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Home Social Services Family Ministry Booklet

Family Ministry Booklet


Marriage between man and woman is a divine institution right from the time of creation. The aims and objectives of marriage were instituted by God. They are summarised as follows:

  • Companionship of two persons sharing life together (unity of life).

  • Persons assisting each other to attain self – fulfilment (complementarity)

  • To produce children (procreation) Gen 1: 26ff; 2:18

Man and woman were given the responsibility to carry on God`s plan of creation by living together as they fulfil the objectives and aims of marriage. Then God said,”I have created you in my image and likeness; I have created you out of my love, I have created you equal but different in order that you complement each other”. Gen 2:18-26


The Church in the whole world has been proclaiming the great importance of the family. World leaders know that unless there is peaceful harmony in the home, there can never be peace in the country.

Kabale Diocese was well aware of the fact that the family is the foundation of religion and Christian faith in everything it does. During the Diocesan Synod (Synodal Statutes and Five Year pastoral plan of 1984 pg 113) One of the lay apostolate movements which was confirmed and officially inaugurated as a lay apostolate movement was the Holy Family Movement.

The 8th Diocesan Pastoral Council of 2008 effectively evaluated and reached a conclusion that Family life Apostolate is the basic of Christian’s life and thus it officially opened its main office at Rushoroza. That office has studied the passed documents of the Diocese and put in place ways and means for launching the Family Apostolate Movement in the entire Diocese.


  • To cultivate, develop and maintain of warmth, spiritual values and emotional health in marital relationships.



To understand that marriage is God’s plan (marriage as God`s plan)

To identify God as the foundation of marriage/ master planner.

CONTENT: Marriage is a divine institution. God’s plan out of love created man and woman for companionship, complimentarily and pro-creation

  • In his own image, God is spirit, created us equal but not the same in appearances, in the parts of the body in the way we think, react, and respond to different situations for a purpose.

Admired what He created. That everything was good.


Explain the aspects of companionship, complimentarity and procreation with examples natural qualities of a man or a woman.

REFLECTION – Gen 1:19 companionship 2: 18 unity 2: 23-24 both leave your parents.


OBJECTIVE: To enable the participants/ couples understand that human being destroyed God’s plan, order, through disobedience.


The order of God was disordered by man’s sin of disobedience, pride etc. The beginning of sin… its growth … the effect…. curse to the man, woman snake and the environment… The original of sin from our first parents up to the present generation … Beginning of history of our salvation.

METHODOLOGY: Sharing experiences explain, tell stories, about sin, about God’s love. Read the scripture.

REFLECTION: God loves the people he created despite sin… we have inherited the curse.

Gen. 3:1-24, Gen 11 : 1-11 Ezk.16; 1-11 Hosea 3 ; 1-3 Hosea 2


OBJECTIVE: Through sharing and explanation the couples/ the group should be able to understand the differences in cultures, the values of their culture the differences in cultures, the values of their culture and God’s values for marriage.


What is culture, aspects of culture values of culture, culture of Bakiga – Banyankore – Bafumbira, concepts of culture, the survival of cultural values and family?

METHODOLOGY: Explain, expound, brainstorm, share in groups, read more on culture with emphasis on rites and passage of marriage in our culture. Proverbs and stories about our cultures, marriage stories, marriage sayings of men and women, and the upbringing of a girl/a boy. Group them as men and women separately, tell stories about marriage and family, invite individuals to share experiences and look for a Skit

That most of cultural and traditional values are good but others need liberation.

Some of cultural message and Stereo types;

  • Gamba rimwe ngambe kabiiri.......

  • Omushaija takura, omukazi tagira …

  • Omushaija niwe mutwe gweka…

  • Omushaija tahinduka …

  • Twingane etuura aha marwa.....

REFLECTION: Gen 4 , 5, 6 Tob. 7 : 9-10, 11-17, Jer. 31-32-34


OBJECTIVE: To enable the participants / couples understand their cultural background from birth to the time of engagement.

CONTENT: What is a family – grand parent – my parents, three generations back – then me- today?

Family story …. Personal story

Development stages – Human development up to 18yrs.

METHODOLOGY Use the discovery of ERICKSON and FREUD about the development of a person and others. Tell your personal story, your family story.

Use Genogram

REFLECTION Ps 139, Matthew 1:1-17


OBJECTIVE: To be able to understand reasons for marriage in our African tradition – Bakiga Banyankore, Bafumbira and the institution of marriage according to God.

