Couples for Christ Sessions

by Innocent Maziya

Couples for Christ Sessions 21 – 26 August 2018

The Couples for Christ (CFC) movement held spiritually enriching sessions between the 21st and 26th August 2018 at the Cathedral. These sessions were targeted at introducing new couples to the movement as well as strengthening marriages for existing member couples.
The sessions were conducted by three brothers and one sister from Couples for Christ in the United Arab Emirates.

Our visitors were received by The Bishop who spent some time discussing Couples for Christ and also attended some of the sessions. We also had visits from Fr. Francis Onyango, Parish Priest from Saint Peter and Saint Paul Parish, as well as Brother Dabulamanzi Ntshangase from Our Lady of the Assumption Parish.

The event was attended by participants from Our Lady of the Assumption, Saint Peter and Saint Paul as well as Mater Dolorosa Parishes. New couples were taken through the Christian Life Programme, which is a spiritual renewal course for catechesis. This programme constitutes an induction programme into the CFC. Couples that were already members of CFC were taken through the Marriage Enrichment Retreat (MER) which seeks to strengthen marriages.

Three coupes were inducted into CFC while twenty participants took part in the MER session.
Couples for Christ in Eswatini, under the guidance of The Bishop and with the support of Fr. Magagula and the Family Desk, aims to introduce the movement in other Parishes in the Diocese. This endeavour is seen as a major intervention in strengthening Christian family life founded on Catholic Church spirituality. Couples for Christ recognizes the need to support strengthening of families as a solid foundation for a strong Church.
Couples for Christ in Eswatini over the next three years will prioritise strengthening of households in the Parishes where they already exist by inviting more couples to attend. The movement will also prioritise establishing households in near-by parishes under the guidance of the respective parish priests. The movement also plans to collaborate with the family desk in developing a Marriage Enrichment Programme for non-CFC married couples in the Diocese.

During the mission, the visitors assisted the setting up on the country governance team which consists of Patrick and Ingatia Bhembe (MDC), Loreto and Lindiwe Bhembe (OLOA), Vusi and Colisile Mbingo (Ss. Peter and Paul) Telephone Nompumelelo Dlamini (OLOA), Sithembiso and Gugu Dlamini (OLOA) and Innocent and Simangele Maziya (OLOA). Brother Sithembiso and Sister Gugu will also help with supporting the Singles for Christ at Diocese level. This team will help with governance, mission, evangalisation and country wide coordination of the movement for the next three years.

Here are some testimonies from participants:

I thank God for availing the opportunity for me to be part of the retreat.
First and foremost I was inspired by the charisma shown by the missionaries who were facilitating. They displayed that what they were sharing is part of their everyday life. My great learning experience about the talks is that they are all centred on the scripture. This demonstrated to me that the Holy Bible should be the basis of everything I do.
The talk/presentation that touched me the most was the one on ‘Healing our Marriages’. As a husband there is some ‘excess baggage’ that I brought in my marriage by virtue of my upbringing and exposure. I may not be aware of some of the things that are an excess baggage in my marriage. The talk helped me to do some introspection and hopefully I will take stock of some the things that may be my ‘excess baggage’ and work hard in getting rid of them before they negatively impact on my marriage. I was also sensitized that my wife also has some ‘excess baggage’ that she brings into our marriage which gives me the responsibility as a husband to try and understand her better. I must appreciate that we come from different backgrounds. This will help me to react in an appropriate manner when confronted with any situation in my marriage.
Overall I was spiritually uplifted by the retreat and I will constantly seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit to guide me to be the Husband that God wants me to be.” – Sithembiso Dlamini

I was most inspired by the topic on ‘Roles as Husband and Wife’. The fact that we got reminded of what our specific duties as a couple are and that we work together as a family to raise a happy family. The husband, as the head, is responsible, accountable, gives protection and the wife makes sure all basic needs are met physically and spiritually. That Christian marriage is a calling and the husband relates to his wife as Christ does to His Church and cares for his children as a priest ministers to the people of God. This made us realise that we had ignored a lot of our responsibilities given to us by God, we surely need to make sure we are accountable for all our responsibilities as Christian families in order to raise a happy family.” – Sibongile Hlatshwako 

A statement that resonated with us is ‘Marriage is a gift from God to us and the quality of our marriage is our gift back to God’. It challenged us to continually improve the quality of our marriage, especially since it is our gift back to God. We will thrive to make it a beautiful gift He will appreciate.” – Telephone and Nompumelelo Dlamini

Couples for Christ Eswatini extends an invitation to all couples who wish to join the movement in the fight for the family, for happier families and for stronger Church communities.

Click on the photo below to view more photos on flickr