Volume 4 Issue No.2

The Official Magazine of Couples for Christ Foundation, Inc.

June 2010


e g th n ewi and Life Ren ng ndi e Def



Frank Padilla

VISION We are an evangelistic and missionary community committed to become families empowered by the Holy spirit to renew the face of the earth. MISSION We strive for holiness of life, as we commit to renew the temporal order through our work with the poor, our work for justice, and our work for life. We are a servant of the Church, working to renew her children through every generation and throughout the world, until the Lord returns once again. COVENANT trusting in the Lord’s help and guidance: 1. I shall live as a follower of Christ. Pray and read the Bible daily. strive for holiness and Christian perfection. 2. I dedicate myself to the task of building a strong family for Christ. Invest myself in time and effort for home and family. Live out and defend the culture of life. 3. I shall be a committed and active member of Couples for Christ. Faithfully attend meetings and participate in community events. Give generously of my time and finances for the furtherance of our mission. Undergo all formation courses. Relate in love, loyalty and respect with all members of the CFC family. 4. I shall be a witness to the world of God’s love. Actively evangelize and do mission. Love and serve my parish. Love and care for the poor. May the Lord Jesus Christ, with the intercession of our blessed Mother Mary, help me to faithfully live this covenant, for His greater honor and glory and for the good of my brothers and sisters.


Nonong Contreras

editor in chief

Mimi David Mye Menguito Marlyn Surtida

associate editors

Efren/Flor Aguirre Nani/Bing Almanza Neshwin Almeida Joanne Angon Dave Balino Jun/Helen Banaria Kuh Belarmino Ansel Beluso Bonjie Bonjibod Aster Bughao Gemma Castro Fr. Melvin Castro Dr. Brian Clowes Mimi David Aldrick Joshua dela Rosa Maribel Descallar Khyme Esteban Manny Estrella Rene Evidente Benjie Gadi Bobbie Laguitao Deity Lim Vidal/Ma. Isabel Lopez Marilyn Lopez-Tan Ray Manaloto Elizabeth Mbekeani Mye Menguito Cel Montilla Ednalyn Morales Joanna Marie Oliva Xavier Padilla Frank Padilla Mary Grace Pingoy Denice Price Marie Relucio Stephen Ramos Rudy Romulo Fr. Justin Sequeira, sss KD Albino Soler Jesse Tabora Joseph Tesoro Laya & Imelda Victoria Alex Visalda John Peter Vui



12 24 40 52



78 92 96





Arnel Barrameda John Leo Burgoyne Manny Estrella Pat Frias Robert Lim Cel Montilla Pat Oconer Xavier Padilla



graphics/layout artist

Manny Estrella



under the fig tree




We are in the end times, the time of the final conflict.1 The enemy is going all out to destroy the family and to destroy life. He has come up with his diabolical arsenal, including abortion and same-sex marriage,

ur basic mission has remained the same since CFC started in 1981, that of evangelization and family renewal. But given the nature of the spiritual conflict in the third millennium, God tweaked our mission a bit, giving emphasis to the culture of life, without neglecting evangelization and family renewal. In fact, our fight for life can only be within the context of evangelization and family renewal.

*Being under the fig tree is a symbol of messianic peace. “(Nations) shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; one nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again. Every man shall sit under his own vine or under his own fig tree, undisturbed” (Micah 4:3b-4). Our ultimate goal is to bring the peace of Christ into the world to all.

and many more abominations. He is assisted by powerful human forces, such as the US government under Obama, the European Union, elements of the United Nations, liberal international media, and billionaire philanthropists. He is even aided by dissident bishops, priests and nuns, who are the enemy within the Church. Why does Satan target family and life? Well, God is the author of life, and Jesus came so that “we might have life and have it more abundantly.” (Jn 10:10b). On the other hand, the family is a creation of God, and according to His plan, is to be the instrument by which His creation is to be cared for (Gen 1:28). In addition, the family is to reflect the family that the Trinity itself is, is to dwell in a home which with the Holy Spirit becomes a piece of Kingdom ground, and is to be His agent for evangelization. The enemy hates God and everything that is of God. And so in this final conflict, he is determined to destroy family and life. God raised us up in 1981 precisely to renew the family and to defend life. The crisis of 2007 was allowed by God to bring us back from infidelities and veering away, and to get us back to our authentic mission. Now, as CFC-FFL, we are back on track. We need to evangelize with a

passion. We need to grow in greater commitment to bring the good news of salvation in Jesus to many others, and to help them grow as disciples of Christ. We, as well as all Christians, have been entrusted with the divine gift of salvation. Jesus is relying on us. We need to work to renew the family, the very basic unit of society and of the Church. With strong families, we can truly enjoy abundant life, and have a strong base with which to go out on mission. We must defend the culture of life. In this we must ensure that we ourselves do not become part of the enemy within. Then we must go forth to aggressively engage the antilife and anti-family forces that bring an ever-greater darkness over the whole world. Aside from God who raised us, Jesus in whom we trust, the Holy Spirit who empowers us for battle, we look to our Mama Mary, to whom we have been consecrated. She was there at the very start, being part of the very first prophecy about the Savior and the defeat of the enemy (Gen 3:15), and she will be there at the very end, at the final crushing of Satan, as she reigns as Queen of heaven and earth (Rev 12:1).█
But know “that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day (2 Pet 3:8)





a n d formidable--the United States, the European Union and the United Nations. To g e t h e r , they have unleashed their mighty forces and bottomless funding pits that could send the world into a desolate abyss, the infernal place of Hades that would see the cataclysmic destruction of families and inflicting the mass genocide upon the unborn.

y some stroke of God’s provenance, CFCFFL has been gifted with the charisms of family and life. At no other time in the history of mankind has there been a pronounced and evident need for protecting the family and defending life as it is here and now. The dungeons awaiting families and the dragons which slay and snuff out life have gone overtime and even overboard. The alliance of the forces of darkness are strong, influential

“CFCFFL was born to renew the family and defend life. We can ill afford just lying supinely on our backs while the enemy runs roughshod on our Christian attitudes, values and behavior.”

