FAMILY AND HUMAN LIFE UNIT
In the words of Pope John Paul II God has designated the family to be an Icon of Himself and the Holy Trinity. In this light, St Augustine’s Chaplaincy sees her Family and Human Life Unit as the unit of life of the chaplaincy. The place of this unit cannot be underestimated as the larger church is made up of several families.
Purpose / Mission
Our chaplaincy is a reflection of what happens in the different families that constitute the Church. Therefore, the main purpose of St. Augustine's Chaplaincy Akoka Family and Human Life Unit is to enrich the spiritual and personal relationships of all families and family members in our chaplaincy. This enrichment covers not only married couples, but also persons undergoing the process of marriage, the widowed or separated and their children, the single-parent families and others in the family unit.
In other to effectively do this, a careful study of our environment was carried out, and in line with its peculiar needs it was decided that St. Augustine’s Chaplaincy Marriage, Family and Human Life Unit would comprise two sub-units:
- The Counselling sub unit
- The Marriage Facilitators sub unit
The Counselling sub unit
The counselling sub-unit is expected to be a helping department to assist individuals and families better understand themselves and their environment so as to make better decisions and as a result achieve their maximum potentials.
The purpose of the counselling unit is to build strong, loving and happy families through guidance thereby creating the right environment for an effective remote marriage preparation. In the same vein, the counselling sub-unit seeks to help in the formative process of the youth in our chaplaincy through guidance and counselling thus strengthening the proximate stage of marriage preparation.
Counselling Sub-Unit Personnel:
All counsellors for the unit have gone through a three month training in basic Christian counselling at the archdiocesan Family and Human Life Unit. The counselling sub unit has a general coordinator to supervise the Sub-unit’s activities and to report to the chaplain, Rev Fr. Wisdom Chikezie. Therefore, the Counselling Unit could be said to be a support unit of the marriage facilitators unit which is the second unit in the chaplaincy’s Marriage Family and Human Life Unit.
The Marriage Facilitators Sub-Unit:
The Marriage Facilitators Unit runs a10-week pre-marriage course for intending couples. The training would be handled by trained marriage facilitators who have undergone the due training (marriage theology and lived experience). The topics are:
- Ceremony Planning
- Spirituality of Marriage
- Family of Origin (Relationship with in-laws)
- Conflict management and forgiveness
- Marriage as a Sacrament
- Responsible Parenthood:
- Healthy Sexuality and intimacy
- Natural Family Planning
- Theology of the Body
We also plan to start very soon a one year post marriage course by way of couple mentoring. Selected exemplary couples in the church would be assigned two or more new couples to mentor and help overcome the teething problems in the first year of their marriage, thereby guiding them using their own lived experience and the training gotten from the marriage encounter marriage support group training. Therefore, it is mandatory for couples’ mentors in our chaplaincy to be Certified Encountered Couples.