CONTENT: Age 18 and above, time to make a decision, time to discern what to be in life – future time to make life commitment – for the culture, church, society etc.

Discuss married life, single life religious life in our context today.

Make a list of reasons why people marry or join religious life or stay single.

Sex education in the culture and today as an individual who gives it

Dowry and Bride Price.

Explain why the church advocates for monogamy.

METHODOLOGY : Brainstorm what do we need in order to discern, make proper choice in life, share in groups of threes, twos, fives in big group ... as an individual… discuss vocation in depth, is marriage a vocation?

Tell stories of their youthful stage, make role plays.

REFLECTION Judges: 11; 34, Mt: 19: 10, 1Cor. 7: 35, 1 Sam 1 : 1-28 barrenness and prayer Ps. 113: 9 children are a gift from the lord Prov.4: 128, 15, 41 Mt. 1: 18-20 Okugamba obugyenyi Mt. 1: 27 Mt. 2: 1


(Okushaba, Okugamba obugyenyi, Okusigura, Okwogyereza)

OBJECTIVE: To enable participants / the spouses to be create a relationship, an atmosphere or environment that will enable them make a decision for life commitment.

CONTENT: What is courtship, why courtship, how is courtship, when does it begin and end? What do you do in courtship … stages of courtship – Dating, engagement, Introduction (okuhingira) Give away and wedding Expectation of marriage (as life) Brainstorm what type of a husband will you be? What type of a wife/husband?

  • Observe conflict – how do you resolve it.

  • Who makes most of the decisions?

  • Consider your personal values, society and family.

Discuss what true love is the difference between love, true love and pseudo love friendship, affection, sex, attraction life commitment

Your personal history, family history, educational history

Suggested things talked about during courtship:

  • Age, the difference in age (age bracket 5years) Education, family background (history) personal history, personality, sexual life, religion image of God, my expectation of the other, family and marriage as a whole. Job – employment dislikes/likes, hobbies personal values, lived experiences, encourage Natural family planning, check HIV/AIDS, STD’s chronic disease like mental illness, sickle cells, alcohol, heart diseases, diabetes and others.

  • Types of love, friendships, relationships, trial marriage, love, attraction, infatuation, the motive of marriage, the hidden agenda that can invalidate marriage.

METHODOLOGY: The most important value during the process of sharing is to try as much as you can to remain open, discuss, tell stories of you life, pray, have time together, set boundaries and values for this time, attend seminars related to marriage, seek help counselling. Write love letters to each other, use I statement, always talk about yourself and you spouse to be, share your feelings, talk about the end of the courtship and evaluate it.

REFLECTION: Judges 11 : 34 Mt. 1; 27 Mt 1 18-20 1cor. 7; 35 Mt. 2:1, Genesis 24:1-33


OBJECTIVE: To enable the couples to be take another step in preparation of their life commitment, spiritual intellectual, emotionally, socially, to celebrate the wedding day.


  • The consent of the spouses – agreement.

  • The role of both parents – girl – boy as family’s customs related to marriage – Dowry, gifts.

  • Introduction – Both families

  • Registration with the church: – from the family, the Hika to the parish Baptism, Eucharist, penance, confirmation.

  • The banns to parishes concerned – 4 weeks.

  • If it is mixed marriage find out what the procedures are involved. Educate them about mixed marriage)

  • Instruction of the two about marriage 6 times before wedding day

  • Discuss where, when, how …..

  • If the two have already lived together, prepare for sacramental confession, the date for wedding.

Part 11 OBJECTIVE: To enable the couples celebrates Christian marriage.


Discuss priorities in terms of what your wedding will be look at your income and expenditures avoid unrealistic expenditures avoid debts as much as you can competing and comparing with friends and other couples your guests friends relatives as you discuss check the feelings the tempers, disagreement, the adjustments you make in your personality, to realize now that there is a shift in thinking from courtship to living a reality. It is a taste of a home / a family as you discuss and share consider spiritual material emotional social values as you discuss. Liturgy who is to celebrate mass’ readings thru liturgical ritual you exchange the consent’ you are declared wife and husband. The values of Christian marriage, the motive of getting married.


Do we want a wedding a home a family? Wedding is prepared for months lived for one day or few months. Marriage/ home/ family are lived for ever.

Tob. 8: 4-10, Pr. 31, Tob. 10 , Tob. 4 , Tob. 7 , Eph. 5:21-35 , Rom. 7:1-3


OBJECTIVE: To realize and deepen the beginning of our commitment to learn to plan to start the journey of growth to realize the value of mutuality as a couple.

