The Words of the Chocholskiene Family
Panevezys, Lithuania -- An International Day of Families program honoring 35 outstanding local families took place on May 15 at the Panevezys Art Gallery. UPF-Lithuania sponsored the program in conjunction with the Active Women Club of women politicians in the city, led by UPF Ambassador for Peace Mrs. Danute Krisciuniene. The title of the event was short and warm: "I Thank You."
The purpose of the event was to express gratitude for Panevezys district families who are hardworking and at the same time engaged in public activities, raising model children, and bringing honor to their district by activities that raise the public spirit, promote goodness and philanthropy, and help the poor and the weak. NGOs and individuals recommended for recognition outstanding families from Panevezys and its suburbs. Some of these families are raising up to eight children.
The MC for the event was Mrs. Krisciuniene, who participated in UPF's World Summit in Korea in February 2013.
The event started with a song performed by a famous Panevezys-born pop singer, warming everybody's hearts. He was adopted by a family from Panevezys which was among those honored at this event.
Then UPF-Lithuania representative Mrs. Jurate Chocholskiene was invited to give welcoming remarks; she explained about the UN International Day of Families, gave a brief introduction to UPF, and read some of its Founder's words.
Afterwards, 35 families were honored for being an exemplary harmonious and loving family, for supporting Christian values, for doing public activities, for philanthropic work, etc. They were called to the front and received an award and symbolic gift. Each family was introduced with a description of their achievements and merits.
It was clear that it was an important day for them. Some came to the stage with tears in their eyes, evidence of their sincerity, grateful heart, and appreciation that someone noticed their hard work. About one third of the families gave some performance; some families performed as a musical ensemble, with each member playing an music instrument. It was heart-warming and interesting to watch, and three hours just passed unnoticed.
Among the participants was a Catholic bishop, Rev. J. Kauneckas, who personally greeted each family. He concluded the event by saying that without the family there would be no church either.
After the event everybody was invited to enjoy healthy refreshments prepared by some of participating families and to communicate with one another in an informal setting. The refreshments were very tasty and prepared with much love. Thus, families had a chance to get to know one another other better and make some new contacts.
Some of the families are facing the challenges of financial difficulties, raising many children, or being a single parent because their husband or wife had passed away. As one of participants said: "Family is a challenge, and it does not mean that these families did not have one - but they were the victors, staying together and going forward. So let us focus on victorious families, support them, focus on goodness, and learn from them. Then the evil that we see around will naturally diminish. The family is a school of love."