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Women Forum of St. Thomas Syro Malabar Diocese, Melbourne.

“It is worthwhile to live as a family, that a society grows strong, grows in goodness, grows in beauty and truly grows if it is built on the foundation of the family” Pope Francis.

The family is the most precious human institution and our diocese is well aware of its responsibility to safeguard the holiness of family against the enormous forces that seek to destroy or weaken it, as the domestic church forms the foundation of the Church and that needs to be supported and nurtured.

Aware of the wellbeing of a society is intimately tied to the wellbeing of the family, our diocese is committed to the reinforcing the sanctity of the marriage covenant. It acknowledges and supports the pivotal position of the mother as the heart of the family and her role in the moulding of the future generations and the faith formation of the family.

Major Challenges

Our Diocese is primarily aware of the cultural invasion that creeps into the second generation unprecedently due to modernism in all walks of family structure. Children become disobedient, questioning and even rebellious as they are backed by the legal liberalism in Australia. The Syro Malabar society is in no way an exception to the tremendous impact of multicultural society in Australia. Aggressive materialism overrules the value based Christian life. A substantial absence of women from family for job and earning creates a virtual orphanhood for the children. Moreover, the stress and tension from the work place and the physical fatigue that lead to the minimum maternal caring to the children as well.

Strategies

Encourage family-oriented movements like “Teams of Our Lady” “Couples for Christ” “Marriage Encounter” and the like to discuss and evaluate the responsible motherhood like Mary the mother of God. Empower and unite women of the diocese mentally, emotionally, and spiritually through connectedness.

Nurture a culture of mutual respect and care in the familial realm emphasising the divine dignity of motherhood. Design faith formation programs to reorient the families towards the nature of the early Christian communities in relationships, prayer life in families, attitudes and actions of the children.

We attempt to make it relevant among Syro Malabar families that the domestic church’s health depends on the health of the family that derives from the mental, emotional, sentimental, psychological and above all the spiritual health of the family members.

Conscientious women the futility of over work and earning at the cost of responsible parenting in the early stage of child rearing. Create awareness among women about the impending mental frustrations and vacuum of the children in spite of stress releasing conventional outings, picnics and gatherings.

Find out measures to regain the strength and vitality of traditional Christian families. And summarising

the ministry for women in three thrusts would be ‘spiritual health, family health and next generation’s health.

 

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Fr. Sebastian Mandapathil

Director

Fr. Sebastian Mandapathil, heirs from the Archdiocese of Tellicherry, was born on 14 January 1972 as the second son of Mr. Francis and Clara at Nellickampiol. Archbishop Mar George Valiamattam has ordained him on 31 December 1997. After having done pastoral ministry as an assistant for one year, he has been appointed as parish priest for Vijayapuram and Chengome that extended six years. Then he was moved to Bangalore Christujyothy Salesian college for higher studies. He completed licentiate in Catechetics with Specialization in Youth Ministry and worked as the diocesan youth director for six years. In 2012 he was appointed as parish priest for Beemanady. From 2016 July, he has been ministering as the chaplain for the missions of Shepparton and Bendigo in Australia.