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Family Apostolate

The church recommends a family-oriented pastoral style. Pastoral care of parishes today becomes a challenging task as parishioners move to different parts of the world for study and work. Also, pastors should be able to find those who are not active in church activities and those who are disaffected due to various reasons. In large parishes this may not be possible with just one priest. It has become a necessity of the modern age to ensure the presence and co-operation of lay people with apostolic zeal along with priests and devotees.

Family apostolate is a system of working closely with the Reverend Vicar for the overall growth of a parish. The congregation is apostolic by nature. Every member of the church should share in this mission. The laity are called to proclaim Jesus in the circumstances of life in which they find themselves. The family apostolate activities in the diocese have been organized with the aim of inculcating this sense of mission in them and ensuring their participation in church services. For this purpose, a ministry network of five officials has been formed from the diocese to the forona, parish and ward levels.

The five leaders of the ward have divided the total houses in the ward into five and formed micro-units. By spreading micro-unit level activities, closer ties can be established with each family, even with distant families. Every link in Shyamkhala is nurtured with apostolic fervor through monthly gatherings of diocesan foran leaders, parish leaders at the foran level and ward leaders at the parish level. Even the spiritual progress that occurs in one ward becomes apostolic ministries that spread to neighboring wards and thus to the entire diocese. As the thoughts of mutuality and love grow, it is also possible to develop the conviction that God has appointed them as the links of an apostolic ministry that spans the entire world.

The biggest challenge facing the church today is the pastoral care of the diaspora. Accurate information of those living outside Kerala for study and work is being collected and included on the website of the Family Apostolate through the micro units of the Diocese. Once this is done, it will be easy to form associations of people living in each place outside Kerala. From here, it will be helpful for those who are newly going outside to prepare a safe life and conduct their pastoral care accurately. In addition, they will be motivated to become apostles of Jesus through witnessing in places and areas of activity where they will come to the realization that they are apostles sent by God. The divine instruction of Jesus "Be my witness to the ends of the earth" is being fulfilled here.