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“Thank you very much for your visit. I was very happy to know you and the beautiful work of the Couples for Christ worldwide. God bless your service!” With these words, Fr. Alexandre Awi Mello, the new Secretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, concluded the meeting with Couples for Christ representatives George and Cynthia Campos, CFC Head of Clergy Relations Office, and Nick and Norma Borja, CFC Vatican Relations Coordinator, in Rome on October 23. The CFC representatives met with Fr. Mello and Fr. Giovanni Buontempo, in charge of ecclesial movements, to explain in detail the breadth and expanse of CFC’s work.

The Vatican officials expressed particular interest in CFC’s work with young people and promised to pass on the information to the Youth Section of the dicastery. A week later, CFC received an emailed invitation to two major Vatican events in 2018:

•  Pre-synod Meeting in Rome on March 19-24, 2018, ahead of the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops themed “Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment” in October, 2018; and

•  International Preparatory Meeting for World Youth Day 2019 in Panama on June 7-9, 2018.

Couples for Christ have a lot to be excited about. More encounters with new,fresh and young Vatican officials await CFC. Second in command in the Dicastery after the Prefect, Cardinal Kevin Farrell, Fr. Mello is young, only 46, Brazilian and is not even a bishop yet. On November 7, as another sign of change, the Vatican announced Pope Francis’s appointment of two lay women, the first twoundersecretaries of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life—Dr. Gabriella Gambino for the section on life, and Dr. Linda Ghisoni for the section on laity. Pope Francis is indeed concretizing his desire to increase the involvement of the laity in Church administration. Dr. Gambino, 49, holds a doctorate in bioethics and is currently a professor at the John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences, and a researcher and associate professor in the philosophy of law at the University of Rome. She is married and has five children. Other than Italian, she speaks 5 other languages.Dr. Ghisoni, 52, has a doctoratein canon law, works as a judge at the First Instance Court of the Vicariate of Rome, as a professor of canon law at the Pontifical Gregorian University, and as a professor of law at Roma Tre University. She is married and has two daughters.Couples for Christ looks forward to meeting these new Vatican officials at the appropriate time. (Nick Borja)

Added on Wednesday, November 29, 2017


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