CONTENT What is honeymoon, why should there be honeymoon in the modern time, culturally – mainly for sharing deeply; adjustments time together alone to reflect on how to live, consummate marriage, and planning ahead reflecting experience lived …? Preparation for a child – methods of family planning preferred talk about your sexual life together (ekitanda) that marriage is a celebration of the cross, is a mystery to unfold to be revealed, to ponder how long …. Where, when, how God’s place in your life…. Have time to play and pray for blessings and strength time to discuss your plans like the property, the relatives, the job, where you want to settle, friends and anything related to your life.

METHODOLOGY: To have personal time together, talking, sharing, playing and praying, relaxing.

REFLECTION: That marriage is a vocation of TWO in ONE deepens the understanding of that reality thru sharing and having time together for every thing.



To help participants understand the need for effective communication in families.

By the end of the training participants should be able to communicate effectively.


  • Define communication

  • Types of communication

  • Means of communication

  • Levels of communication

  • What, when, why, where, with whom do we communicate

  • Advantages of effective communication

  • Dangers of failure to communicate effectively.


Participatory approach [sharing experience, listening, observation of body language and giving feedback]

To help individuals apply what they have leant into their everyday life situations.

SCRIPTURE: 1 Sam 3:1-10


Communication involves giving, receiving and understanding of information. Through the process of communication, we are able to express our feelings, convey our emotions, clarify our thinking, reinforce our ideas, and make contact with others.

Effective communication rules

  1. Choose the right time to communicate to your spouse. If you have something to share with your spouse, don’t unload just as a man walks in the door after spending a hectic day at the place of work or a few minutes before he leaves for work. Select a time when your mate can respond pleasantly.

  2. Develop a pleasant tone of voice. It is not what you say but how you say it that counts. If you want your mate to enjoy what you say, use a calm, soft voice.

  3. Be clear and specific. Try to think as you speak and state clearly what you mean.

  4. Be positive. In many homes, 80% of all the communication is negative. Try to be less negative and more positive and appreciative.

  5. Be courteous and respective of your mate’s opinion. You can do this even when you disagree. Care much about his comfort as you care about your own. And be willing to listen.

  6. Be sensitive to the needs and feelings of your mate. Develop patience and sensitivity in responding to what your mate has to say. If he is happy over anew development, enjoy his happiness too and likewise.

  7. Develop the art of conversation. Happier husbands and wives just naturally have more to say to each other than miserable ones. Conversation is an art and opportunities to develop and it should be encouraged. Discussion on interesting subjects enriches marriage.


John Powell, in his book: Why I am I afraid to tell who I am, describes 5 levels on which we can communicate;

Level 1: Small talk. Involves shallow talk such as, how are you? Such kind of communication is better than uncomfortable silence. When communication remains on this level, it is boring and leads to frustration and resentment in marriage.

Level 2: Factual conversation. Information is shared at this level but there are no personal comments along with it.

You tell what has happened but do not tell how you feel about it. Men are more opt to settle for this level than women as they are often less likely to express their feelings.

Level 3: Ideas and opinions. Real intimacy remains here. For on this level you risk exposing your own thoughts, feelings, and opinions. You feel free to express yourself and verbalize personal ideas.

Level 4: Feelings and Emotions. Communication at this level describes what is going on inside you- how you feel about your partner or a situation. You will feel worthy, noticed, loved, appreciated, and safe in your partner’s affection.

Level 5: Deep insight: Rare insightful moments will occur when you are perfectly in tune with another in understanding, depth, and emotional satisfaction. Communication about such experiences often makes a deep impression on both parties and enriches the relationship. Mutual sharing of personal ideas and feelings is the ultimate goal in marital communication.

What level of communication occurs in your marriage now? Do you want and need a deeper and more intimate sharing?


Conflicts in marriage are inevitable. Husbands and wives view things differently and marriage would be very dull if they do not occur. The following simple rules can lead to constructive problem -solving.

  1. Choose the best time and place. It is better to keep current when handling conflicts. If one of you is angry or unreasonable, then postpone the discussion. Don’t delay it for too long, however.

  2. Say it straight. State your feelings openly and respectfully through the effective use of I- message. Speak directly, clearly and concisely without anger.

  3. Include reasons why you hold your opinion. Speak in a calm and controlled manner as possible, lowering your voice rather than raising it.


The concept of relationship in marriage- Marriage is for two people relating, experiencing each other. What is relationship, why do we relate, the deeper meaning of relationship marriage or not.

