre hacho Director Fr. Albano Fernandes hannem somoromblem. Hea Misache bhettent, St. Stephen Parish Family Service Cell hachi stapnni keli ani hea Cell-achea vangdeamnim apli bhasavnni keli. Misa uprant Igorjechea vosreant heam vangddeank Fr. Albano sangata ek mellavo zalo. Amche kherit dhinvas amchea Diocesan Family Service Centre-ak, Fr. Albano, Dr. Roshan ani amche Iadnkankank. Zo usko ani mog ghorabeam sovem tannim dakoila tache khatir. Amchea ganvche soglle ghorabe Nazaretchea Povitr Ghorabea sarke zaunk magum-ia.
ST. STEPHEN’S PARISH FAMILY SERVICE CELL
– Lydia Rodrigues, Foro, Vib. 5
Two couples represented at the Diocesan Family Service Centre Margao on 12 February 2023 from St. Stephen Parish. Fr. Albano Fernandes and Dr. Roshan Nazareth addressed us. We were nearly 25 couples who represented their parishes and had to inform their parish priest about the importance of the family service team and the need of the hour to promote, healthy and holy family life in our homes and then in our neighbourhood. Fr. Albano mentioned that there are no perfect families nor perfect spouses but when we learn to apologize and ask for forgiveness, life becomes better.
Dr. Roshan spoke how it is necessary to have Fun time in the family to lead a happy family life.
Our Parish Priest formed the Parish Family Service Cell inspired by the Holy Spirit and the first talk was held on 12 March wherein Dr. Roshan Nazareth addressed the members. He gave us an insight what the Parish Family Service Cell is about. He made it very clear that we are a Coordinating body for the needs of the families. We need to build our families into domestic church. Our homes should be Christ centred. The meet ended with a fellowship meal.
On 26 March at the 8 am Holy Eucharist was celebrated by Rev. Fr. Albano where 23 couples of our parish were installed including a religious Sister in front of the community where they pledged their service to strengthen their own bonds of family life and to reach out to other families in their parish.
After the Holy Eucharist the Parish Family Cell met in the Parish hall where Fr. Albano had an interaction with the members and clarified doubts and queries what the members had over a cup of tea and snacks. Fr. Albano mentioned our parish was the second parish to install the family Service Centre. Each couple was given the Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love). After reading this book we hope and pray that we lead by example that marriage is a vocation a covenant by being better families and leading a life of holiness, love, joyfulness, thoughtfulness and of gratefulness.
We thank God for having given us our Priests who are loving and concerned Shepherds. With you as our shepherds we will strive to strengthen our family life and also of our neighbourhood.
THE PFSC AT DULER, MAPUSA – BY THE FAMILIES, OF THE FAMILY AND FOR THE FAMILIES
The Parish Family Service Cell of St. Francis Xavier Church, Duler, Mapusa, saw a warm and spirited, formal beginning on the 23rd of July, 2023 – a day that was also celebrated as 03rd World Day for Grandparents and Elderly in the Archdiocese of Goa.
After a few meetings with the initial volunteers for the Cell in the month of June, and one formation session facilitated by Dr. Roshan Nazareth on 09th July 2023, one enthusiastic and committed couple from each ward confirmed their presence as members of the Cell.
The Director of the Diocesan Family Service Centre, Fr. Albano Fernandes, kindly consented to inaugurate the Cell at the 11 a.m. Mass on the chosen day, in the presence of the Parish Priest, Fr. Anthony Fernandes. He shared lovely anecdotes of his early life and also of how his vocation was fostered in the closeness of his family relationships, especially with his grandparents. He encouraged all to live the vision that Christ had – of Holy, Happy, and Healthy families.
After the Communion rite, the co-ordinator of the PFSC led the members into taking the formal oath in the presence of the Community and the Priests, thus invoking the blessings and graces of the Lord, on the members of the Family Cell, so that they could begin their work with discernment and courage.
The Inaugural Mass was followed by a simple fellowship and informal interaction between the Director (Fr. Albano), the Parish Priest (Fr. Anthony) and the new PFSC members.
The Parish of St. Francis Xavier, Duler, is indeed very happy to have been able to start the PFSC, and will do its best to carry forward the goals of the same.
FAMILY APOSTOLATE AND PARISH FAMILY CELLS – Dr. Silvano Dias Sapeco
In his pastoral letter dated 31st May, 2023, our Archbishop of Goa and Daman, His eminence Filipe Neri Cardinal Ferrao has stated: “Our parishes are full of life; a great number of the lay faithful are enthusiastically shouldering the responsibility of the Church’s Mission. Numerous catechists, teachers, members of the Parish Pastoral Councils and those of other associations and bodies are actively involved in proclaiming the gospel. In our families parents and grandparents take pains to nurture their children and grandchildren in sound Christine doctrine and values. Our children and youngsters, by offering their time and talents, enrich the Church. By their pastoral ministry, through the Apostolate of Education and through their involvement in the socio-economic uplift of the underprivileged, numerous priests and religious render selfless service to the people of God. In our Archdiocese, the lay faithful, the religious and the priests joyfully carry forward the mission of Jesus in a spirit of communion and participation.”
