Over 150 people turned up for the Catholic Family Dialogue this past Saturday, exploring the relevance of the Catholic Family in today’s challenging world.
The day’s event included a panel discussion on the theme ‘Will the Catholic Family Still Be Relevant Tomorrow?’. Moderated by media anchorman Augustine Anthuvan, the panel comprised political and social commentator Eugene Tan, Monfort Junior School principal Wilbur Wong, an inter-faith couple Jeremy and Samantha Ang, a senior couple Vincent and Rebecca Lye and student Michelle Thio. Here are some key excerpts of the discussion that took place.
Eugene Tan, social and political commentator and father of a teenage son:
“The Catholic community needs to be inclusive, much as the church’s teachings has its constraints. Based on our faith and teachings, we cannot but reach out. How do we reach out to the younger people? There is a dark side to this question. We need to show them that the family is not inward looking. We tend to look inward into our own families. What I’m trying to say is that it is more than just the family – it is really the community that helps to prop up and strengthen the family.”
Wilbur Wong, principal of Monfort Junior School and father of four children:
“The education I received in the Catholic schools provided me with a foundation for my character formation. I realise how important it is for Catholic schools to play a part.”
Michelle Thio, 21-year old university student from a family of eight:
“Growing up in a very Catholic Family…it has allowed me to strengthen my faith in the way that even when I am facing a very secular world and growing up with many challenges as a youth, I still go back to the faith, I still continue practicing my faith. And I think that’s what’s most important. Once you have the family model there, it actually teaches you how to pray, how to practice the faith in your daily life and become a better Catholic. “
Samantha, married to Jeremy, a non-Catholic and they have three Catholic children:
“For me it’s not so much about the religion but having a relationship with God. How we both managed to live in harmony the past 16 years is that we give each other the respect, freedom and space we need to practice our faith. We have mutual understanding and respect for one another and allow each other personal prayer space and time.”
Vincent and Rebecca Lye, married with six children:
“Having a (Catholic) family vision, mission and motto was critical in guiding us on deciding how we want to exist and grow as a family.”
Augustine Anthuvan, father of three children and moderator of the panel discussion:
“It is important to know that no matter what, they (the kids) can come home to this safe place (the family) and to know that they are accepted.”
To listen to the full discussion that took place at the Catholic Family Dialogue, click here.