Marriage and the Family were the subjects of ongoing formation in the 11 dioceses of Zambia from June 2018 to June 2019. The aim of the project was to prepare couples to be catechising instructors for marriage and family life. In addition, the purpose was to provide a springboard for setting up Marriage and Family desks in dioceses and eventually one at the Zambian Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB). This project was in line with the Conference of Bishops’ wish to harmonize and step up a Marriage and Family Life Apostolate as a foundational base for the life of a family, where children can grow up loved and guided in the face of social, religious and political diversity.
The project was structured in 2 phases. The first phase had 3 objectives: to establish a National Resource Team, prepare an initial curriculum, and to train at least one lead marriage and family catechizer couple per diocese.
In the second phase, the objectives included the training of trainer couples (TOT) in dioceses for work in parishes, whose task would be to impart and clarify the official teaching of the Church regarding the Sacrament of Matrimony and family life.
In effect, to form couples as missionary families to be resource teams for marriage and family life in every diocese. The goal was to provide a uniform teaching on marriage and family, guidance in methodology, counselling skills, and other catechetical skills to teachers and formators. It also included investigating and collating common critical and essential issues and problems regarding marriage and family life.
The National Pastoral Office in collaboration with the PMS National Director, Father Edwin Mutandu, who provided guidance regarding the aspect of mission and evangelization, coordinated the team.
The training of the TOTs included the following topics:
- The identity and dignity of the human person;
- Marriage in God’s plan and the characteristics of a Catholic marriage;
- The truth and meaning of human sexuality and family life apostolate;
- The positive value of parenting. Basics in counselling/marriage counselling;
- Spirituality, vocation, and facilitation skills for marriage catechizers;
- Natural family planning methods accepted by the Church;
- The role of the family in the mission of the Church.