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Catholic Northwest Progress
Seattle, Washington
April 16, 1965     Catholic Northwest Progress
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April 16, 1965
 

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(Continued from :Page 17) easier for a Negro family to move into the area, helping an Episcopalian group begin a similar Christian action movement, sponsoring a parish get-acquainted social for new Army families. In the political realm, the generalities became the specifics of working as pre- cinct committeemen to contribute a little sweat and toil to democratic governmenH and organizing "Meet Your Candidates" sessions before the elections so the voters could make a personal evaluation of the nominees, and perhaps make a wiser choice at the polls. In the parish domain, the generalities became the specifics of teaching in the CCD program, trying to bring a CFM awareness to seventh graders; setting up a meeting of parents to talk over the pro- blems of Christian education, organizing a school board to help the pastor. But CFM need not and should not bere- stricted merely to the immediate en- vironment. We recall the CFM action in the Portland archdiocese that stretched halfway around the world, making it possible for more than 40 Dutch-Indonesian refugee families to find homes, jobs and new futures in America. The seed had been planted by one couple who _became aware of the plight of the refugees in over-crowded Holland, and the government program that permitted them entry into the United States if a sponsor, home and job awaited them upon arrival. The CFM couples of the Portland area followed through, enlisted the efforts and enthusiasm of CFM members and many other groups, and soon had family after family on its way to a new life. It was the perfect example of the family to family apostolate, the type of brotherly love that can accomplish the impossible. Parents and children were deeply involved in the effort, fixing up the old house for the new arrivals, meeting them at the railroad station, becoming fast friends. The things you do; the people you meet-- they can be the inspiration and stimulation for an exciting, and, hopefully, worthwhile life. We have made deep and enduring friends among the CFM couples we have met.., the family of six that traveled from Portland to Puerto Rico to become lay missionaries ..o... the couple that gave of themselves a full year to try to develop a more vital CFM apostolate in the Portland area ..... the family that adopted a mixed-race boy despite the hostility of their relatives, neighbors and even some in their own parish.....the apostolic pair that moved to another city and immediately became a leaven of Christian zeal. This does not mean that CFM fosters a togetherness against the world, because this would be contrary to its entire pur- pose. Rather, it provides motivation to know and love the world and its people, from the immediate neighborhood to the Netherlands. Others have expres Sed it perhaps better than we ever could: Awareness--"Through the realization of mutual problems we have developed a close bond among members of the group, which in turn helped the group, individually and collectively, to recognize its res- ponsibilities to the society in which we live." Impact on the home--"Since action should follow any CFM meeting, the home feels it first. The children reflect the parents' new attitudes; they then make decisions and act in a manner to motivate parents to greater effort." Discomfort--*'It hasn't been easy andit promises to make us even less securh in our status as 'nOrmal' members of con- temporary society. But we think it's worth the price." Perspective -- "Getting somewhat in- volved in community, state and national issues helps a person to see his own problems in a much better perspective. It 'wakes you up."' Actlon--"We used to talk, complainand worry. Now we observe, judge and act. Sometimes we get impatient with ours elves and with others, but progress in the right direction is usually slow. What we need are I0,000 more CFMers to turn the tide." Discomfort, awareness, impact, per- Friday, April 16, 1965 THE PROGRESS-Page 19 HOSTS FOR A MEETING ,of St. Michaers Christian Family Movement group are Thiola and Phil Roberts, en above welcoming Marita and Rene Herrera. has made us the IDEAL Christians, or that it has paved our way to heaven. In fact, at times, when the going gets rough, we wonder whether the old way might be the easy way. But we know this cannot be right. We know we must do more than go through the motions of religion; we know what Christ said about those who would follow the letter of the law but ignore its spirit. The Christian Family Movement cer- tainly is not the only worthwhile organiza- spective and action--they all come through CFM. We have foundit, andwerecommend - , n it. "Why won't Daddy let me help him We would never make the claim that C FM paint " tioh in the Church, but it certainly has been more meaningful to our lives than any we have yet encountered. It has provided many seemingly simple values for us. Foremost among them, it has enabled us to belong as husband and wife, not as husband or wife. We attend the bi-monthly meeting t0g4thh/',-fi6t Separately, and we attend them in the warmth of our home and the homes of the other member couples, not in the formality of a hall or meeting room. The obvious result is a strengthening of the husband-wife relationship, ratherthan a weakening of the bond through evenings apart and activities unshared. Further, it has given us a newperspec- rive on our marriage and home life. With its emphasis on lasting values, on concern for others, on awareness of social problems, it has helped us to become less concerned over the new dining room set, the new car, the new refrigerator, the new television set. Home life has acquired a new vitality for us and our children, in large part be- cause of the spiritual and social awareness that inevitably follows an active role in CFM. It shows itself in what becomes a nightly family ritual of doing the Jesse Tree dur- ing Advent, with each child drawing, cutting out, coloring and pasting UP the symbols of creation and Biblical history. Those too young to do the artwork at least share in pasting father's work on the paper tree. It acquires a broader scope when the entire family piles into the car for aCFM convention at Richland. Living with another CFM couple over the weekend, we meet new people; the children meet other child- ren, and all share experiences and ideas. It returns to the home when the other couples and the priest arrive in the even- ing for the bi-monthly meeting, giving the children a picture of Christian brother- hood and activity within the home, as well as outside the home. Individually, CFM has to be stimulating spiritually in the preparation and review of the Scripture and liturgy, and in the free-wheeling discussion that follows at the meetings. Our understanding of our religion has gaiaed depth and practical meaning through the CFM emphasis on the Mystical Body. and all that it signifies in the interde- pendence of man to man, and man to God. Our sharing of problems and even mis- conceptions in the group has helped straighten out our thinking, clear up doubts and strengthen our resolve. CFM is not a debate over thefinepoints of theology. It is a broad, and specific, review of the general principles of our Christian faith.