What has brought the world to this madness is the license of conscience and the deadly mistake of looking at the effect rather than dissecting the cause and striking at the root of the problem. Unity of the basic fabric of society called the family continues to be buffeted by over-liberal forces that have failed to

uphold the dignity of marriage as an indissoluble institution, a sacrament of love between man and woman, and for the procreation and proper rearing of children. As such, these same forces are blind to the proper roles that man and woman ought to play within the context of family relationships and consequently, destroy their God-given complementarity of the man acting as head of the family


Sound the trumpetS

Jan 2010

and the woman as a loving support and helpmate. On the other hand, the simplistic solution offered to a perceived overpopulation situation is to depopulate. Thus, man creates but also destroys what he had previously created. What have been hailed as inventions of man’s genius which would offer beneficial effects for society’s welfare can, in turn, be the same mechanisms that would be transformed into machinations of evil and destruction. Take the unleashing the power of the atom. It can harness alternative sources of energy but at the same time create mass annihilation of lives that was witnessed in Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Ultrasound machines detect and monitor fetal developments inside the mother’s womb. At the same time, the results thereof can be fatal for the unborn infant if the State detects even a minute defect through the use of forced abortions. It is said that there ought not to be any specter of hunger and starvation because modern science has developed means to stimulate food production at super abundant levels. And yet, the developed countries have deemd it more appropriate to dump their excess harvests into our

oceans and seas while we see virtual living skeletons of severely malnourished babies and children in Africa and Asia. The Philippines stands tall in being the last bastion of Christianity in the world because it continues to refuse legalization of divorce and has been successful in fending off repeated attempts by prochoice and anti-life advocates to pass laws that advocate contraception. The euphemism used by the proponents of anti-life legislation is “reproductive health.” We fail to see that these devices designed to protect women in turn destroy life itself. We turn a blind eye to the sad experiences of the Western world that saw the legalization of abortion soon after it allowed contraception to be practiced in their respective societies. What follows next could well be the legalization as well of assisted suicides for terminal cases, euthanasia, mercy killings and the marginalization of the elderly and the handicapped in society. Another holocaust is in the making. Just recently, we have been witnesses to an election where the RH bill was a major issue. What was confounding to hear and see were fellow Catholics and some clergy openly supporting prochoice candidates while receiving

the Eucharist with no scruples because of their overrationalized but sadly mistaken beliefs. While the Church and ourselves share part of the blame in not educating enough fellow Christians on the evils of contraception and the grimmer aftermath of abortions and mercy killings, true Christian communities that profess to preserve the family and defend the dignity of life cannot shirk from the accountability of unfurling their Christian banners to prevent the wanton killing of the unborn and the destruction of the unity of the family. CFCFFL was born to renew the family and defend life. We can ill afford just lying supinely on our backs while the enemy runs roughshod on our Christian attitudes, values and behavior. We cannot tolerate a situation where the State hides under the cloak of the promotion of national welfare and interest to the detriment of our revered beliefs and approaches to Christian renewal within the context of family relationships. ONWARD, CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS and be vigilant in guarding the remaining ramparts of our Christian ideals!█


God’s Wheel

Contributed by Fr. Justin Sequeira sss


In the face of such threats our reaction is quite automatic. Just as we spontaneously wince if someone appears to be about to strike us, lift up our hands to fend off a blow, or pull back to protect ourselves from some act of aggression without any conscious choice on our own part, so too do we employ psychological 6
Sound the trumpetS † June 2010

eath is a constant companion of our life. It is in a sense foreshadowed by every experience of diminishment, pain and loss at whatever level, emotional as well as physical. There is a very real sense in which certain very painful emotional experiences may seem a true death for us. Neglect or abandonment by a parent, rejection by significant persons, ridicule, humiliation or shaming, being made to feel inadequate or bad – such things, to name just a few, can be excruciatingly painful. In such circumstance our life is just as really at risk as it is in the presence of a threat of physical harming or extinction.

defense mechanisms spontaneously, often with very little awareness that we are actually doing so. Heb. 2: 14-15 In the above passage, in describing the role of Jesus in experiencing suffering, we read: Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is,, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. The anonymous author is claiming that we all human beings live in a state of enslavement, subject to a power that determines what they do. That power, he says, is first also the fear of death. He then takes a further step, affirming that this fear provides a foothold for the Evil One, who uses the fear of death as lever for exercising domination over human attitudes and behavior. Finally, he asserts that by His death Christ has delivered us from this state of submission.

Fear of death The first step we must take, it seems, is to extend the concept of death, which awakens fear in us. The fear in turn activates a reflex of self-preservation, which generates forms of behavior aimed at avoiding the danger that threatens. While the impulse is innate, the forms such behavior takes are learned. It is commonly said, in the face of danger, human beings tend to react in either of two ways: by fight or flight. Which it is going to be will be determined largely by the combined influence of both inherited personality traits and the specific family experiences that have constituted our personal history. The fact that we act in the face of threat in largely predictable ways suggests furthermore that what is at work here is something stable, a more or less permanent structure of each one’s personality. Our enslavement to the Evil One This enslavement draws its strength from the fear of death. Since in the Christian understanding, the

Evil One is believed to exercise power not so much through force as through deception, we may suppose that what is at stake here relates in some way to self-deception. Terrorized by death we are misled by the Evil One to choose means which are morally wrong as well as being ultimately ineffective. We gain security, in other words, at the expense of values. Impelled by the fear of death we tend to be willing to sacrifice values in order to ensure our safety, by lying, deceitfulness or even harming others to protect ourselves and our interests. Yet we dupe ourselves, dissimulating the wrongness and lying to ourselves to justify our behavior. Let us open a passage from the Gospel: If anyone wants to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me (Mk.8:35). Long familiarity with these words has perhaps somewhat blunted their strangeness, but if we are honest with ourselves we muse surely admit they awaken a deep seated repugnance in us. Jesus makes his meaning clearer by a second statement that repeats the earlier one in another form. ‘For those who want to save e their life will lose it,’ he declares,’and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.’ (Mk.8:32-35) In typically paradoxical language, Jesus