  • Types of relationships – list them.

Intimacy – and its levels and types:-

The stages of relationship plus friendship what help a relationship to grow to be sustained, nurtured – communication – What is communication – when do we communicate, how, why ……

  • Skills: Listening, presence, quality time space, non-judgmental, eye contact using “I” statement, prejudice- Use of body language, Non-verbal and verbal, communicate, share/Muganiire – about your health, property, children, life with God relatives, sexual life income/expenditures – future plans.

  • Levels of communication cliché communication gut level.

Temperaments and personality explain in simple terms using your history your family your developmental stages, environment.

  • Look at the natural gifts of a man a woman/ as a wife and a husband when you marry you get into another stage therefore there are you are expected to be a wife a husband.

  • Discuss the understanding of roles in African culture and modern setting in marriage from age 12-25.

  • Discuss how your understanding of sex education.

ACTIVITY REFLECTION: What prevents me from sharing with my spouse?

SCRIPTURE: Eph. 6:1-9


OBJECTIVE: To enable the couples recognize the sacredness of sex in marriage. Herb 13: 4

  • The importance of symbols – one bed, nakedness, one room, one everything.

CONTENT: THE BODY The physical parts other human body man/woman, name them their function their purpose, their position in a woman the genitals are inside in a man the genitals are outside in relationship with marriage, as a system composed of emotions feelings of love anger joy sadness.

Stages of growth of the body, mind of a woman and a man.

We are sexual beings drives desires in expression of touch embrace kiss love play/love making, the physical pleasure enjoyed by both it is mutual thru getting prepared emotionally, the body is not to be considered as an object. Preparation of the mind, body, soul forgiveness right place time. The whole area of emotional intimacy genital intimacy Attitude towards sex – women/man marriage bed – bedroom – holy ground, Holy place.



Sexual union – is sacramental plan for husband and wife to give totally to each other.

  • Marriage – sex – Banquet – This is my body.

The body is a dwelling place of God when he breathed in the spirit at the time of creation 1cor 3; 16-17 1 cor 6 12-17.

It is a system that works in connection 1cor 12; 12-31.

The word became flesh, incarnation Lk 1; 26.

This is my body at the last supper, on the cross mk14; 22-24 Mt 27; 50.


This may come after church teaching in marriage.

A Christian marriage is celebrated by two Christian baptized people with their consent witnessed by the priest. Other witnesses and the public can take place in the liturgy of the Eucharist that is mass or outside the reception of the sacrament of baptism confirmation Eucharist and penance is a requirement the registration with both parishes, the marriage banns for 4 wks. The instruction of the couple at least 3 times before the wedding day

Facilitator Introduce the seven sacraments, list them, and talk about their order of reception.

Explain each in brief and its catechism.

Explain matrimony in details and its catechism that is the consent who receives the permanency indissolubility Mt 5: 31. It is intended towards the good of spouses, the procreation and education of off springs.

Explain marriage as a divine institution God‘s plan thru us human beings it is a divine project entrusted to us explain more about that.

Explain marriage as a special vocation for two people becoming one as God desired it Mt 19: 12 Lk 16: 18.

Explain marriage as a mystery to be revealed everyday thru the wife and husband.

Explain marriage as a covenant of love, as a celebration of love, as communion of love as a sacrament.

Marriage as life of Christ read the life of Christ from the time of birth to death most especially the public the ministry of Christ the suffering the death and resurrection. The passion of Christ the Eucharist Jhn 13 the greatest love.

Marriage as an eschatological experience Lk, 20 27-40 Mk; 12, 18 I cor 7.



  • Marriage among Bakiga Banyankore Bafumbira Batoro- Customary marriage

  • Marriage in the Bible –Old testament, and New Testament


  1. Reasons for Marriage

  • Cultural/ traditional.

  • Personal reasons.

  • Today`s reasons.

  • Reflect on the origin of marriage


  1. Church teaching on Marriage

  • Matrimonial consent

  • Marriage as a vocation

  • Marriage as personal relationship and institution

  • Marriage as a covenant of love/ not a contract

  • Marriage is not a contract

  • Marriage is permanent

  • The responsibilities and roles of both


  1. Marriage as a sacrament

  • Reflection on the Sacraments Matrimony( Baptism, Penance and Eucharist)

  • Who receives it

  • Who administers it

  • The effects of the sacrament

  • Mixed marriage

  • Sacred place marriage bed (human sexuality)

  • Celebration of Christian marriage

  • Christian marriage ritual (omugyenzo gw`obushwere)


