By Berta Mexidor
RICHLAND – Dedicated Catholics gathered this month to take part in an ongoing movement here in the diocese aimed at promoting Christianity in marriages, families and communities and bringing people closer to God.
Juan and Maribel Melo, presidents of Catholic Christian Family Movement (Movimiento Familiar Cristiano Catolico – MFCC), led the assembly Sept. 6 at the Richland Community Center. The event marking the MFCC program’s kickoff of activities for the year attracted people from many areas and more than 35 couples, many of them with children were in attendance.
Bishop Joseph Kopacz attended the opening assembly and addressed those attending giving everyone a message of hope. He talked about the ongoing immigration crisis in Mississippi that several families of the diocese have faced and continue to experience, including families involved in the MFCC faith movement.
Bishop Kopacz said to them “… the jail, the separation is very difficult, there is much suffering in this life, but there is much hope also, in the communities of faith and in the people, who are coming to help.”
MFCC is a national lay movement recommended by the U.S. Catholic Bishops. As part of movement initiatives, programs and events led by trained coordinators and leaders are aimed at saving and strengthening marriages and helping children, individuals and families develop faith and a strong sense of Christian community.
The Richland event included talks, activities and breakout sessions when small groups gathered in discussions. Spiritual advisors and leaders were on hand for counseling and to answer any questions. Many people expressed their joy about the start of a new year of activities.
At one-point, new members of the movement program were introduced and welcomed during the assembly. Among the participants were presente Francisco and Isabel Mazy, delegates, and Miguel and Lizet Cruz, both vice presidents. Sister Maria Josefa García Álvarez, a member of the Missionary Guadalupanas of the Holy Spirit congregation, is one of the spiritual advisors along with Brother Theodore Dausch, CFC and father Odel Medina, pastor of St Anne Carthage.
This year, Father Juan Chavajay, pastor of St. Therese in Jackson, also joins the movement serving as an advisory team member. Charlene Bearden, Diocese of Jackson coordinator of the Office of Family Ministry, was also on hand showing her support.
In preparation of the September kickoff event, spiritual counselors and coordinators met Aug. 3 at the Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle in Jackson. During the meeting, movement members received training and discussions were presented about expansion and growth of the outreach with five elements at the center: prayer and liturgical life; study; apostolic action; hospitality and economic contribution.
For more information on MFCC, contact Juan and Maribel Melo at 601-826-3305 or 601-209-3232. The national website is www.mfccusa.net.