13        FLC - Family Life Chaplain - FAQ       13
Diocesan Centre for Marriage, Life, and Family / Office for English Pastoral Services - Montréal

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What is a Family Life Chaplain? What does a FLC do? To whom is this service offered?

Actually, "Family Life Chaplain" is in fact a "modern" term or title for the parish priest sent by Jesus to each parish through the supervisory authority of the local bishop or archbishop (in the case of an archdiocese). As Jesus received all those who came to Him with any ailment, complaint, need, or request while He walked this Earth in the Holy Land of Palestine / Israel; so now Jesus continues to receive all those who seek Him today all over this Earth through the pastoral presence and kindly services of the local parish priest. Priests don't necessarily have a charism of healer; so we continue to employ health services.

The priest continues to be a simple human being like all of us, a sinner; he isn't perfect yet. This means that we need to love him as we are called to love one another in our family and close personal circles; as well as our enemies and all those we don't necessarily like or enjoy.... Those we don't like give us an opportunity to practice perfect, unselfish love; since we don't expect anything good from such people. At such times God blesses us through the love we give rather than receive.

When the priest offers the Holy Mass, the Holy Eucharist, it is Jesus Himself who is there, offering Himself anew to his Father for us. The Holy Spirit gathers all our prayers, adoration, supplications, praise, contrition, and thanksgiving - the whole offering of our self and our life since the last time - and places our offering on the altar with the bread and wine. Through the priest, Jesus offers us, our offering, along with his own of himself, to the Father. Then, at Holy Communion, the Father answers our prayers by accepting our offering and in response, He gives us the best that He has to give, which is his only-begotten Son, Jesus, in Holy Communion. Jesus gives us a "transfusion" of the divine life and love He has with the Father and the Holy Spirit in the Most Holy Trinity. With each Holy Communion we become more and more able to live, love, forgive, and serve as children of God, living images of Jesus in our world today; in this way He shines his divine light for the world.

It is the same with all of the sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Reconciliation (Penance or Confession), the Anointing of the Sick, and Marriage. We see and hear the parish priest, but always it is Jesus who receives us, listens to us, speaks to us, prays with us, offers us words of instruction and encouragement, extends his hands over us in blessing, anoints us with holy oil, offers us forgiveness and absolution of our sins, challenges us to make better efforts to approach God, get to know Him and his ways, and give Him a return of love for all of the love He constantly pours into us in the Holy Spirit.... No matter how "distressing" we may find the "wrapping" - the human limits and failings of the priest - we can be assured that it is Jesus who is there, before us, serving and blessing us. Jesus promised He would be with us all days until the end of time, and He is faithful. Jesus, in union with his Eternal Father and the Holy Spirit, is faithful and ALWAYS keeps his promises.

We began to employ the title Family Life Chaplain in 2013.

First, as intended in September 2013 by Auxiliary Bishop Tom Dowd, the FLC had the effect of a “ploughshare” to break open new ground as a form of “spiritual direction” for couples and families in accompanying them. This new service also served as a support to parish faith communities and their parish priests, who are sent by the Lord Jesus and appointed by the Archbishop as the immediate, "front line pastors of couples and families" - the regular or "ordinary" Family Life Chaplains.

Second, the Family Life Chaplain served for 7 years as a “lightning rod” for couples and families searching for support in their faith and vocation to marriage and family life: to give them an opportunity to better understand their faith and to enter more deeply into their relationship with God and with other human beings. Faith is God's gift to all who accept it to give them "new eyes, ears, minds, and hearts" to live their life no longer as isolated individuals crushed by heavy burdens, feeling abandoned, unwanted, unloved, but rather to live life as children of God who have come to know that the one true God and Creator of all is a triune community of divine persons who truly love them and offer them all the spiritual and supernatural gifts they need to endure the troubles of life and to safely navigate through all the obstacles and dangers of life under the lordship of Jesus Christ. When we believe in Jesus as the Son of God and Saviour of all, and welcome Him as our Lord, He pours into us the Holy Spirit, Lord and Giver of Life, who fills us with supernatural gifts enabling us to follow Jesus in this life as his disciples.

Third, the Family Life Chaplain acted as “spiritual advisor” and became familiar with movements that support couples and families and as needed offered them accompaniment, encouragement, and spiritual advice.

Fourth, the Family Life Chaplain served as a member of the Diocesan Center for Marriage, Life, and Family: to collaborate and help to develop within the Diocese its concerted multilingual and multicultural mission to couples, families, and society at large. The DCMLF is networking with other pastoral agents labouring courageously and generously within The Office for English Pastoral Services, Mission Jeunesse, Social Action, Faith Education, and Pastoral Home Care.

Fifth
, the Family Life Chaplain served as “spiritual advisor” and member of Montreal's first English language "Team of Our Lady", a worldwide Catholic movement that forms teams of 4 to 6 married couples with their children and one priest. Jesus intends for the complementarity between these two life vocations of Marriage / Matrimony and Holy Orders / Priesthood to provide an ongoing opportunity for mutual help and encouragement in living out their respective vocations and call to holiness as missionary disciples of our Lord Jesus and enthusiastic witnesses to Jesus and divine love and mercy in the world.

So, today, you who are engaged or married couples and parents have much to gain by developing your connection with God into a more personal relationship. The Holy Trinity – Father, Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit – are always “at work” within us, and they only ask that we “pay attention” and “be open” to their love, “light”, and “guidance” in order to "make themselves at home" within us and in our married couples and families. We have everything to gain and nothing to lose by trusting in God!

Don't hesitate to approach your local parish priest to get to know him and allow him to get to know you and your family. If until now you have not been offering God worship and adoration on Sunday, the Lord's Day, now would be a good time to begin. You can find your local parish by going to the Diocese of Montreal's website here. Use the search tool to find your local parish. You may find you live near two or more parishes, English and French, as well as other churches which gather people from various cultures and linguistic backgrounds. Introduce yourself and your family to your parish priest. Remember, your parish priest is truly your Family Life Chaplain, and in him you will find Jesus present, waiting, and eager to welcome you; however imperfect the priest may be humanly speaking. Who among us is perfect, anyway, right? Make an act of faith and trust in Jesus, and open yourself to the services Jesus offers you through his priests. God bless you and your family!

"Our Lady of Ville Marie, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Fatima, Our Mother of Perpetual Help, please pray for our married couples, for our families, for our children, parents, and siblings, and lead us into the peaceful, loving, and joyful life you lived with Joseph and Jesus in Nazareth. Amen."

Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel                            Our Lady of Guadalupe - Her Apparitions

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God cast into hell Satan and all evil spirits who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.                       Amen.

Fatima - all about the apparitions in 1917 and later

Fatima - Angel’s Prayer              
“O Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences by which He is offended. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary I beg the conversion of poor sinners.”

“Most Holy Trinity, I adore Thee! My God, my God, I love Thee in the Most Blessed Sacrament.”

The importance of silence + + + penance & Penance

Fatima - Pardon Prayer             
“My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love Thee! I beg pardon for all those that do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love Thee.”

Our Lady of Fatima's plan for peace - Faith, Prayer, Penance, Devotion, and Consecration of Russia, the World, and us....

Fatima - Decade Prayer
(at the end of each decade of the Rosary)           “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy. Amen.”

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© 2006-2020 All rights reserved Fr. Gilles Surprenant, Associate Priest of Madonna House Apostolate & Poustinik, Montreal  QC
© 2006-
2020 Tous droits réservés Abbé Gilles Surprenant, Prêtre Associé de Madonna House Apostolate & Poustinik, Montréal QC
 

Monday, 14 September 2020

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