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Stay true to your faith bishop tells couples

Dili (UCAN): “Spouses are the role model in family and society and they must always articulate the promises they made when they received the Sacrament of Matrimony,” Bishop Virgilio do Carmo da Silva, from Dili, Timor Leste said during a special Mass on May 15.

Coinciding with International Day of Families, the celebration at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral brought together 20 couples—10 married for 25 years and 10 for 50 years—who were honoured for their faith and fidelity to their families.

The couples were selected by a committee led by first lady, Isabel da Costa Ferreira, wife of president, Taur Matan Ruak, and mother of three children.

“We should follow their example,” said Ferreira.

“Always say thank you and sorry when you make a mistake. And face family issues and differences with a cool head, not through physical violence,” she said.

Ferreira reminded young couples to start establishing good communication and harmony” and to avoid arrogance.

According to data by the Timor-Leste Women’s Communication Forum, domestic violence remains an issue in the country with some 956 cases reported between 2007 and 2012.

Eighty-nine-year-old Joao da Cruz and his wife Florinda, who is 79-years-old, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and received a certificate of recognition from Ruak.

“This award is a symbol for my entire family, for our children and grandchildren,” said da Cruz, who has eight children and “about 50 grandchildren.”

He said, “I hope young families stick to their marriage vows and be faithful to their spouses, in joy and sorrow.” 

Da Cruz said, “Stay closer through prayer. This will keep you united.”

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