ACF 5th anniversary mass-390-VITA IMAGES-1
Participants at the Archdiocesan Commission for the Family’s fifth anniversary Mass pose for a photo with Archbishop William Goh and priests. Photo: VITA Images

Patricia Ang

Catholics are called to bring the light of Christ to their families and to society, and to be witnesses of what it means to be members of the family of God. “The Church is the family of families,” said Archbishop William Goh.

He was speaking at the Archdiocesan Commission for the Family’s fifth anniversary Mass held at St Joseph’s Church (Bukit Timah) on Jan 5.

The Archdiocesan Commission for the Family (ACF) helps empower families to be fully alive in loving as God loves, and becoming intimate communities and witnesses of life and love by sharing in the mission of the Church.

Speaking to about 400 Family Partner members of ACF, Archbishop Goh noted that “marriage life is difficult. Love needs time to grow, love needs time to be purified.

“The Church insists on the indissolubility of marriage and couples must focus on their marriages and not give up easily … We need to educate and enlighten the world on what is authentic and lasting love.”

After the homily, members of various marriage and family apostolates were recommissioned.

Mr Roderick Theseira, Chairman of ACF, noted that “many Catholic families are broken in some way or another and ACF will be forming groups to reach out to engage them lovingly and support them in the way Christ would.”

ACF’s website is

Some of ACF’s milestones

Feb 2014: ACF set up with 12 Family Partners (Beginning Experience, Catholic Engaged Encounter, CHOICE, Christian Family and Social Movement, Couples for Christ, Couple Empowerment Programme, Family Life Society, Marriage Encounter, Marriage Preparation Course, Marriage Retorno, Natural Family Planning and Retrouvaille).

Oct 2014: First Catholic Family Dialogue held.

July 2015: Symposium on Divorce.

Oct 2015: Pilot-run of DVD-based Catholic Divorce Survival Guide (now known as Surviving Divorce) programme.

Nov 2015: Talk by American Deacon Harold Burke: “Helping Our Kids Make it in Life”.

June 2016: Couple Mentor Journey workshop held.

August 2016: Pilot run of FREE Weekend (a programme for Post-Confirmands based on the Theology of the Body).

Sept 2016: Pieta (peer support for grieving parents) set up as ACF’s 13th Family Partner. Symposium on “Understanding the Church’s Teachings on Same-Sex Attraction” held.

Jan 2017: Chastity speaker Jason Evert gives talks.

Sept 2017: Courage/EnCourage (support ministry for persons with same-sex attraction) launched.

July 2018: Co-organised Humanae Vitae 50th Anniversary Conference.

March 2019: ACF and Catholic Theological Institute of Singapore to conduct a course on marriage and family. For more information, visit