  1. Preparation for marriage

  • Courtship

  • Okuhingira (give way)

  • Wedding

  • Honeymoon

  • Communication skills(okuganira,okuteisa,okubagana)



  1. What is a family;

          • Husband and wife= family

          • Husband and wife = children = family

          • Husband wife and parenting

  1. Life cycle of a Family

  2. Church teaching

  3. Natural Family Planning Methods in the Catholic Church.


A family is likened to a human being it comes into existence it grows it matures and it is passed on to the next generation:

FIRST STAGE: (Couple Family) 0-------- Begins with a couple that is wife and husband ends with the first born child. Time to adjust with the child time to live courtship to live up to the other s expectation and your own deepening the understanding of marital bonding ,rights, obligation and responsibilities revisit sharing of roles, emotional adjustments and anxiety of having a child, review your plans and priorities and their order.

The coming of the child

Start making use of the culture of sharing as a priority SACRED TIME.

SECOND STAGE: (Infant Pre-school Family) 3-6yrs adjustments in space emotions, room and many other things.

OBJECTIVE: Is to enable the family adjust with change that come with the young ones.

CONTENT: Describe and explain the formation of personality Family values, family stories, and sex education. The importance of playing role of both parents to their children. When children begin to come there over many changes take note. Financial, space, emotional jealousy, negotiation of role and responsibilities of parents that affects wife and husband relationship.

Parental expectations.

METHODOLOGY: Couples shares the experience of the coming of the first child.

SCRIPTURE: Ps. 127, Sirach 7 ; 22 9, 22; 3 25, 13, Sirach 26 1-4 pr. 41; Mt 2 1

THIRD STAGE: (School age family) 6-13yrs peer-relationships

Objective: To enable the family relate with adolescents and to look at challenges of parenting.

CONTENT: Relationships with mother, father and children

FOURTH STAGE: (Adolescents family) 13-20 yrs.

Objective: To help the family become aware that children are now adults to involves them in planning of the family making decision- self awareness and identity.

CONTENT: The difference between loves, infatuation, attraction relationship all type decision making. Career guidance, human sexuality – at home, school society family meetings the influence of today`s technology on parenting.

FIFTH STAGE (Launching children family) children leave home, for studies jobs marriage as adults, time to make life commitment, choices

Objective: Is to enable the family prepare the children for life – jobs- family –parenting adults.

CONTENT: Parenting skills, Parenting styles and challenges.

SIXTH STAGE (Post-Parental family (Empty Nest) retirement sickness losses, dependency and death.

Objective: To help the family plan their retirement- realise the dynamics of aging and coming to terms with changes of old age- aging gracefully.


The middle years after stress in marriage children have left home and parents are left behind to have together as they started out – if they have successfully the earlier stage.

This stage can be one

Note the following

Parenting skills

Your couple’s mutual living for the other

Communication skills in the family

Values of a family/ culture of the family

Plans of the family

Gender roles in the family

Beliefs in the family

Application of what is learnt

Family meetings


OBJECTIVE; To enable the couples plan holistically for the family using their fertility


What is natural family planning , what family planning do you know, what methods do you know or you have heard, have you been involved in any family planning

METHODOLOGY Ask, brainstorm, discuss, explain, share the experience.

Facilitator Explain what natural family planning is, talk about the woman’s body the menstrual cycle what happens before and after.

Explain in details the different methods of family planning used and how.

The basic principles of natural family planning, the peak the spot, early days.

The advantages and values of Natural family planning.

The catholic teaching on natural family planning why READ MORE

RELECTION ACTIVITY: 1Cor: 7 1-5. It is highly recommended that a COUPLE undergoes the course or the learning in order to walk the journey together, to remind each other, to pray together, to share their deepest feelings and many other things together

LESSON 12: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN MARRIAGE (Married life and its challenges)

OBJECTIVE: To enable the couples understand what domestic violence is and how best they can live in their family without violence.


Define domestic violence

Forms/types of domestic violence

Causes of domestic violence

Consequences/effect of domestic violence

How to address issues of domestic violence without violence.

METHODOLOGY; Discuss, explain, share experiences, role plays, counselling, group discussion, couple sharing.

SCRIPTURE: 1Peter 3:1-7, Col. 3:18-25 .


  1. Catechism of the Catholic Church,

  2. Geoffrey Robinson, Marriage Divorce and Nullity

  3. John Burke, Christian Marriage,

  4. Jane M. Kiura, Courtship and Marriage, the liturgical Press, 1987.

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