Pastoral Support is one of the Seven Pillars of Couples for Christ. Integral to the call of evangelization is the need for each CFC member to grow in personal renewal and holiness. As the work grows bigger, in a faster pace and larger territories are covered, the workers in God's vineyard need to be cared for and nourished.
The Pastoral Formation Office, Counseling Services, Church Relations, Administration and Finance ensures that the spiritual needs of our members are addressed. To grow in the Spirit, each CFC member is nurtured through prayers, scripture, sacraments, service and fellowship. To put good order into our work of evangelization and mission, a good administrative and financial support system has also been put in place.
With an evangelistic army continually opening new fronts and rapidly bringing the gospel throughout the world, there is a need for logistical and pastoral support. This pillar provides the critical backroom and frontline support. It includes Home Office operations and the Pastoral Center. It develops teachings and formation courses, provides counseling, trains music ministries, handles finances, and so on.
Pastoral Formation CenterEdit
The CFC Pastoral Formation Center takes charge of conceptualizing and writing talks meant to strengthen the pastoral growth of members and leaders as they move through their years in CFC.
Presently, the CFC Pastoral Formation Center handles the following monthly events:
- Monthly Chapter Leaders Training
- Gawad Kalinga Recollection
- Full-Time Pastoral Workers Recollection
Annually, pastoral talks are also prepared for:
The CFC Pastoral Formation Center likewise liaises with the following groups:
- The Mission Core Music Ministry
- The Ugnayan (bi-monthly CFC magazine)
- The CFC Special Events Office
- Flame Ministries
Finally, considering CFC's 25 years, the CFC Pastoral Formation Center is reviewing pastoral tracks with the end in view of updating these to make them more relevant, sensitive and timely to the members as well as the various levels of leadership.
Counseling and Training Programs and ServicesEdit
Pastoral care is not easy. It involves addressing the holistic dimensions of the human person, namely: the spiritual, the psycho-social-emotional, the intellectual, and the physical. In many cases, leaders feel stymied by the enormity of the problems, the fact that their members are in various forms and levels of woundedness. And if one considers the leader’s own State of Woundedness, the reality of pastoral care appears insurmountable. Purely spiritual interventions are not always enough to bring about the desired change and healing, as has been increasingly observed. One saint was quoted saying, “Grace builds on nature.” If our nature has not been surrendered and healed and therefore remains captive, it would be difficult for the grace of God, which works on free will, to build on it.
Research findings support these assumptions to effective pastoral care. Even the doctors of the church speak in the same tenor. No less than the Vatican II documents reiterate the need to use scientific research:
"In pastoral care, appropriate use must be made not only of the theological principles but also of the findings of secular sciences, especially of psychology and sociology. Thus the faithful can be brought to live the life in a more thorough and mature way."
-Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes, Sect 62.12)
Yet, pastoral care is the centerpiece of Pastoral Formation. By this is meant, primarily looking after the spiritual well-being of members through:
- "one-to-one" ministering,
- regular teachings,
- household meetings,
- growth interactions in conferences/assemblies, etc.
In all of these activities, a CFC leader (i.e., Unit Heads, Chapter Heads, Cluster Heads, Sector Heads, Provincial Heads, Country Coordinators, etc.) has to deal with the challenges of "rising to the occasion" in the spirit of obedience, evangelization, and conversion – as pastor, mentor, model, decision-maker, organizer, and healer.
Prevailing sentiments, feedbacks, and observations gathered by the Counseling Services Office (CSO) from various participants (e.g. from Metro Manila, particular provinces and foreign countries) in CSO programs (e.g., Module 1; Transactional Analysis, etc.) and community members who come for formal counseling and/or informal consultations point to their need for appropriate skills and "more preparations" to enable them to deal with the demands of the sensitive task of pastoring with enlightened conviction and zeal.
To this end, the CTSO Programs and Services are re-designed to help the community, particularly the leaders, acquire appropriate skills that will enhance their work of evangelization and community-building.
Furthermore, the programs and services are divided into three categories, such as: