One of the most heartwarming sacraments to witness at St. Anthony of Padua is the welcoming of a baby to the Church through the Sacrament of Baptism. Parishioners flank the aisle and take a moment to cross the child during the procession, welcoming the child to our parish. Our community stands behind the new parents, offering to accompany the parents on the journey of raising a child in the faith.
Baptism preparation is a small portion of our Marriage and Family Life Ministry’s work. This ministry encompasses a range of activities geared towards families at every stage of their life together, intended to strengthen the love between them, their relationship with God, and their service to the wider community.
Taking charge of this important ministry is the Director of Faith Formation and Family Life Tanya Barbero, and her husband, Lee. Throughout their 40 years of marriage, Tanya and Lee have served the diocese in a variety of ministries, ranging from Baptism preparation to youth ministry, marriage preparation, and Marriage Encounter Weekends. The couple served as the first youth ministers in our diocese not long after they were married.
Through their years of ministry and raising a family themselves, Tanya and Lee have continued to learn, thirst for more and strive for solid formation for families in our community.
“The Family Faith Formation model at St. Anthony of Padua helps our parents be the first teachers of faith to their children at home,” Tanya says. “This ministry supports them through workshops and enrichments on issues and concerns for families, family service projects, and marriage enrichments. Lee and I work with parents in marriage ministry through the Worldwide Marriage Encounter. We have found strong marriages make for strong families, and strong families make for stronger communities. Our desire to strengthen the bonds of families continues to drive us in this ministry.”
And it’s not just young families this ministry aims to serve. The umbrella of Marriage and Family Life also includes bereavement, mental health, Aging with Grace, Kūpuna (Elder) Ministry, Men’s Ministry, prayer groups, and more.
“The past year has been full of beautiful encounters at the parish for these ministries,” Tanya says. “Kūpuna Bingo was a hit with the youth and elders of our community. During Lent, we did a series on death and dying and facilitated the Stations of the Cross for families. We have also supported the school and the greater Maui community through fundraising and service projects.”
Ultimately, at the center of this ministry are the roots of living out the faith as a family and the domestic church. Marriages embedded in the faith are the cornerstone of strong families.
“In Hawaii, we are so fortunate to live the concept of ‘ohana, family,” says Tanya. “The multicultural ethnicities that make up our island communities also value family. It seems only second nature that we continue to perpetuate that by being good examples of faith and strong marriages.”
For more information, contact Lee and Tanya Barbero at 808-268-1578.