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Archdiocese, CFC Nairobi Collaborate for Family is a Gift
Monday, July 30, 2018

THE Archdiocese of Nairobi Pastoral and Family Life Office in collaboration with Couples for Christ (CFC) organized the first archdiocesan marriage convention with the theme, “Family is a Gift”. The convention took place at the Holy Family Minor Basilica in Nairobi on 14th July, 2018, gathering over 300 participants from different parishes and different family life groups such as Couples for Christ, Marriage Encounter, Faithful House, Catholic Men’s Association, among other groups.

After welcoming all the delegates, Myriam Mwangi, the archdiocese’s Family Life Coordinator, presented the top ten issues facing today's family, according to a recent study done in the USA. Rev. Fr. Simon Peter Kamomoe, the Family Life Chaplain, Archdiocese of Nairobi, led the opening prayer and gave a pastoral message to the participants on family and marriage. He reminded each one to call on Jesus and the intercession of Mother Mary especially when “the wine runs out” referring to Jesus' first miracle in the gospel of St. John.

"Since this is an institution that was made by God himself, He will be there to guide and help you if you call on him.

Marriage and family are designed by God,” he said. Rev. Fr. Wallace Ng'ang'a, the Pastoral Coordinator of the Archdiocese of Nairobi, revisited the issues faced by the modern family in depth and also suggested some solutions, emphasizing couples to A.C.T. on their marriage:

  • A-PPRECIATE - To help every couple appreciate the original plan of God for the family and revisit their commitment to each other and to God. In order for couples to see the beauty of marriage, they need to understand the true meaning of God’s plan and believe in it. Fr. Wallace said, “Through appreciation, we hope to rekindle that love and commitment for each other and put weight to the covenant they made with God.”
  • C-ASCADE - To cascade is to be a witness to other couples and their families that truly marriage is beautiful. “We need to encourage couples to become living witnesses in order to make a big change in a society that is starting to believe that marriage does not work,” the priest expounded. He added, “We also need to encourage them to be catalysts of hope and love to their own children and couples who are at the brink of breaking or giving up on their marriages.”
  • T-RANSFORM - The ultimate goal is transformation through the fullness of God’s love. Marriage should be governed by the love of Christ and not by worldly lures. Marriage should make people more loving, understanding, caring and patient, not the other way around. This transformation starts in each person, then is cascaded to a couple’s marriage, to the family, to the Church and Society.

The keynote speaker for the plenary session, Dr. Wahome Ngare, who is also a member of the Family Life board in the Archdiocese of Nairobi, talked about “Marriage is Beautiful”.

He explained the beauty and purpose of marriage and family and the Godly principles that can be applied to make marriage work in this generation where commitment and perseverance seem to have been lost.

His insights and practical examples kept the delegates glued to their seats. It was a challenge and encouragement for each to take up his/ her role in making family life work. He challenged each one to take a personal initiative and responsibility to make their families better and for Christ.

After the talks, the participants attended any of the four workshops which ran simultaneously.

The four workshops were on:

  1. Parenting in the Digital Generation given by Abraham Munene, CFC Kenya National Director, together with his wife, Nancy and another member of the Governance Team, Thomas Wambugu. The workshop helped participants understand what makes every generation different and what goes on in their virtual and real world. They were given tips on how they can protect their children and promote the good of the family in today’s highly technological world.
  2. Beyond the Bees and the Birds by Fr. Juan Pablo, a priest with the congregation of the Missionaries of Charity and a CFC Champion. The workshop explored how the participants can teach their children about sex and everything else related to it and what they can do to raise their children to be chaste, with the right understanding about love, sex and marriage.
  3. Before I Say I Do by Benedict Sakwa, Family Life Board Member. Together with his wife Edel, Sakwa helped each couple understand the importance of the premarital preparation of every couple and of being chaste while waiting to get married. The talk spoke of making engaged couple embrace marriage as a lifetime commitment.
  4. Joy in the 50's and 60's by Joseph Muranga. Joseph, a leader in the ecclesial group Marriage Encounter in Kenya and his wife Mary shared how a couple can approach their 50’s and 60’s with joy and hope. They gave practical tips on dealing with problems when menopause or andropause hit and on understanding their possible effect on marriage and family relationships.

The sessions were so timely and enriching that people were left asking for more of such events in the future. They expressed the hope that the next conference will be longer and scheduled such that they can attend more than one workshop. (Manu Muinde)



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