CMPC during the MCO

The Catholic Marriage Preparation Programme or CMPC is specifically designed for Catholic couples who are planning to get married in the Church. The programme comprises of six two-hour sessions held at the home of the presenting couple for six consecutive weeks. Optionally, there is also a 3-day weekend session held at an offsite location with the presenting couples and a priest. The course is facilitated by the presenting couple who share what life together as a sacramental couple means. The crux of CMPC is to facilitate a journey for couples to discover themselves and assess whether they are compatible for marriage.

30 couples signed up for the CMPC course scheduled from 27 to 29 March 2020 at IJ Centre, Port Dickson. Towards second week of March the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur suspended masses and gatherings. There were two presenting couples for the weekend; Delfinus Dass & Margret Penafort from Church of the Assumption and Andrew Tan and Nancy Liew from our own parish of Holy Family Kajang - this was to be their first full-fledged CMPC as presenters for the latter couple. The team also included Melrose Fernandez, the presenter for Natural Fertility Awareness (NFA).

The presenting team together with Rev. Fr. Edwin Peter and Rev. Fr. Clement Lim, the ecclesiastical assistants of the Archdiocese Family Life Commission, through prayer and discernment decided to use Zoom to facilitate the CMPC weekend. They held several dry runs, including a test with 28 couples together with our parish priest Rev. Fr. Andrew Kooi and the CMPC weekend team. Some couple joined the weekend sessions from different parts of the country as well as from Singapore, Vietnam and Dubai.

Highlights included an opening The participants were punctual and actively participated during their sharing sessions despite being apart, even pledging their love for each other online. “The CMPC weekend involves lots of self-reflection and couple dialogue – we retained that as it was the core of the marriage preparation course. We had to rely on facial expressions, vocal projection and variability to make up for the lack of physical face to face interactions. We were at the mercy of the internet traffic quality and internet audio quality,” said Andrew.

Two couples from Holy Family Kajang also participated in this online CMPC session, Eric Chew Cheng Hoong and Woo Ying Hoi as well as Jeremiah Antony Peters and Josephine Puspanathan. Eric and Ying Hoi had been looking forward to the weekend away to mingle with other couples and as a short break from their work life. But they found that the online sessions covered many topics and because the sessions were conducted back-to-back, it wasn’t boring. However, the online sessions weren’t without challenges. “The self-reflection and discussion on forgiveness with each other was hard to discuss because we were apart,” shared Ying Hui. Eric said, “It was difficult to talk online because it is better to be present to see visual cues and experience the moment especially for topics like how much you know about each other and on marriage expectations."

Jeremiah and Josephine were one of the fortunate couples who managed to attend the online sessions together. “It was very well planned, there was momentum and it was quite interesting although it lacked that personal touch,” shared Jeremiah. “I was a bit worried at first as I am not an IT savvy person so thank God Jerry (Jeremiah) was here. The sessions kept us engaged throughout albeit the monotonous environment and looking at the screen continuously,” said Josephine. It was a very personal moment for both Jeremiah and Josephine as they managed to do the discussions and sharing together.

Rev. Fr. Andrew Kooi, who was the priest journeying with the couples over the two days, shared, “The online session was an attempt to provide a means to understanding marriage, but it is more as a supplement, not as a main. It is still necessary to have a face to face session. A face to face interaction is important because the discussion and sharing part is crucial for the couples as it is a commitment you are going to make for the rest of your lives.”

Although the CMPC weekend online course was successfully conducted, the presenters and all the participants agreed that it would have been better for the sessions to be done face to face with the presence of the priest. “It is an important getaway weekend for all attending couples to allow a serious face-to-face dialogue between them as a couple about their marriage,” shared Andrew and Nancy. Ultimately the intent of the CMPC is to also facilitate dialogue and discussion between the couple, and shows the importance of constant reevaluation of ideas, expectations and priorities.

The approach by the Archdiocese Family Life Commission to go ahead with the CMPC online instead of postponing the course was a good decision which also provided much learning for the team. “Of course, if situation didn’t allow it, the team will continue with the online approach, definitely with better preparation and more priest involvement in the future,” said Andrew.

The Catholic Marriage Preparation Programme or CMPC is specifically designed for Catholic couples who are planning to get married in the Church. The programme comprises of six two-hour sessions held at the home of the presenting couple for six consecutive weeks. Optionally, there is also a 3-day weekend session held at an offsite location with the presenting couples and a priest. The course is facilitated by the presenting couple who share what life together as a sacramental couple means. The crux of CMPC is to facilitate a journey for couples to discover themselves and assess whether they are compatible for marriage.



30 couples signed up for the CMPC course scheduled from 27 to 29 March 2020 at IJ Centre, Port Dickson. Towards second week of March the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur suspended masses and gatherings.There were two presenting couples for the weekend; Delfinus Dass & Margret Penafort from Church of the Assumption and Andrew Tan and Nancy Liew from our own parish of Holy Family Kajang - this was to be their first full-fledged CMPC as presenters for the latter couple. The team also included Melrose Fernandez, the presenter for Natural Fertility Awareness (NFA).


The presenting team together with Rev. Fr. Edwin Peter and Rev. Fr. Clement Lim, the ecclesiastical assistants of the Archdiocese Family Life Commission, through prayer and discernment decided to use Zoom to facilitate the CMPC weekend. They held several dry runs, including a test with 28 couples together with our parish priest Rev. Fr. Andrew Kooi and the CMPC weekend team. Some couple joined the weekend sessions from different parts of the country as well as from Singapore, Vietnam and Dubai.

The participants were punctual and actively participated during their sharing sessions despite being apart, even pledging their love for each other online. “The CMPC weekend involves lots of self-reflection and couple dialogue – we retained that as it was the core of the marriage preparation course. We had to rely on facial expressions, vocal projection and variability to make up for the lack of physical face to face interactions. We were at the mercy of the internet traffic quality and internet audio quality,” said Andrew.


Two couples from Holy Family Kajang also participated in this online CMPC session, Eric Chew Cheng Hoong and Woo Ying Hoi as well as Jeremiah Antony Peters and Josephine Puspanathan. Eric and Ying Hoi had been looking forward to the weekend away to mingle with other couples and as a short break from their work life. But they found that the online sessions covered many topics and because the sessions were conducted back-to-back, it wasn’t boring. However, the online sessions weren’t without challenges. “The self-reflection and discussion on forgiveness with each other was hard to discuss because we were apart,” shared Ying Hui. Eric said, “It was difficult to talk online because it is better to be present to see visual cues and experience the moment especially for topics like how much you know about each other and on marriage expectations."


Jeremiah and Josephine were one of the fortunate couples who managed to attend the online sessions together. “It was very well planned, there was momentum and it was quite interesting although it lacked that personal touch,” shared Jeremiah. “I was a bit worried at first as I am not an IT savvy person so thank God Jerry (Jeremiah) was here. The sessions kept us engaged throughout albeit the monotonous environment and looking at the screen continuously,” said Josephine. It was a very personal moment for both Jeremiah and Josephine as they managed to do the discussions and sharing together.

Rev. Fr. Andrew Kooi, who was the priest journeying with the couples over the two days, shared, “The online session was an attempt to provide a means to understanding marriage, but it is more as a supplement, not as a main. It is still necessary to have a face to face session. A face to face interaction is important because the discussion and sharing part is crucial for the couples as it is a commitment you are going to make for the rest of your lives.”

Although the CMPC weekend online course was successfully conducted, the presenters and all the participants agreed that it would have been better for the sessions to be done face to face with the presence of the priest. “It is an important getaway weekend for all attending couples to allow a serious face-to-face dialogue between them as a couple about their marriage,” shared Andrew and Nancy. Ultimately the intent of the CMPC is to also facilitate dialogue and discussion between the couple, and shows the importance of constant reevaluation of ideas, expectations and priorities.


The approach by the Archdiocese Family Life Commission to go ahead with the CMPC online instead of postponing the course was a good decision which also provided much learning for the team. “Of course, if situation didn’t allow it, the team will continue with the online approach, definitely with better preparation and more priest involvement in the future,” said Andrew.

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