The Domestic Church and Seedbed of Vocations
The family has an inimitable role in the life of the human person, both as the “school of deeper humanity” and “the domestic church,” where children are first educated, formed, and evangelized. Parents are the first to preach the faith to their children. Parents also guide and accompany their sons and daughters in discovering and nurturing holy vocations. And, as husband and wife, they are equally committed to their growth in intimacy and holiness as Christian spouses.
Filipinos highly value family life and are generally family-oriented, cultivating relationships not only within their immediate family but also with members of their extended family. As the foundation of the family, marriage–in particular the indissolubility of the marriage bond—is also safely guarded in the Philippines, which aside from the Vatican, is the only other country in the world that does not have divorce laws.
In spite of close family ties and the absence of divorce, however, the Filipino family wrestles with realities far from ideal. For example, many failed marriages result in broken homes; at the same time, more and more couples are also opting to live together and raise children outside Christian marriage. Poverty resulting from numerous factors—e.g. displacement due to natural disasters, lack of education, mismatch of skills and available employment, etc.—has pushed many children, and in some cases whole families, to live on the streets. The strain brought about by the prolonged absence of one or both parents because of migration, the ironic lack of communication between parents and their children at a time when communication technology is growing by leaps and bounds, etc. are obstacles to truly becoming an “intimate community of life and love.”
Moreover, as Pope Francis said during his visit to Manila in January 2015, ideological colonization is a concrete threat to the Filipino family. These include “materialism and lifestyles which are destructive of family life and the most basic demands of Christian morality… The family is also threatened by growing efforts on the part of some to redefine the very institution of marriage, by relativism, by the culture of the ephemeral, by a lack of openness to life.”
Don Bosco Center of Studies strives to examine the various ways of accompanying the Filipino family in the midst of today’s challenges. These may include the following: family catechesis, and formation in preparation for marriage and to nourish married life; appropriate support for parents in raising their children in the light of the Gospel of the Family; and promotion of the family’s role in the development of society and in the life and mission of the Church.
The Family and Life Ministry of DBCS focuses on making families aware of the beauty of God’s original intention for marriage and family life. We strive to make families appreciate the teachings of the Catholic Church regarding the family which are rooted in the revealed truths found in Sacred Scriptures and Sacred Tradition. DBCS will help families understand that they are “domestic churches” where love and life flourish. In so doing, we will help them know and carry out their role in the Church and society, forming families into fertile fields for new evangelization. To be more specific, we journey with families in the process of knowing and appreciating the beauty of God’s intention for them, and in promoting it in all levels of the Church and society.
Academic Year 2016-2017
SPECIFIC POINTS OF INTEREST
In response to God’s loving design for marriage and family and the call to new evangelization focused on family in light of Amoris laetitia, DBCS is helping to enrich family ministry. The goal is to help those who are forming and accompanying families, a task that is especially challenging and urgent in our time.
We aim to offer programs that will help update people engaged in family ministry, including modular seminars on the Family and Sacred Scripture, Church documents that deal with the family, Spirituality, and other related fields (e.g. bioethics).
Research Cluster Head: Fr. Francis Gustilo, SDB, SThD
Academic Year 2015-2016
SPECIFIC POINTS OF INTEREST
In response to God’s loving design for marriage and family and the call to new evangelization focused on family, we join together as the DBCS family to:
- Offer support and professional enrichment for those who minister to families in different parishes, companies, and schools;
- Be a voice for families and advocate for family ministry;
- Promote the development of family ministry on all levels of the Church in the Philippines; and
- Foster appreciation and growth of the family in the Church and society.
To realize the aforementioned points of interest, we aim at providing opportunities for the following areas:
- Advocacy; and
We aim to accomplish the following in AY 2015-2016:
- To do research and write article/s on “Crisis in marriage and families” and “Family: Cradle of Life and Love”;
- To offer modules for formation to “Family Spirituality” grounded on the Eucharist; and
- To partner with company/ies in offering formation for workers regarding marriage and family life.
Target Audience: Students of theology, singles, engaged couples, married couples
Projected Output: Article/s, video clips, research papers, reflection papers
Resources: Professors, students of theology and the lay
Timeframe: First semester
Target Audience: Engaged couples and married couples in different parishes
Projected Output: Modules
Resources: Professors and the lay August
Timeframe: December 2015
Target Audience: Workers in different companies
Projected Output: Modules, video clips, sharing, reflection
Resources: Professors, management team of company/ies, workers
Timeframe: Second semester
Research Cluster Head: Fr. Anthony Nguyen, SDB, MATh, SThD
REFLECTIONS ON MARRIAGE & FAMILY LIFE
As Typhoon Nina (international name: Nock-Ten) weakens and exits the Philippine area of responsibility tonight, thousands of homes have been devastated, and hundreds of thousands of people affected at what should be a joyful time of the year. It is one of the strongest typhoons to hit the country after Yolanda (international name: Haiyan), which left thousands dead, and a great many families displaced.
The plight of families displaced by natural calamities was discussed in the last session of the Ongoing Formation Series (OGF) for 2016, Accompanying Families Today in the spirit of Amoris Laetitia at Don Bosco Center of Studies (DBCS) last December 12.read more
“Loving presence matters.” It is so powerful it can change lives. For abandoned children and street kids, love and presence can be transformative. It can help them find hope, and give them the strength to dream of a better life. This message was clear during the...read more
“Sing to God, praise His name; exalt the rider of the clouds. Rejoice before Him whose name is the Lord. Father of the fatherless, defender of widows” (Ps 68:5–6). Sacred Scripture speaks of widows and how the Lord who loves the lowly and the poor will surely come to...read more
Same sex attraction and the gay or homosexual lifestyle do not have to go together. Being attracted to people of the same sex is not something that a person can control. However, having sexual relations with people of the same sex which goes with the gay lifestyle is...read more
The incalculable impact of migration on migrants, their families, and countries of origin and destination involves both positive and negative consequences. On the one hand, it can be enriching not just economically but also culturally and spiritually, and on the...read more
Ernie Gawilan was born with no legs and with only one fully formed hand. But his courage and tenacity may very well put to shame many of us who have complete use of all our faculties. The young swimmer, who is shy and reserved, is in his element every time he...read more
There is no doubt that by its nature sexual pleasure is an intrinsic part of the conjugal act. The Catholic Church, far from being prudish on the topic, teaches that sexual pleasure is a gift from God to be enjoyed by the spouses. Therefore, the problem dealt with in this study is not whether sexual pleasure, which naturally comes with the conjugal act, is morally questionable. The appropriate issue to be raised, rather, is how the spouses regard sexual pleasure.read more
To be raised up in the altars and be enrolled in the canon of saints and blesseds is the highest public honor which the Catholic Church bestows upon a baptized person postmortem. This act solemnly proclaims that this person now belongs to the triumphant Church and enjoys the beatific vision of God and is thus capable of becoming an intercessor between God and His people.read more