For the effective functioning of the Family Apostolate activities in Kerala the Catholic Church with the three individual churches and 32 dioceses is divided into five geographical zones. The KCBC commission for family tries to promote and support marriage and family life at different stages, and at all levels, in all its aspects. It is mainly done at the centre level by coordinating, networking, encouraging, and supporting the Diocesan Family Apostolates.
Vision and Mission:
Central Office Bearers:
Chairman: Rt Rev. Dr Paul Antony Mullassery, Vice Chairmen: Mar Sebastian Vaniyapurakkal, Bp Dr. Joshua Mar Ignathios Secretary: Fr Paulson Simethy Joint Secretaries: Rev. Fr Philip Vattayathil, Rev Fr. Philip Anjilimoottil, Rev Fr. A.R John and Tresurer:Mr. Varghese Vellappallil Tiruvalla.
State office bearers plus the elected 4 representatives (one priest from among the directors, one sister, one layman, and one lay woman) elected from each of the five zones.
Director, sister animator, one layman and one lay woman elected from each of the 32 dioceses and the central office bearers.
Main Activities of the year:
The major activities of the family commission are presented here under the following five heads:
1) Family Apostolate Activities
2) KCBC Widow Forum
3) KCBC Deaf Ministry
4) Society of Marian singles
5) KCBC Pro-life Samithi
It is through diocesan family apostolate departments that the KCBC Family Commission reaches and carries out its mission in the dioceses.
Family Apostolate Directors’ meeting: On 15th November, 2019 the Family Apostolate Directors of Kerala gathered at POC. The Commission Vice chairman Rt. Rev. Dr. Joseph Karikkassery inaugurated the meeting. Fr Paul Madassery, the secretary, presided over the meeting. Directors presented the activities of the family apostolate in their dioceses.
Decisions of the meeting
1) Organize one day zonal seminars for resource persons of marriage preparation courses in various dioceses in Kerala
2) Print and distribute yearly planner 2020, of marriage preparation courses in various dioceses in Kerala.
Widowhood can be the most difficult and distressing time in a person’s life. When spouse passes away the remaining individual is left with a different lifestyle, a loss of dependence and a broken heart. It is mainly with this in mind the KCBC Family Commission takes the initiative to start widow forum for the first time in KCBC level. Rt Rev. Dr Joseph Karikkassery, Vice Chairman inaugurated the Forum by lighting the lamp on 15th November at POC, Palarivattom.
The newly elected office bearers are: President-Sheeba Durome (Kochi), Vice Presidents-Sheril louis (Varappuzha), Maria Abraham (Pala), General Secretary-Philomina Thomas (Ernakulam-Angamaly), Secretaries-Mary John (Kottappuram), Mini Johnson (Kothamangalam), Treasurer –Saralamma John (Tiruvalla) and Animator-Sr. Lisa (Tiruvalla).
The executive team met two times this year (13th December 2019, 10th January 2020). Meetings were held at POC, Palarivattom.
The Commission conducted Marriage Preparation Courses for the deaf on February 15, 16 at Nava Jyothis Pastoral Centre Kozhikkode. More than forty deaf participated and we admit all regardless of caste and religion.
Another venture in this regard is the matrimonial service for deaf namely, ‘KCBC Matrimony for the Deaf.’ This is the first matrimony in India for the deaf. The commission also started last year a counseling centre for the deaf that helps a lot both the youth and the couple who are deaf.
This registered society (ER 358/9) works for the integral development for catholic single women in Kerala Catholic Church. Society organizes seminars and training programme for their uplifting. It also helps them to accept their life as a divine call to find their mission in church and society.
5. KCBC Pro-life Samithi
The movement stands for the integral growth of life, especially human life in its totality, from its conception to natural death. At the state level, the samithi has a general body, which constitutes members from all the dioceses. The executive committee elected by the general body implements the programmes.
This Samithi is always vigilant to protect the rights of the human life whenever they are threatened. This year for the effective functioning of prolife activities 32 Catholic dioceses in Kerala is divided into five geographical zones.
Executive committee meet was conducted on February 8th 2020 at POC, Palarivattom. KCBC Family commission chairman Rt Rev Dr. Paul Antony Mullassery inaugurated the programme. Rev Fr Varghese Vallikkatt (Deputy Secretary General, KCBC), Rev. Fr Paul Madassery (Secretary, KCBC Family Commission), Rev Fr Jose Pennaparambil (Director, Malabar Mekhala) Sri Sabu Jose (President), Adv. Josy Xavier (General Secretary), Sri. Tomy Plathottam (Treasurer) and Sr Mary George (Animator) made speeches during the meeting.