Monday, September 10, 2012


Study Tour group of family Life Commission of Timor Leste Region
The study tour which was held by the Family Life Commission of Timor Leste SVD Regio on 12-18 June 2012 visited a number of centres, such as the LPKK in Malang, the Graha Wacana Family centre in Ledug, and the Family Life Comission of the Diocese of Surabaya. The motivation was to learn about the methods and the management of the ministry from the visited institutions. 

As the expected outcome, the regio’s commission would like to undertake a professional and effective ministry for families and youth in Timor Leste. On 12 June 2012, at the PUSIMOB NASIONAL WOOMB INDONESIA’s centre in Malang, which is a joint centre for the LPKK and Kana Magazine, the team was welcomed with delight and enthusiasm by the centre’s founder and director Fr. Paul Klein. The centre’s concern about the families and its presence are acknowledged by the Indonesian government. “Welcome Study Tour Team of Timor Leste,” was written on the poster. A staff of the centre, Praxedis, presented some history of BOM and the development of the Natural Family Planning (NFP). Fr Klein is the forerunner in promoting BOM in Indonesia. It was initially introduced in NTT, and then brought to Java when Fr Klein was assigned to the SVD Java province. Another staff, Rosalia Ngatini, presented the mechanism of BOM and its advantages, while explaining that BOM is the only NFP method which does not have side effects. Moreover, the accuracy of BOM can reach 98% - 100%, and it is accessible. 

The last presentation at the PUSIMOB centre was about the KANA Magazine, given by Carolina Citra, as the executive secretary of the magazine. She said that KANA has become the media for PUSIMOB to disseminate all information about family planning and other issues which are related to family life. The aim of the publication is to continuously renew and educate Christian Families.

On 13 June 2012, the Graha Wacana Family Centre’s coordinator, Fr Elent, who is also coordinator of the Family Life Commission in the Diocese of Malang, explained about the centre in detail. He recalled that the primary initiative of the centre came from Fr Paul and himself. 

The breaking point of Fr Elent’s talk was his sharing about the challenges when they started the centre, due to some arguments raised by the leader and other members of SVD. Inspired by St. Arnold Janssen, the founder of SVD, they kept their optimism alive. They believed that for a good thing (i.e. the Glory of God and the good of God’s people) there is always a golden way. Indeed, the Graha Wacana Family Centre has been fruitful as it has attracted many families and young people. To the Study Tour team, Fr. Elent reassured, “don’t be afraid to begin;” gain strength from PRAYER. Fr. Elent concluded by explaining the centre’s daily activities. 

At the Family Life Commission in the Diocese of Surabaya, on the following day, the Study Tour team was welcomed by the commission’s moderator Fr Toby Kraeng. As the leader of the commission, Dr Ruddy described the programmes of the commission, among which the team paid much attention to the discovery programme. Targeted at young people who are in a serious relationship but not yet married, the programme contains some discussion about the definition and the meaning of love, the reason for loving, self-discovery matters, sexuality, and the meaning of the sacrament of marriage. The aim of this programme is to assist the young couples to make the right decision. 

Finally, Fr Jose Tacain, SVD as the coordinator of the Study Tour and Family Life Commission thanked the Family Life Commission of the Diocese of Surabaya for their hospitality, and the sharing of their knowledge and experience .  

Recommendations After completing the Study Tour, the Study Tour Team made some recommendations for short-term and long-term programmes.  
The short-term programmes are: 
  • Advocacy. The subjects of the advocacy would be family, adolescents and teachers, with materials such as comprehensive explanation about BOM, economy of family, anatomy and physiology, sexual education, self-awareness and how to build healthy relationships among young people.
  •   Post-Marriage Refresher. The commission will provide a chance to families who had been guided to share their family stories following their day of marriage. Preparation for marriage. The aim of this programme is to prepare couples spiritually before they start building a new family life. Discovery programme. This programme will be focused on young unmarried couples, to assist them in making a final and right decision regarding their marriage. Also, it would help young couples to have a clear understanding about his/her partner.    
The long-term programmes are: 
  • Build up teamwork for the mission. The purpose of this teamwork is to have competent team members in order to reach a professional and effective mission service. The team will try to form a network with parish Priests, school principals and other related institutions. The team also will persuade other professional experts such as doctors, nurses, and psychologists to join the team. ·
  •  Build a family centre. Considering the important roles that families carry in human life, a family centre is urgently needed. This centre will be the central location of the programs and activities which are related to the Family Life Commission. 
  • ·Invite an overseas professional team. The professional team will run a workshop on various themes regarding the family life. This will also be an occasion for the families to have direct encounter and service from such experts. (The full report of the Study Tour is available in Bahasa Indonesia and English) (Kasmir Nema, SVD).

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