A couple of years' ago it was decided to add a "Family Desk" to the different services being offered in the Diocese of Manzini (Swaziland). Fr Pius Magagula was entrusted with taking the challenge to develop it.
I am aware that in the last few years a number of initiatives had been held at parish level but nothing at diocesan level. For that reason, Fr Magagula announced that a Diocesan Family Day would be held at Sacred Heart parish (Nhlangano).
Whenever possible I try to attend these diocesan events even if it is for a short while. This time I could be with them for half a day.
Fr Sakhi from the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference (SACBC) in Pretoria had been asked to lead the day. He was then joined by Andy and Flor representing "Couples for Christ". They are full time missionaries in Southern Africa serving in Swaziland for the last few weeks.
Some of our priests were also able to attend: Fr Mahazule (Mbabane), Fr Dlamini (Tshaneni), Fr Massa IMC (Hluthi), Fr Marra, Deacon Nkomo (Bulandzeni) together with some of our seminarians who were in the country because of the term break.
While the first talk addressed the type of family God invites us to build, the following one dealt with specific issues like single parents, divorcees, cohabitation and widows... all of whom also look to build strong families.
Between the talks, Andy and Flor presented the service being done by "Couples for Christ".
Mr Kabelo (also from the SACBC) shared his own experience as a Catholic married man. That opened the door to those present to share their own experiences and challenges. Some spoke for example of the present technologies that while being so useful, at the same time risk bringing close those who are far... and far those who are close!
The sharing of the whole day confirmed the need to develop this desk, help everyone to build strong families and finding ways to address the different needs.