2016-10-24 16:54:00

Philippine bishops award poor exemplary Catholic families

The Philippine Catholic bishops have given special recognition to 10 Catholic families for their unity and service to the Church, despite enduring poverty.  One among them was that of Paul Martin, a member of the Knights of Columbus, a lay minister, and a repairman at the Immaculate Conception Parish Baguio City.  Martin's wife, Delia serves as lector in their church, and thave 10 children, one of whom, Dexter, is a priest, and daughter, Marie Christine, is a nun. 

Robert Aventajado, president of the Marriage Encounter Foundation of the Philippines, said the "simplicity" of the families "makes them exceptional among Filipino households."   "Their faith in God that He will provide and their faith in each other that love will strive to overcome obstacles have given them exceptional strength," said Aventajado. The bishops' Commission on Family and Life assigned Aventajado's foundation to lead the search for and select outstanding families. 

Among the other recognized families is a blind church singer married to a lector, who have a son who is undergoing dialysis.  Their stories and whole-hearted service put a lot of us to shame," said Aventajado.  At least 52 of the 87 dioceses in the Philippines submitted nominations to the Commission on Family and Life.  Bishop Gilbert Garcera of Daet, head of the commission, said the 10 outstanding families have become "witnesses".  He said the families may be materially poor but they are "spiritually rich" because of their "steadfast faith in God."  (Source: UCAN)

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