In Summary
  • A book chronicles the life of a young couple, Tomas Alvira and Paquita Dominguez, who lived in the 20th century Spanish countryside of Saragossa.
  • The couple had a large family of nine children.
  • The Alviras are portrayed as the epitome of happiness and fulfilment that can possibly come from a “bright and cheerful home” “where work and family were closely intertwined” while harmony, love and godliness took centre-stage.

A happy family in which both the husband and wife are professionals who work to provide for their eight children, while leading a fulfilling life may sound like a passage from an old movie.

HAPPINESS

Do such families really exist anymore? Is there happiness in such families? Is it not back-breaking to provide for so many children during these difficult economic times? Even more importantly, are parents able to give individual attention to each of their children when there are so many to take care of?

These questions are answered in a thrilling story authored by Olga Marlin and titled Our Lives in His Hands: An Ordinary Couple’s Path to Holiness.

The book chronicles the life of a young couple, Tomas Alvira and Paquita Dominguez, who lived in the 20th century Spanish countryside of Saragossa. The couple had a large family of nine children.

The Alviras are portrayed as the epitome of happiness and fulfilment that can possibly come from a “bright and cheerful home” “where work and family were closely intertwined” while harmony, love and godliness took centre-stage. The couple raised its family during World War Two before the sun set on their union when Alvira died in 1992 and his wife two years later. According to the book, the two died of “painful illnesses”.

Because of their life and work, the approval process for the couple’s beatification by the Catholic Church is at an advanced stage.

FAMILY

The book telling their story was launched two weeks ago at Strathmore Business School during a workshop organised by the Strathmore University’s Family Institute.

The workshop brought together families, business people and academicians to discuss how the family institution in Kenya is contending with the socio-economic pressures of modern life.

Families drawn from different socio-economic spheres engaged in robust discussions while sharing their experiences on balancing careers with marriage and the accrued lessons.

Mr Polycarp Igathe, a family man who has served as CEO in different organisations for 18 years, argued that corruption and other social ills that bedevil the country have their genesis in broken families.

“The biggest hurdle I have encountered in my long career on the corporate scene and in politics stems from individuals who are deformed at the family level,” Mr Igathe said. “We are living at a time when there is such immense social upheaval where wealth creation and social prosperity are gravely undermined by eroded societal values”.

He observed that while it is important for the government to initiate large-scale infrastructure projects, little investment has been made towards salvaging the family institution.

“Parents are so preoccupied with their daily activities that there is hardly any time these days to engage and to play with children and to nurture family values. If we fail at the family level, we stand no chance in life,” he warned.

The success of business, Igathe said, is firmly anchored on strong and functional family foundations.

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