During the Chairman’s address on 10th September, 2023 to the members of the Diocesan Family Service Centre at the precincts of Marquinez palace, Old G.M.C Panjim, His Eminence Filipe Neri Cardinal Ferrao emphasized on the ambitious need to start “Parish Family Service Cell” (PFSC). The need to:
- Choose a representative spousal couple, preferable from each of your Somudai/Vaddo/Sector. Also choose a medical doctor, a nurse, a religious nun and a priest (if there are assistants/ other Religious priests in your parish) from your parish, to be on P.F.S.C.
- Once the selection is done , a request to be made to the Diocesan Family Service Centre, who shall promptly oblige to send their team so as to conduct a brain storming session on “Why the neeed of Parish Family Service Cell (P.F.S.C.)?”
- The second session for the ensuing Parish Family Service Cell shall be listing out the task of the P.F.S.C. through a session “Introduction to Parish Family Service Cells”. During such a session, the members shall be disseminated with the tasks of the P.F.S.C.
- Subsequently, they will be invited for a “Family Animators Training Session” at the Deanery level (comprising of 5 sessions) so that they, are well equipped to manage their P.F.S.C. (just like Liturgical Animators / Catechetical Animators / Biblical Animators course)
- Any clarifications or suggestions so desired shall be promptly obliged by Rev, Fr. Albano Fernandes, the Director or by the office of D.F.S.C. Panjim on 0832-2224140 or via email on email@example.com.
The Parish Family Service Cell is a coordinating body of the representative families of the parish for the needs of the families, through families and by representative families to build up the domestic church as envisaged by the Church documents.
Role of the Parish Family Service Cell is to:
- Build the family into a domestic church where the parents are the first catechist.
- Provide family catechesis
- Build Christ centered homes, who pray daily as a family.
- Recognize the equality and human dignity of all, especially the woman and girl child.
- Prepare Natural Family Planning instructions within each Somudai of the parish.
- Make spousal couples aware of social evils.
- Councel and support families in crises.
- Help create a sense of belongingness to one’s own family.
- Make the Parish a Communion of Families.
Mission of the Parish Family Service Cell is to build stable Christ centered happy families which will strengthen spousal relationships and promote effective Christian parenting. Vision of the parish Family Service Cell is to make the family aware of it’s role and mission (educational); development of a healthy family life (preventive); and for reaching out to families in distress (therapeutic).
Parish Priest, in consultation with Parish Pastoral Council, shall compose of one priest, one woman religious, one representative of spousal couple from each vaddo /Somudai; one medical doctor; one medical nurse who are to be constitutional members of the Parish Family Service Cell, who shall choose from among themselves a coordinator, an Assistant Coordinator, a secretary, a joint Secretary and a treasurer to form the Executive Committee of the Parish Family Service Cell of the Parish. There will be no raising of funds for P.F.S.C., instead, the P.F.S.C. will submit the budget of their programmes to either the PPC or the Fabrica, as deemed acceptable. This team will be responsible to coordinate the Family Apostolate in each Vaddo/ Somudai of the parish. They will meet at least twice a year to animate family life in the Parish. The rest of functioning will be through the PPC. They will send from themselves representatives for the Training of Trainers (ToT) courses for Family Cell animators- “Kuttumb Seveche Adhari” conduct by DFSC. Details of such courses are displayed on the website https://wwwfamilyservicecentregoa.org or by phone of DFSC Goa offices at Panjim 2224140 or 2431639 and Margao2713497. Lastly, the Parish Family Service Cell will be trained and strengthened by the Diocesan Family Service Centre.
May our Saviour Jesus Christ bless and enlighten every family within the parish and the Dioceses to emulate the divine virtues of life with tender loving care for eternity.
Courtesy of Parish bulletin (Porgottnni) – Reis Magos Church
- Brochures for the Family (PY 15-16)
- Family Life Education Department
- Family Social Issues
- From the Director's Desk
- Kuttumbik Jivitak Series
- Parish Family Service Cells
- Pastoral Counselling Services
- Pastoral Letter 2015-16
- Pastoral Letter 2016-17
- Pastoral Letter 2022-23
- Pastoral Year 2015-16 FAMILY, BECOME WHAT YOU ARE
- Pastoral Year 2017-18
- Pastoral Year 2021-22
- Pro Life Department
- Proceedings of the XIV Ordinary Synod on the Family
- Responsible Parenthood Department
- X World Meeting of Families
- XIV ORDINARY SYNOD OF BISHOPS ON FAMILY