Beyond pre-Cana: Couples need long-term guidance

Beyond pre-Cana: Couples need long-term guidance

Human Life International (HLI) president Fr. Shenan J. Boquet speaks to some 220 delegates coming from the arch/dioceses of Cebu, Maasin, Zamboanga, Gumaca, Palo, Jaro, Antipolo, Parañaque attended the Human Life International (HLI) Lay & Life Advocacy Conference from April 28 to 30. JOHN JUAT

CEBU City – Aside from helping them fulfill pre-wedding requirements, the Church should be ready to accompany couples and families throughout their life journey – from the altar to the grave.

This is what Human Life International (HLI) president Fr. Shenan J. Boquet said in an interview at the sidelines of the recently concluded HLI Lay & Life Advocacy Conference from April 28 to 30 in this city.

“In our parishes, in our dioceses, we need to really recogize that our programs have to all center on the family… to help them throughout the journey of their life, not just for a moment, not just for preparing them for their wedding or preparing them for a sacrament,” said the priest, who gave several talks at the conference, which carried the theme “Defending the Natural Family: Hope of the Dying World”.

‘Every step of the way’

This pastoral accompaniment of families, he said, means “being with [the families] every step of the way.”

According to Boquet, the long-term support and guidance of families means “supporting parents in their role as husband and wife and as “mom and dad” as well as their roles as grandparents and godparents.

Speaking from years of experience counseling and “walking with families”, he shared how he guided a young woman who had been living with a man still legally married to his wife.

Once informed about the implications, she stopped receiving holy Communion yet continued to attend daily Mass.

220 delegates

Boquet said it took two years to guide the couple into full communion with the Church.

“That’s the important thing about accompaniment… I take you where you are in the moment, but my purpose is not to leave you were you are but to gradually, gently, lovingly, patiently lead you in truth, and gradually, as your heart opens more and more, to lead you in the fullness of that truth,” he explained.

Some 220 delegates coming from the arch/dioceses of Cebu, Maasin, Zamboanga, Gumaca, Palo, Jaro, Antipolo, Tuguegarao, and Parañaque, among others, attended the event. CBCPNews