challenges us to turn a deaf ear to the spontaneous impulse to ‘save our life’ at all cost, every time a conflict arises between the values enshrined in his person and his teaching and whatever may appear to us at that moment as constituting our ‘life’, whether it be our physical well-being, or possessions, or some such value as our good standing. Like sages and religious teachers of all times, Jesus in his teaching relentlessly exposed the illusory nature of the symbolic solutions to the problem of death represented typically by the pursuit 0f such goods as success, wealth, or power. Though their glitter may indeed (quite literally) enthrall us, the promise they hold out to guarantee our life is empty. For the sense of security, even of invulnerability, they confer is totally powerless to protect us from our essential fragility. No only does Jesus himself face his own destiny setting out resolutely towards Jerusalem, but He puts the issue before his disciples with brutal clarity inviting them to take firm hold of the wood of the cross, gruesome symbol of shame and agonizing death, and follow him into greater life. In that stark call there was little room for comforting i l l u s i o n ! In the death of Jesus there is at work

a fundamental insight about the overcoming of violence and evil. the victory is won not by superior force but amazingly, by humble and loving submission! It means not only that, in the extreme case, we should prefer death itself to infidelity to our convictions concerning Jesus and God’s Kingdom, but also that this willingness to enter into, rather than flee from death, is, by a staggering paradox, the very way of salvation; or - to put it in other words – that the negative, freely accepted can actually become an instrument of liberation. This is the basic attitude in everything, namely, accepting death for the sake of truth, in all the forms in which it presents itself to us, we overcome death; or, better perhaps, through our trusting surrender to this strange law of transformation, God is able to overcome evil in us. Christ’s death has set us free from this double enslavement Not only does Christ unmask the deceitful illusion that we can somehow save ourselves, whether by developing personality traits that ensure our safety or by trusting in symbols of invulnerability; he
(continued on page 9)


God’s Wheel


Contributed by Fr. Melvin Castro Spiritual Director, CFCFFL Intercessory Group

t the height of the debate on the Reproductive Health Bill, I met so many new friends and allies and met a good number of foes too. I have to be honest that it was one of those times that I felt personal pain when you read in the blogs, and hear and see in the media so many detractors of the Church’s official teaching, and yes even among the members of the Church.


I would have chosen a more “quiet and tranquil life.” But then again, when I see the countless faithful—lay, religious, and clergy alike--that are heroically defending the Family and Life, I feel a more

nagging pain. I need to be a part of this warfare. And the beauty of it all is that as I wage a personal warfare in my soul, you just feel you’re part of this bigger, cosmic warfare; and God has actually already won this war. We are simply following through His victory on the Cross. We vividly recall how the Apostles were gathered at the Upper Room, waiting for the coming of the Paraclete. St. John describes them to have been full of fear. Then came the Holy Spirit. He gave fortitude, wisdom, and strength. They spoke, they preached, they performed miracles, and they even laid down their lives for Christ. That is the Holy Spirit. That is the fullness of life. Not a life of comfort, but a life spent for others, for the Kingdom of God! Soon we shall be having a new set of national leaders. The hibernating RH Bill would certainly be resurrected again, propelled by the same people, supported by the same foundations, the same NGOs, the same funding agencies. They would return with vengeance. They were so close in passing it in the

last Congress. We have to brace ourselves. However, our aim is not simply to weather the coming storm. As in any warfare, we have to be equipped, foreboding, insightful, clothed and armed. We do not have their material resources and vast network of people. We are more of a guerilla warfare; never in the offensive, holedup in our trenches, protecting our bastions, defending our enclaves. For how long could we fend off the enemies? I honestly do not know. I share the optimism of Cardinal Rosales, I also share the militancy of Cardinal Sin. We have to have both. We cannot give-in to discouragement but we should always be in the look-out. St. Teresa of Jesus (of Avila, as she is better known) advises us to be ever-protective of our interior castle. We have to fend off the enemies while they are away from the walls of the castle. That is what we have to do.


Sound the trumpetS

June 2010

That is why for the many that think the RH Bill is simply a contraceptive-promotion bill. Better think again. It will be the Trojan Horse in our national morality: from contraception to abortion; from reproductive health education to sexual concupiscence; from population management to total population control. We shall reap what we sow. Reap contraception and we shall be harvesting abortion. Giving the benefit of the doubt is one thing, complacency is another.

We cannot afford to be complacent at this time. I would not wish to be a prophet of doom and gloom, for certainly we have always been God-fearing and family-loving. But I would not be true to my priestly ministry if I would not state it now.
(continued from page 7) . . . REDEMPTIVE

We cannot take things for granted. We cannot be engaged in a guerilla warfare all the time. We cannot be tepid and lukewarm when it comes to Family and Life values. Family and Life should always be our primary concern. Time and again, I have written and said in many fora, the first battle waged in world was the battle between the Woman and Her Fruit on one hand, and the Serpent in the other (cf. Gen. 3, 15) and the last battle to be waged would be between the Woman and the Fruit of Her Womb on one side, and the Dragon, the same ancient Serpent, on the other (cf. Rev. 12). It was and will always be defending the Woman and the Child in Her Womb. Life is a gift from God and the Serpent will do anything to end that transmission of life. Whether we like it or not, whether we admit it or not, defending Family and Life is not just an advocacy, it is just an issue among so many. It is a spiritual warfare, in the fullest sense of the word. In the wake of the very first bad news, that is the falling into sin of Adam and Eve, the very first good him to teach us, to reveal to us in the little experiences of ‘death’ in the heart of life what it means for new life to come into being through death. Living out our Baptismal Consecration: A salvific confrontation with Death Christian Initiation (Baptism) starkly confronts us with the death we all so desperately wish to deny, inviting us to allow ourselves to be plunged into it in the baptismal water, in trusting surrender to the God who has promised he would raise us up. When our convictions seem to be leading us into risk, pain and loss,

news (that is why we refer to it as the Protoevangelium), is the promise of the Woman. This Woman who said yes to Angel Gabriel. This same Woman who mediated to Her Son for His very first miracle at Cana. The same Woman faithful at the foot of the Cross. This Woman clothed with the Sun. In the wake of this Warfare, to this Woman we have to have recourse to. This same Woman was present at the coming of the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 1, 14). This Woman, ever present at the critical junctures of the salvation of mankind, is present at this final battle. May Mary, Mediatrix of AllGrace, obtain for us the strength, the wisdom, the fortitude to constantly defend God’s gifts of Family and Life. █ our solemn baptismal promises stand by us. When we ‘renounced Satan’, we rejected the easy way 0f the lies and deceptions which the “world” practices in the face of death. When we ‘rejected all his pomps’, we said a firm No to the illusory symbols of immortality and invulnerability in which society ceaselessly incites us to place our trust.█ ------------REFERENCE: “What is a Paschal Spirituality’, Together, vol. 76, pp. 16-33 9

also invites us to become one with him in his Paschal Mystery (Passion, Death and Resurrection), so that he can bring us with Him on His Paschal journey into fuller life in the concrete circumstances of our own daily lives. For that to happen, though, we have to learn to lower our defenses, to cease to rely on our familiar ways of saving our lives at the cost of truth, justice, compassion, or any of the other values of the Kingdom. And we have to surrender our hold, allowing

