by BISMumbai Correspondent

“It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him. The two of them become one body,” (Genesis 2:18, 24) forms the basis for marriage as an exclusive partnership for lifetime, between one man and one woman. It is a partnership with the essential properties of unity and indissolubility. The Catholic Church, in its canon law and theology, stipulates what a Catholic marriage entails. An exchange of consent between the spouses literally makes the marriage, since matrimonial consent is an act of will by both the parties. The decision to marry is perhaps one of the most serious decisions most people ever make.

In the context of various issues faced by married couples and its effect on children and familial life, the MumbaiSalesians' managed Sacred Heart Parish Yerwada organised a talk on Catholic Marriages in 02 Parts, on 11 and 12 May 2020. Father Michael Fernandes - former MumbaiSalesians' Provincial; former HoD of Pastoral and Moral Theology at Jnana-Deepa VidyaPeeth Pune [JDV]; Visiting Professor at the National Vocational Service Centre [NVSC] Pune and at St. Pius X Seminary at Goregaon Mumbai; and Tribunal Judge in the Diocese of Poona and in the Archdiocese of Bombay, was the resource person for the talks. With a doctorate in Canon Law from St. Thomas University Rome with a 'summa cum laude' for his doctoral thesis " Reinstatement of Dispensed Priests," Father Fernandes had earlier served as 'defender of the bond'; as a missionary in Gujarat, as a formator Rector at DBYC Koregaon Road Pune, continuing to be sought-after spiritual mentor to numerous young religious, lay and religious superiors across India, and is a renowned canon-law consultant in great demand.

Father Fernandes based his presentation on the Code of Canon Law and voiced the perspective of the Catholic Church regarding Catholic marriages. He says, "this talk in 02 parts, Part 01 for 35 minutes focussed on what the Church says about marriage, marriage as a sacrament, the 12 impediments of marriage, and the consent - the 08 defects of consent of marriage. Part 02 for 25 minutes is about the form of marriage, the place of celebration of marriage, the minister of marriage, mixed marriages, the separation [annulment] and the procedure that happens in a Church Tribunal."

Both the parts, with a total run time of 60 mins, amounted to a cumulative view of 3, 534, on the Sacred Heart Parish Yerwada YouTube Channel. Many of those who followed the presentation live-stream commended Sacred Heart parish for hosting this informative and much-needed presentation. Others congratulated Father Fernandes for his precise and lucid explanation that helped clarify many doubts that people have about marriages in general.

MumbaiSalesians MissionVolunteer Cleric Michael Gaikwad pursuing his studies in Theology said, "Well done Fr Michael Fernandes, thank you so much, this is a good talk and very informative and educative. Especially for me when I am doing studies in Canon law at the present moment. Thank you so much." Lancaster Fernandes commented, "The detailed information of Marriage and Cannon law as explained by Fr Michael Fernandes is required to be shared to all as it is beautifully explained and in great detail, so that all are aware of the guidelines of the laws to be adopted." Gilbert Nazareth commented, "Good exposure of provisions of Canon Law regarding Catholic marriages." Yvonne D'Souza and Richard D'Souza commended the presentation saying, "Excellent talk. Fr Michael has excellent knowledge and this talk should be heard by all of every age. Marriage cannot be taken lightly." Rovina Monteiro was grateful and appreciated the talk saying, "Very informative Rev. Father."

Catholic Marriage Part 01 []

Catholic Marriage Part 02 []

Sacred Heart Parish Yerwada also hosted a 04 Part Talk on Marriage Through the Lens of Catechetics in English and Marathi, and another 03 Part Talk on Sacraments.