The Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur last week launched activities to promote and to support family life in line with the theme of the 10th World Meeting of Families in Rome in June.
“With this year given to us by the Holy Father, we are dedicating these 12 months to the theme of family,” said Archbishop Julian Leow of Kuala Lumpur during Mass at the Cathedral of St John the Evangelist.
The prelate said the archdiocese has come to realize the stress suffered by families during the early part of the pandemic when members had to cope with being together at home during the lockdown.
“There were many challenges, and our families were perhaps torn, broken and stretched beyond their limits,” said Archbishop Leow.
“I pray that our families may thrive so that society may continue to bloom and we will all be one in Christ,” he added.
This year’s international gathering of Catholic families in Rome carried the theme “Family life: a vocation and a path to holiness.”
Father Peter Anthoney, the archdiocese’s ecclesiastical assistant for the Family Life Commission, said he expects more families to benefit from the activities this year.
The activities were formally launched on August 21 and will continue until August next year.
Father Anthoney said the the archdiocese will use the guidelines and inputs from the sessions during the World Meeting of Families in June to organize events for the local Church.
Among the issues to be discussed are the encyclical Amoris Laetitia, topics raised in Rome during the international gathering, family worship of the Blessed Sacrament, family rosaries, and pilgrimages.
“The Holy Father chose the theme, ‘Family Love: A Path to Holiness and Vocation’ because he knows the struggles and the tensions in family life,” said Father Anthoney.
He said that it is through the tensions and conflicts “that we grow to be holy and put the needs of others before our own.”
“Our family has been put here by God for a purpose – to teach us how to get along and to be patient with each other, and to forgive,” said the priest.
“Let us continue to build and nurture the ones closest to us. The ones closest to us somehow hurt us the most and therefore we need reconciliation – we need to forgive,” he said.
Also planned later in the year and into the coming year are outreach programs for the poor, single parents, disabled, and migrants.