In everything that we are and do, we look to Jesus, who is our Savior and Lord. Jesus is our model in our obedience to the Father, in our faithfulness to His call, and to total submission to His divine will. And as He who called us is holy, we ourselves will strive for holiness of life (1 Pt 1:15-16), and look to exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit in our day-to-day lives (Gal 5:22-23).

entered on hrist



Contributed by Mimi A. David CFCFFL Education Ministry International Coordinator

Rev. Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, OFM Cap. was invited by the Catholic Bishops Conference, Episcopal Commission of the Laity, and the Sangunian ng Laiko ng Pilipinas to co-journey with the clergy during the National Retreat for Priests on the occasion of the Year of the Priests and the Year of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary. Rev. Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, OFM Cap., a theologian, has been a preacher to the Papal Household for the past 30 years. As a preacher to the Papal Household, he delivers the weekly meditations during Advent and Lent. He delivers these in the presence of the Holy Father, cardinals and bishops of the Roman Curia, and the general superiors of the religious orders. He also conducts retreats and formation for the laity. In the morning, Rev. Fr. Cantalamessa’s talk centered on the Clergy and Laity Relationship. He

n January 28, 2010, the laity had the rare opportunity to spend a whole day being inspired and empowered by Rev. Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa at the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City.

made us appreciate that we are all called to holiness. According to Rev. Fr. Cantalamessa, “The universal call to holiness is a call to faith.” He further said that, “To be holy is the only way to realize oneself, and that Holiness is not invented, it exists, and we are invited to get it freely.” The afternoon session focused on Marriage and Family according to the Bible. He emphasized that “marriage and family is the first school of religion and faith”. He

further says that, “The basic mission of the family is evangelization.” The day started with a procession of the images of St. John Mary Vianney, the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus by the Diocese of Cubao. Praise and Worship for the whole day was led by the Light of Jesus Community. The sharer for the morning was Ortessa Macahilig. She shared about how she remained faithful and righteous amidst the oppressions she experienced at work. God also manifested His faithfulness to His people with all the blessings she received at work and in her own family. The afternoon sharers were Jojo and Ditsy Sumpaico. The couple shared about their family life and

how it has been enriched and blessed through their children as they continued to evangelize other families through their ministry. The day ended with a Eucharistic Celebration presided by His Eminence Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, who also served as the inspiration to this event. He was assisted by Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of the Diocese of Cubao, Bishop Jesse Mercado of the Diocese of Paranaque, Bishop Gabriel Reyes of the Diocese of Antipolo. The Apostleship of Prayer kept vigil at the Adoration Room throughout the event. The Couples for Christ Foundation for Family and Life was given the privilege of being the personal assistant of Rev. Fr. Cantalamessa during his stay in Manila. They also took charge of the program, the production, and the physical arrangements during the whole event at the Araneta Coliseum. It was a truly spirit-filled event and an inspiration for the clergy and laity to co-journey in building up the Church in the Philippines. This is truly an appropriate gift of the clergy and the laity to the Church as we celebrate the Year of the Priests. █


Sound the trumpetS

June 2010



Contributed by Jun and Helen Banaria CFCFFL USA

The pilgrimage started with a Mass at 8:00AM at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church and ended with an anticipated Mass at St. Thomas the Apostle Church. Each of the Church visited represented each of the seven Core Values of the community. Holy Masses, Rosaries, the Divine Mercy Chaplet and Stations of the Cross were offered for the personal intentions of the pilgrims and the community’s seven core values. This annual event was introduced by Gerry Padilla five years ago when

he C F C F F L Handmaids of the Lord, together with the “Angelspraying4u” Healing Ministry and the CFCFFL New Jersey, embarked on the FIFTH ANNUAL SEVENCHURCH PILGRIMAGE. It was held on Saturday, February 27, 2010.

she shared in New Jersey about how a group of Marian devotees of CFC were able to conduct the first SevenChurch Pilgrimage in the province of Batangas. Here in New Jersey, the first pilgrimage was held in the Bergen County area (North Jersey)

in 2006, followed by Central Jersey in 2007, and Jersey City in 2008. In 2009, it was held in South Jersey in the Atlantic City area. Aside from upholding Catholic devotional traditions, the pilgrimage aims to seek the Lord’s guidance as we live out the seven core values

of CFCFFL. Each pilgrim also lifts up his/her personal petitions. Furthermore, this activity is an opportunity for CFCFFL to establish a partnership with parishes. For 2011, we are planning to hold it in South Jersey in the Cape May area. The Churches visited and the special intentions offered included the following: 1. Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church Core value: Centered on Christ (Holy Mass) 2. St. Mary’s Church Core value: Evangelistic and Missionary (Glorious Mysteries) 3. Holy Family Church Core value: Focused on the Family (Joyful Mysteries) 4. St. Valentine Church Core value: Being Community (Sorrowful Mysteries and Miraculous Medal Novena) 5. Saint Peter Church Core value: Living a Preferential Option for the Poor (Luminous Mysteries) 6. Sacred Heart Church Core value: Servant Leadership & 2010 USA Conference (Stations of the Cross and Divine Mercy Chaplet) 7. St.Thomas the Apostle Church Core value: Being a Servant to the Catholic Church (Anticipated Mass) █

