The Commission on Marriage and Family Life completed a pastoral visit to Rota last week, facilitating a two-day seminar on Amoris Laetetia and coordinating with Eskuelan San Francisco de Borja in organizing a 5K Walkathon.
Bishop Ryan Jimenez accompanied by Fr. Jason Granado, Ms. Bel Tan and Mr. Sherwin Pasillos travelled to Rota in order to implement some of the action plans of the Diocesan Pastoral Plan in the island of Rota. “It has always been the desire of Bishop Ryan that whatever we implement in Saipan, as far as the Pastoral Plan is concerned, may also be done in the islands of Tinian and Rota,” says Fr. Jason.
More than 50 parishioners from the two parishes – San Isidro and San Francisco de Borja – attended the two-day Seminar on Amoris Laetetia. This was the same seminar that the Commission on Marriage and Family Life conducted last summer for the parishioners of Saipan at Kristo Rai Parish. The participants had a lively and insightful group activity in which they were able to reflect on the situation of families in Rota (their challenges, hopes and dreams) and at the same time offer concrete pastoral responses appropriate to the needs of the local Church in Rota.
Fr. Jason then highlighted and discussed some of the important points that Pope Francis wrote in Amoris Laetetia. This document on the Joy of Love in the Family was published almost three years ago and was the fruit of the Extraordinary Synod of Bishop in 2015 and 2015.
The commission invited to attend the seminar some of the couples from the two parishes in hope of forming them to be a part of the Marriage Preparation Team in Rota. Fr. Jason will make a follow up visit in the coming months to focus more in establishing a core team who can eventually assist the parish priest in marriage preparation.
It was a very positive response from the parishioners. “We are glad to have events like this in Rota and we hope that there will be more follow up seminar in the future,” says Tony Chavez, one of the parishioners of San Francisco de Borja parish.
Bishop Ryan also announced the plan of the commission to conduct Group Wedding Celebration in Rota, hopefully before the end of this year. One of the works that the commission has been doing in Saipan is the Annual Group Wedding and the Bishop hoped that the parishes in Rota and Tinian can do the same as well.
After the seminar on Amoris Laetetia, the Health Ministry which works under the Commission on Marriage and Family Life, partnered with Eskuelan San Francisco de Borja for the 5K Walkathon. The walkathon was also part of the Catholic Schools Week Celebration.
Close to two hundred participated in the Walkathon which started at Veterans Memorial Park and ended at ESFDB campus. People were very excited at the free shirts which were distributed during the event, thanks to Tan Siu Ling Foundation, IT&E and 3HiRes who sponsored this year’s walkathon shirts.
The road from Veterans Memorial to Songsong village became a river of green. Families with young children, some in strollers briskly walked as DPS cadets followed along, chanting while jogging. Many Students from Dr. Rita Inos Junior/Senior High School were glad that they participated in the Walkathon and they are looking forward to next year’s event
After this pastoral visit in Rota, the Commission will now focus in doing the same seminars and 5K Walkathon in Tinian.