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 | By Stephanie Van Koevering

‘There aren’t enough words to describe what this means to us’

The Movimiento Familiar Cristino Católico (Christian Catholic Family Movement) gave Gustavo and Magally Juarez the tools they needed to build strong relationships. Now they’re working with the Diocese of Lansing to share their knowledge with others. FAITH Editor Stephanie Van Koevering has the story.

Gustavo and Magally’s journey began in 2010 at Michigan State University, where they initially crossed paths as friends. However, it wasn’t until 2017 that their relationship blossomed into something more. Fast-forward to 2018, and they found themselves engaged and eagerly planning their future together, including a wedding scheduled for 2020.

But fate had other plans. The COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe, disrupting lives and altering plans for countless couples, including Gustavo and Magally. Their wedding was postponed, and amid the challenges, cracks began to surface in their relationship. Yet, in the face of uncertainty, they found an unexpected source of support and guidance — the Movimiento Familiar Cristino Católico.

The movimiento, a program rooted in the Catholic faith, became a beacon of hope for Gustavo and Magally. Initially drawn to the program through marriage classes required by their parish, they discovered a community committed to fostering dialogue and strengthening familial bonds. Through weekly meetings and a structured curriculum spanning four levels, The movimiento offers couples a platform to explore topics ranging from communication and family planning to community service.

“We’ve come a long way,” Magally shares, reminiscing about their initial hesitancy and the gradual shift towards active participation. The program’s emphasis on dialogue proved instrumental in navigating challenges and fostering a deeper understanding of each other’s perspectives.

Their involvement in Movimiento Familiar not only strengthened their relationship but also reshaped their outlook on family planning. Initially hesitant about having children due to career aspirations, Magally found herself reevaluating her priorities. “I started putting God first, and I started putting my husband first,” she explains, highlighting the profound shift in her perspective.

As they embraced parenthood, Gustavo and Magally found unwavering support within the movimiento community. From parenting advice to the selection of godparents for their daughter, the bonds forged within the program extended beyond the confines of its curriculum. “It’s no longer just a community; it’s a village,” Gustavo remarks, expressing gratitude for the network of support they’ve found.

Their journey with movimiento not only transformed their relationship but also inspired them to pay it forward. Now serving as coordinators within the program, they strive to dispel misconceptions and encourage others to embrace the transformative potential of dialogue and community.

As they eagerly anticipate a May 18 event featuring renowned speakers Rodrigo Cortés and Dr. Ferney Ramírez Hernández, Gustavo and Magally reflect on the challenges facing families today. “The world is changing, and we need to adapt,” Magally asserts, emphasizing the importance of equipping families with the tools to navigate an ever-evolving landscape.

In their journey with Movimiento, Gustavo and Magally discovered that true growth stems from openness and active participation. As they continue to navigate the complexities of family life, they remain steadfast in their commitment to dialogue, community and faith — pillars that have guided them through their journey of love and transformation.

La familia es la célula básica de la sociedad y está en el corazón de Jesus como uno de los dones más preciados y como reflejo de la Santísima Trinidad. San Juan Pablo II escribió “Toda familia descubre y encuentra en sí misma la llamada imborrable, que define a la vez su dignidad y su responsabilidad: familia, ¡«sé» lo que «eres»! ... la familia tiene la misión de ser cada vez más lo que es, es decir, comunidad de vida y amor ... la esencia y el cometido de la familia son definidos en última instancia por el amor. Por esto la familia recibe la misión de custodiar, revelar y comunicar el amor, como reflejo vivo y participación real del amor de Dios por la humanidad y del amor de Cristo Señor por la Iglesia su esposa.”

En la época contemporánea, es fácil ver signos claros de que la familia está siendo atacada intencionalmente: el índice de divorcios es cada vez mayor, el recurso a la anticoncepción, la legalización del aborto y la ideología de género, son algunos ejemplos de estos ataques y por ello se hace necesario prepararnos para saber como hacer frente a dichos ataques, y así sanar y liberar a la familia para que esta sea formadora de la comunidad humana que está al servicio de la vida y el amor.

Qué: Conferencia para Familias Hispanas

Cuándo: 18 de Mayo, 2024 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Dónde: Siena Height University Saints Fieldhouse, 1247 Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, MI, 49221

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