Centered on ChriSt


ll the MPC families in the Pearl of the Orient are all looking foward to the AWESOMENESS of God this 2010. For us here in the “Happiest Country in the World”, we could not just let the year start without echoing the conference “TRUST IN JESUS!” with the theme, “Jesus, I trust in You” where 130 members from all over Costa Rica gathered together as one family on January 24, 2010.
The event was hosted by the smart, feisty duo Nestor Villegas and


Contributed by KD Albino-Soler CFCFFL Costa Rica Missionary

listened and opened their hearts in all humility to the leadings of the Spirit. This made their talks more personal. Then, there was the sharing of Freddy Navaro-SPC who lost his job in January 2009. After a year, 40 interviews and tons of prayers, he was hired by a company with benefits better than he could ever hope for! Maria Amalia Rojas-SPC bravely shared how she lost her father three months ago. Though her heart was breaking, she put her full trust in our Father to make it whole again. Truly, these two fearless servants helped

and inspiring event. All for our Lord! The day culminated with a Mass celebrated by Rev. Fr. Enrique. He was instrumental in helping Edwin and Nila Andrews start MPC in

Margarita Lainez. It opened with worship by Fabio Garro-MPC. The inspiring talks of Luis Soler, Luis Campbell and our very humble Country Servant Julio Chaves were remarkable. Not only were they the mouthpiece of the Lord, they were also docile instruments. They

make this conference enriching! Since God is just so amazing in everything, He made sure that our brethren experience the fullness of the MPC culture and life-giving worship during this conference. Two talented brothers, Emilio and Juan, who came all the way from Nicaragua, served as the music ministry. The rest of the service team worked so hard! They served the kids with delight, made preparations for the liturgical celebration, prepared the meals, cleaned the area, prayed hard and interceded for a successful

Nicaragua. He also helped bring MPC in one of the provinces here in Costa Rica. Indeed, life in the community can be this spirited, though there may also be low points where situations can get rather frustrating. Failure, hurts and disappointments happen; sometimes caused by family members and close friends, but through it all, the Lord prevails. So, we thank God for giving us the theme, “TRUST


Sound the trumpetS

June 2010



n the group photo are the Fraternidad (BoC) brothers and sisters here in Costa Rica. L-R: In front of the brothers are their respective beautiful wives: (Olman (Margarita not in the Photo), Ricardo and Leti, Luis and Ana, Jose Alberto and Leda, Julio and Cecil (Country Servants), Luis and KD, Nestor and Rosaura). █

IN JESUS”. It’s a call to trust the Almighty, the Holy, the Perfect, and in doing so, we learn to be more like Him, to be humble, to be patient, to forgive and above all, to love because He never fails. He never disappoints! Yes, 2009 was simply a great year of trusting the Lord for everybody in MPC Costa Rica. This conference affirmed that! We can’t wait for the AWESOMENESS of God to be revealed to us this year! Greater things are yet to come! See you all in PERU, brothers and sisters!!!█

Centered on ChriSt



Contributed by Rudy Romulo CFCSvFL Batangas

I saw the first daylight and breathed the first fresh air of this world on the 26th day of April, 1936 in the sleepy town of San Jose, Batangas, in the house of my parents, Rufino Romulo of Luisiana, Laguna and Trinidad Paez of San Jose, Batangas. For reasons unknown to me, nine months after I came into life, my parents parted ways. I grew up under the care of my grandmother on my maternal side. I survived my infancy and toddlerhood knowing that I was an orphan. My growing up years were difficult. There were physical and emotional burdens and struggles. At the age of eight, I already experienced what “more work and no play” meant. I had to be awake at 5:00 in the morning to start fetching water, an estimate of eighteen trips to and from the water source, to fill the six huge jars. Coming home late from this initial morning ordeal would mean harsh words from my waiting aunt. That was just the start of my day. After that, I had to clean the house, making sure that the wooden floors were tidy and shiny using coconut husks to polish the floor. It was after these chores that I was allowed to eat my breakfast and go to school. My day just started, but I was already exhausted and I was slowly beginning to lose my self-worth. A slight change in the routine would happen on Saturdays. After fetching water and cleaning the house,


pantalon na maluwang ang laylayan). Wearing my uncle’s pants embarrassed me, because it appeared like I was part of the female club of pedal-pushers. I remember having had a crush on a schoolmate in elementary. She became a classmate when we got into high school. I cannot walk her to her house from school because I had no appropriate pants to wear. It was only after my uncle got employed that I got myself new pants that fit. My crush became my girlfriend when we were in junior high school. I stopped schooling after High School in 1953. Because of the lack of financial support for college, I had to work. I just looked at the sky and spelled HOPE in my mind. When I was in my third year high school, I came across a beautiful passage from my English class: “If winter comes, then spring cannot be far behind.” “Let the night deepen, the dawn is coming.” “Behind the dark cloud is the sun brightly shining.” From my Pilipino subject (Florante and Laura)… “Walang mangyayari

I would grab my favorite toys; my bolo, saw, ax and small “puthaw” and bring them to the woods where I would cut wood. There in the woods, I would rest my young tired body and start dreaming of being free, even if only temporarily. I would dream - tired, sad, and alone. I finished my elementary education in 1950. At that time, I learned the

meaning of survival and endurance. High school became more challenging for a fast-growing young boy. By the time I entered my teens, I was six-feet tall. The work routine in the house continued. With no new clothes to enjoy, I would use the old pants of my uncle. My uncle was far too short compared to me. In the 1950’s, ladies were wearing the pedal-pusher (bitin na


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June 2010

sa balat ng lupa di may mangyayaring Iyong ninanasa.” Another chapter in my life was starting to unfold…. At 17, I was working as a construction worker. I joined my uncle Maneng Magtibay in his project of making septic tanks (poso negro). The job was very physically challenging. My daily salary was P2.50 while that of my uncle was P20.00. During harvest season, I joined my Lola and aunt in harvesting rice. I also became fascinated with basketball and would play the sport every night. That same year (1953), we heard that my mother was still alive. It was uncertain news though, so we never bothered to look for her. At that time, as I was thinking of my future, I told myself I needed to prepare for tomorrow – I had to finish college and get a higher paying job. I cannot be a construction worker forever. In 1955, after my uncle finished his Civil Engineering course in Mapua, I asked my grandmother if I could enroll at the University of the Philippines in Los Banos, Laguna. After sometime, I finally got her consent. I enrolled in the College of Agriculture and challenged myself that I will be able to graduate in four years time. As a sophomore, I joined the U. P. Student Catholic Action and was tasked to handle catechetical classes at Lopez Elementary School. In the summer of 1957, after twenty one years, I met my father for the first time. I was then carrying on with my life, more as a college student and an athlete than anything else. I became a member of the U. P. C. A. Basketball Varsity Team during my junior and senior college years. I also became basketball player in the yearly intramural basketball competition. Then, my wish came true. I got my college diploma in the summer of 1959. That same year, I joined the APO service fraternity and was inducted in the Theta Chapter. At this point, my world was starting to change – I was seeing freedom and hope and was rebuilding my shattered selfesteem.


