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Youths and adults discuss ‘threats to family life in SVG’

Youths and adults discuss ‘threats to family life in SVG’

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by Joe Sheridan 16.NOV.10

It was a packed hall last Saturday, November 06, at the Catholic Pastoral Centre, when concerned adults, couples, singles and youth assembled to discuss the numerous threats to modern family life in SVG. After an opening prayer by Bishop Malcolm Galt, who led a large team from his Bequia parish, Miriam Sheridan warmly welcomed everyone.{{more}}

Sister Augustine, whose voice is well-known from Catholic Forum, set the crowd alight when she said she thought that “Partner” still meant Business Partner. She regretted that marriage is not fashionable, and same-sex “marriages’” are being commonly seen around the region. She asked where Vincentians stand on these issues, and expanded the thought to Abortion and Easy Divorce. She also listed many positive values that can be aspired to, highlighting basic Moral Values.

Nereus Auguste, recently-appointed Principal of St Martin’s Secondary School, shook the crowd with vivid examples of some Negative Impacts of TV and Music, after praising the wonderful benefits and enjoyment which they bring. In particular, he wondered if Caribbean women truly recognised just how much they are being disrespected by some modern music?

Young persons are easily influenced by the many messages conveyed in TV programs, advertising, and music, and need adult guidance, he believed.

He also illustrated how People-Power can make a difference in having destructive content removed from our screens and airwaves, although he warned that only the timing of such programs is changed, i.e. only a cosmetic change is made.

Columnist and Management Specialist Dr Jules Ferdinand startled the packed assembly as he demonstrated Threats from the Internet & Cell Phones. Addiction got instant attention as he explained how only You can change Yourself. Of course, he showed that not all technology is ‘bad’ as he illustrated “The Good, The Bad, & the Ugly” of Internet technology, ranging from Online Study to Pornography. The enthralled audience learned of some excellent websites, including www.howstuffworks.com. However, he encouraged all to “Read,Read, Read”.

John DeFreitas adroitly diverted thoughts of lunch with his energetic presentation in which he showed how the Catholic Church has spoken for years on the values of Family Life. Young persons were shaken to learn that there really is no “Safe Sex”, to the point where US advertisers can only use the words “Safer Sex”, which illustrates that Condoms are not 100% safe! As a father of 4, he also proved how Natural Family Planning is entirely feasible as desired, and he made attendees feel ashamed that the human race always seems to pick-on the weakest e.g babies (Abortion) and old persons (Euthanasia).

Visiting specially from Florida, Joe Duran of Couples For Christ Movement traced the growth of the CFC Movement in the Caribbean since 1997, when SVG was its first Caribbean presence. Since then CFC has covered the region, and embraces couples, handmaids, singles and youth.

After a rousing Praise and Worship led by YFC Youth members, an energised panel discussion was led by Rosita Snagg, Natalie Patrice, Yohance Gibson and Joe Duran, each of whom identified their single biggest threat to families, ranging from Mass Media, to Parenting styles, all of which were debated by the lively crowd.

The Open Forum which followed, proved to be even more lively, with excellent interaction from the keenly-involved audience.

Everyone confirmed enjoying this major event, co-ordinated by the Family & Life Commission, the Diocesan Youth Commission, and the Couples For Christ members.

A follow-up will specifically focus on Values, and the need to avoid “False Gods” in the forms of Money, Pleasure, Power etc.

A vibrant Praise fest brought the exhilarating day to a close, as the large audience moved to participate in a joyful Eucharistic Celebration at the Cathedral of The Assumption.

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