The family is not an isolated phenomenon, but, indeed is an integral unit essential to society. It is a social system, responsive to the social and cultural milieu in which it operates and, in fact, is the cornerstone of any community. The ruin or growth of any community immediately corresponds to the compactness and stability of families. No community can exist or flourish without safeguarding the sanctity and nobility of families.
At this juncture, it is remarkable to note the high regard, the archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamally grants to the welfare of families. The glowing example is the Department of Family Apostolate & Counselling itself, that was instituted under the patronage of the late Cardinal, His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Parecattil, in1976 on the 10th of June. Throughout the past years since its inception, the centre is a delightful witness to the ever growing bond of love in relationships within the precincts of many a family!
The activities of the department began, centred on St. Joseph's church, Kalamassery. Rev. Fr. Paul Manavalan, the then assistant Vicar of St. Mary's Cathedral, was vested with the initial task of building up the venture in 1976. Later, in 1977, Rev. Fr. Paul Kallookkaren director,Social Welfare Centre, Kalamasserry, took charge as the director of the apostolate.
'Family 'was the theme of the Bishop's synod of 1980.The discussions prior to the synod gave the much needed energy and strength to the apostolate. The foresight and the diligent hard work of the directors like Rev. Fr. Sebastian Thottapilly, who served the institution from time to time gave definite shape and state to the centre.
And on New Year day in 1988, the centre started functioning its new office at the Renewal Centre, Kaloor. The preparation course for the marriage was made compulsory by an order from the Curia on August 15, 1988.
In August,1992 'Pankali' marriage bureau was initiated; and in 2002, in commemoration of the golden jubilee of the centre, the Anugraha Counselling Centre took shape. 2006 was celebrated as The Year of THE Family. And, on July 9, 2010 a project, under the name and style, 'Snehaprasadam' was inaugurated as a follow up of the Marriage Preparation Course to nourish and nurture marital relationships.