In June of 1959, I got my first teaching job at the Batangas National High School as H. S. T. 1 (High School Teacher 1) at P160.00/month. I shared my earnings with the people who challenged me to be better and strong - most especially my grandmother. In September of 1960, my grandfather who took care of me, died; then my aunt went the following year. The highlight in my adult life came when I married Necitas on January 23, 1965 in Bauan, Batangas. She was my partner and my inspiration in the next chapter of my life. Necitas and I have six wonderful and God-fearing children. 1971 to 1981 was a challenging decade for me as a family man and provider - that of taking full responsibility for my children’s college education and meeting the other financial needs of the family. It was also the time to look for other job opportunities to augment my salary as a teacher. I opted to join the Manila Bankers Life Insurance Corporation. In 1981, I was promoted as Division Supervisor for Vocational Education. In 1984, I became an Adviser of C. A. P. (College Assurance Plan) and was eventually promoted as Branch Manager the year after. I also solicited insurance policies on weekends and was able to buy a second hand Honda motorcycle from my commissions. By the year 1987, there was another highlight in my life – we joined the first batch of the C. L. P. (Christian Life Program) of Couples for Christ in Batangas City. My spiritual life was taking shape because of my active participation in CFC. Blessings in the family began to pour in 1991 to the year 2000. All my children were able to graduate from college with courses they personally chose. Then, I earned my first commission worth one million from C. A. P. This enabled me to buy a second hand car and a brand new



color television set. My foreign trips abroad were likewise rewarding. I was able to join the tour to the Holy Land (Jerusalem in Israel, Lourdes in France, Rome in Italy, Fatima in Portugal, Spain, Paris in France). I visited my daughter in Los Angeles, California and my sister-in-law in New Jersey, New York. My son Joey and I took a trip together in Sydney, Australia. I attended the First International SOLD (Servant of the Lord) Conference in Brunei in 2001. In 1993, I was a recipient of the Model Parent Award from P. T. A. (Parents Teachers Association) of Batangas National High School. In 1997, my family got the award for Huwarang Pamilya ng Lungsod ng Batangas. In that same year, we were chosen as one of the eighty Huwarang Pamilya ng Pilipinas. These awards were indeed fulfilling. **** In 2002, I survived my first mild stroke (no hospitalization) and continued giving talks in the C. L. P. 2003 was a significant year in my personal and spiritual life. My wife Necitas underwent heart by-pass operation. While she was in the hospital, I went to Sta. Cruz, Occidental Mindoro to meet the promised speaking engagement in the C. L. P. My wife joined the Lord on April 25, 2003. During her wake, I also complied with my commitment to give a talk in Paharang West. Three days after my wife’s interment, I survived my second stroke – I was confined in a hospital for three days. **** I am now enjoying my precious time with my family and friends. Being a lay minister, a speaker in C. L. S. (Christian Life Seminar) and a Servant of the Lord – these complete me more. **** Rodolfo, who was once sad, tired, alone and in deep emotional anguish is now happy and free. The Lord handed to him beautiful gifts he truly deserves.█

Centered on ChriSt



Contributed by Stephen Ramos CFCFFL Visayas Regional Coordinator

I do the “pamamalengke”(marketing) every Thursday so that we can devote our weekends for community activites. My average daily income was about a thousand pesos only, so it was hard to imagine how we could make both ends meet. However, to our surprise, even if I set aside the 10% from budget for food from my Wednesday income for my tithe, we still had enough. I also experienced that once, when I decide not to give my Wednesday tithe, we went short of budget. From then on, God made us realize that we really have to prioritize Him (in this case, setting aside what is due to Him) and He will do the rest. Tithe-giving became our commitment. We made it a point to remit our tithes every Community assembly. We came to a point where we deducted 10% even from the “pasalubong” (token) money from our relatives abroad. After committing to give what is due Him, the test of our faithfulness came. We had to sell our FX to finance business endeavors we planned to pursue. We promised God that we will donate a fixed amount from the proceeds of the sale to Gawad Kalinga (GK), our community’s work with the poor. However, we couldn’t sell the car at our desired price. The offers that we were getting were way below what we expected. It took a month of waiting for us to finally take the best offer which was way below our desired price. But before the payment was made, Flor asked me if we still had plans to

y wife and I entered the community through Singles for Christ (SFC). My wife, Flor, first joined the community and was instrumental in bringing me in. We got married in 1999. A year after, God blessed us with our one and only child, Tristan, who turned 10 last April 27 this year.


After Tristan’s birth, I was called to serve in SFC as unit head, though we wanted to move on to CFC. However, since SFC was in need of leaders, we decided to stay in the ministry for the time being. Afterwards, we became Chapter Head, then Cluster Head, and then eventually Provincial Head of SFC. Finally, we were assigned as Family Ministries Head. Serving in the ministry is not an easy task, especially if you don’t have enough financial resources to sustain the activities of the ministries and CFC. Being newly-weds and still starting to build our own family with a baby to feed, we went through financial difficulties. My source of income then was my “pamamasada” of our own FX, while my wife was an employee in a private corporation. With all the increasing

bills and expenses, we hardly could make ends meet. But this did not deter us from giving our obligations to the community - our monthly tithe. Initially, we encountered difficulties in tithing. Human as we are, fear overcame us, because even without giving our tithe, we were always short of our budget. How much more with only 90% of our income being used for our daily needs? There were also times when we succumbed to the temptation of not remitting our tithe. However, we realized that our financial condition still did not improve. On the contrary, it worsened. After months of reflection and prayers, we decided that since our budget was always short anyway, then let it be. We realized that our financial situation was beyond our control. Since we were always short financially anyway, we decided to remit our tithes regularly despite our difficulty. We started with a fixed amount per month, and gradually increased the amount every month. On my part, it was easier since after a whole day of “pasada”, I immediately set aside the 10% of my take-home income and put it inside an improvised plastic tithe envelope which I made myself. It was more difficult for Flor since she receives her salary every 15th and 30th of the month. But with God’s grace, we were able to give what rightfully belonged to the Lord to further His Kingdom and not only what was left after all our expenses. I remember that Flor and I agreed that my Wednesday income will be my “pamalengke” (marketing)money.


