NORTH ARABIAN VICARIATE, MAY 08, 2012: On May 06, 2012, the Family Ministry of St Thérèse Parish in the North Arabian Vicariate organized its monthly program for all the couples married in the years 2003 and 2004. It was attended by about forty five couples and a few singles (spouses were at work / travelling). As well, the program also included sixty children. For the first time this month, the program has been enhanced to include a half-hour enrichment sessions for the couples.
The Program began with the Eucharist at 6.30 pm celebrated by Fr. Joy Marangattikala. The liturgy was well prepared keeping the marriage theme in mind. The liturgical singing was animated by the melodious voices of the school children, led by Faust Nash. The Eucharist was followed by a brief presentation on the various Parish activities in order to increase awareness and to offer the couples an opportunity to participate more actively in the parish community.
Next, was the enrichment session for couples on Commitment and Conflict, conducted by Dr Susannah and Mr. Bill Schuilenberg. The Schuilenbergs drew from their sixty years of experience of counseling, as they provided the couples with some simple yet practical tips for resolving conflicts. Meanwhile, in a separate area, the animated film "Prodigal Son" was screened for the children so as to allow the parents some time to focus on themselves.
Light snacks were then served to all the participants while the MC welcomed them. An ice-breaker was played requiring participants to form groups by their birth month. After introductions within the group, there was a special prize for the one who could remember the names of all the group members. This ice-breaker certainly helped them get to know each other.
This was then followed by a few activity games including musical crabs couples had to dance in various "entangled" positions e.g. nose to elbow, hip to hip etc. The couple that could sport the most entangled dance was declared the "well bonded" winner. Spot prizes were also awarded. The lively music provided by Rohan D'souza kept the couples on their feet. The MC Sam Francis did a stellar job of keeping everyone engaged and excited. Some games were also organized for the children, much to their delight.
The Program ended with a spontaneous vote of thanks from one of the couples. Fr Blany also expressed his appreciation to all the volunteers for their efforts to ensure an enjoyable evening. Nourished and enriched, the couples returned back to their homes not before they made some more friends. Several couples also volunteered to be active members in the parish by registering for the various parish activities. Feedback forms completed by the couples will help the organizers continuously improve the program over time.