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Contributed by Xavier S. Padilla CFC Kids for Family and Life International Coordinator


We also shared about the World Kids Conference that happened last weekend in Lipa. We shared that kids, no matter how young, are ready to know Christ and be good examples to others. One major realization from all those experiences is that the world needs people to stand up for their faith and their beliefs. Pope Benedict XVI is being attacked from all fronts by people who want to weaken the foundation of the Catholic Church. Unfortunately, some of those who attack him are from our Catholic Church! It boggles the mind how they can do that. Here in the Philippines, we also need people who will stand up for what is right. We spend so much time teaching people about God; about give the promised amount to GK, considering that the proceeds was just enough to pay for a second hand car. As an accountant she knew that the proceeds can no longer provide for the seed money that we wanted for the new business, which is the primary purpose of selling the FX. Without thinking twice, I said that we will give what we promised,

ast night, Des and I shared at the CFCFFL Seniors Assembly at Starmall. We shared about our International Youth Forum experience, the miracles that happened to get us there, what we learned, and what we still want to do for the community and for the Church.

living out their faith; about being pro-life; about serving others. When called to task, we hope that we taught them well enough to make the right decisions. The world is looking at the Philippines for leadership in terms of being Pro-Life. We are practically the only country left that is Pro-Life! That’s why I am SO PROUD to be in CFCFFL. A few days ago, we came up with a letter to the Bishops on our own stand about pro-life. With the upcoming election, we cannot say we are ProLife if we elect people who are for passing the RH (Reproductive Health) Bill. It just can’t be done. I am so proud that my community has taken a prophetic stand on this issue. We stand up being the LIGHT to the world! We HAVE to speak up even if it makes us unpopular. I shared also that the CFC Community (and now CFCFFL) started when Marcos was president. It grew by leaps and bounds when Cory Aquino was president. I joined when Ramos was president. I was fulltime when Joseph “Erap” even if it meant not having that needed capital. We shall surrender all our plans to God. God is truly a faithful and loving God! The transaction did not push through for some reason or another. However, a few days later, the Lord sent us a new buyer who bought the car at our desired price! Truly, the Lord cannot be outdone. Just remain faithful

Estrada was president. I started serving with my own family when GMA (Gloria Macapagal Arroyo) was president. This community will be around no matter who the president is. No matter what storms come, no matter what controversies come, no matter if people agree with us or not, we will survive and thrive because WE ARE STANDING UP FOR WHAT IS RIGHT. That is what matters. Yes, I am in CFCFFL. And I am proud to be in CFCFFL. And I am beaming with joy that we are a community that is not only Pro-Life and Catholic in name, but we are ProLife and Catholic in who we are and what we do, from the inside out.█

and give the Lord what is due Him and what is rightfully His. Always remember that tithing is the secret to an abundant life and is given for the sake of giving, and not for the sake of getting. Giving serves the Giver and so many others. It returned a hundredfold. May God be praised!█

Centered on ChriSt


he children anticipated that it was going to be a prayerful journey, but they did not quite expect that the activity would be so much fun as well! Every month, the children of CFC Kids for Family and Life (CFCKFL), together with children from other parishes and public/private schools, would trek on board huge air-conditioned buses to the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage Cathedral of Antipolo for the Children’s Rosary Pilgrimage.
The starting point of the Children’s Rosary Pilgrimage is the first station of The Way of Mary Shrine, which is the First Joyful Mystery located at the EDSA Shrine. They then move on to the succeeding stations/mysteries, situated along various points along Ortigas Avenue, Ortigas Avenue Extension, and up to the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage Cathedral in Antipolo City. The children are transported by buses sponsored by various partners of the Children’s Rosary Movement and the Family Rosary Crusade. On board, the children are given the opportunity to reflect on each mystery and pray the Holy Rosary, facilitated by parish catechists The children and their CFCKFL Coordinators, parents, and teachers converge at the assigned parish every month. There, the parish priest would


Contributed by Myra M. Menguito CFCFFL Education Ministry

give them a brief explanation on what a pilgrimage is. He would also remind them that though it is a fun journey, the pilgrimage is not a field trip. Rather, each should keep a prayerful mode throughout the pilgrimage. Before sending them off, the parish priest prays over them. Seeing these young pilgrims gathered around their parish priest is such a sight to behold.

especially after deeply understanding and appreciating each mystery. They also have fun answering Rosary trivia questions and taking home loot bags courtesy of the Ortigas Foundation. The participants are then brought back to the parish where they were picked up.

On board the bus, catechists from the Sister Handmaids of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul Orphanage explain each mystery to the children, allowing them to appreciate and reflect on the life of Jesus and Mary. The children arrive at the Antipolo Cathedral in time for the 9:00 AM mass, usually celebrated by Msgr. Rigoberto S. de Guzman. Together with some cathedral catechists, Msgr. Rigo would have fellowship with the children and their guardians,teachers, CFCKFL Coordinators, providing meals for the pilgrims, and take-home “suman” (sticky rice). They also explain the history of the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage. What makes the trip extra special is the privilege given the pilgrims to kiss the mantle of Our Lady! On their way home, the children pray the Holy Rosary. It is a very meaningful p r a y e r ,


not end in this activity. The monthly CFCKFL gatherings serve as a venue for the coordinators to fortify the learnings. This activity is another aspiration of our beloved cardinal, the late Jaime Cardinal Sin. His desire was for the children, who are so close to the hearts of Jesus and Mary, go on a Rosary Pilgrimage. The pilgrimage is conducted every first Saturday of the month, except for the month of October which is the Children’s Rosary Rally month. A collaborative undertaking of the Family Rosary Crusade, the Children’s Rosary Movement, Ortigas Foundation, and CFC Foundation for Family and Life, this pilgrimage gathers not only the members of CFCKFL, but also children from CFCFFL’s Restoration Villages and Mission Villages, and partner schools (private and public ) of the CFCFFL Education Ministry and CFCKFL. A CFCKFL District is assigned for this monthly prayer-fun journey for 2010, as follows:
• • • • • • • • • • • February 6 - CFCKFL Cubao, together with students from Libis Elementary School March 6 - CFCKFL Novaliches, together with students from Malaya Elementary School April 10 - Christ the King Parish children c/o Msgr. Dan Sta. Maria (since CFCKFL will be busy preparing for the World Kids Congress) May 6 - CFCKFL Pasig, together with the children of the Parish of the Lord of the Divine Mercy (Sikatuna Village, Quezon City) June 5 - CFCKFL Paranaque July 3 - CFCKFL Manila August 7 - CFCKFL Antipolo September 4 - CFCKFL Caloocan and Malolos October 9 - 12th CHILDREN’S ROSARY RALLY November 6 - CFCKFL Novaliches December 4 - CFCKFL Pasig █

The values learned and the inspiration the children had does


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Contributed by Myra M. Menguito CFCFFL Education Ministry

The training was likewise attended by CFCSFL International Coordinator Patrick Oconer, who saw the program as another service area which the singles can look into. Ng Thanh Thao of Vietnam and Soung Lav of Cambodia were

he Education Ministry of CFCFFL had another Faith Enrichment Training last April 20, 2010. It was attended by volunteers from the Vicariate of the Our Lady of the Abandoned (Magdaong Mission Area) in Muntinlupa, under the District of Paranaque. Headed by Jun San Pedro, Chapter Servant of the Magdaong Mission Area, the team was very eager to offer the program in their area. Eventually, they will form the core of volunteers who will implement the program for the inmates and their families at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

also very optimistic in offering the program in their respective countries. All the participants remarked that they enjoyed the workshop and realized how easy it was to develop the faith session plans. The facilitators emphasized that aside from helping others deepen their Catholic faith, another goal of the program is to encourage more volunteers. What should also be ensured is that the Faith Sessions cover the Four Fundamental Tasks of Catechism: Promoting Knowledge of the Faith, Liturgical Education, Moral Formation and Teaching to Pray. The Faith Enrichment Program merely provides the basics of our faith, as outlined by the Four Fundamental Tasks. The goal is to lead others to an awareness, basic understanding, and appreciation of the Catholic faith. This is especially helpful to our beneficiaries in the Restoration Villages and Mission

Villages, as well as the NBP. This will also enhance the program we offer our kids ministry as well as parishes in need of support for their catechism activities. The public school system is another venue for this undertaking.█

Centered on ChriSt


We are called to proclaim the good news of Jesus to the whole world (Mk 16:15). We are his witnesses (Lk 24:48). Every CFC-FFL member is an evangelizer, in the normal day-to-day environments of our lives. We look to doing mission beyond our own environments to the very ends of the earth.


vangelistic & issionary

Contributed by Nani and Bing Almanza CFCFFL USA Country Coordinator

hen Nani and I decided to visit Africa this year, we tried to prepare as best we could with daily mass and sacrifices. On my part, I did the Stations of the Cross. I believe praying is important in our lives, especially when we go on mission.
Nani and I were scheduled for a month-long mission to Africa to begin on April 12. In the past, we would be away for a month or so, but this time, we had to be back before the end of April because our two grandchildren were going to have their First Communion. We promised to be present on this most important event in their lives. Our son, Ron, took us to the airport in the morning of April 12. We were to fly from Seattle to Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C. and then take a flight out to Johanessburg via Senegal, then Joburg to Botswana. After 29 ½ hours of flying time and lay-overs put together, we finally arrived in Botswana. We had a week to do our pastoral visit in Botswana. Every day was spent with meetings, visits to the priests that support our community, as well as putting in place the structure of CFCFFL in the areas. There were many challenges, but none that the Lord could not handle. All we had to do was lift them up to him. Behold, miracles of miracles, God did take care of everything! At 24
Sound the trumpetS † June 2010


one instance, Nani and I were trying to save some money by not flying out from Botswana to Malawi, which was the next country we were to visit. Airfares were so expensive. This meant using the bus and arriving in Johanessburg at night. My biggest fear was being attacked once again in a city known for the presence of people that rob, molest and kill. I prayed so hard that with

God’s love for Nani and myself, He would find a way for us to either travel to Joburg by private transport, where we were willing to share with gas expense. Initially, our host family, Pat and Marlyn Alpadjora found a way. We would leave in the morning of April 18, and meet up with a couple at the border of Ramatlababa and ride with them to Joburg. We thank God for this answered prayer!!! April 17 was our last day at Botswana. It was also the day when the CFCFFL members were gathered for a general assembly. The activity went very well and

there were great sharings from the members. One that touched me so much was from the wife of the couple coordinator of CFC Youth for Family and Life. As she shared, “We have been in community for the past 10 years. We thank Nani and Bing for bringing CFCFFLl to us and for their continued support for us all these years. When we ask ourselves what we can give back to the Lord for the blessing of CFCFFL, we should be led to reflect on how we live our lives as Christians so that we become living witnesses to others. Have we become better Christians? Have our conversions come full circle so that we can show others what God has done in our lives? The only way we can give back to the Lord is by looking at our lives and see where God is.” This made me sob and cry. Truly, where has our Christian journeys taken us? Have we changed for the better? Do we have better and strong relationships with our families, friends, relatives and brethren in CFCFFL? Do we have an intimate and personal relationship with God? Do we come before our Blessed Mother to ask for her intercession and prayers? Where are we in our walk with the Lord? Before the assembly ended, Nani and I

got the biggest surprise of our lives. It was announced that the community, through its leaders, decided to buy us airline tickets from Botswana to Joburg, and on to Malawi. This was going to be Tuesday morning, where we were now going to Malawi on the same day as our earlier booking. Once again, I cried. I cried at the goodness of God and of His love for me and Nani. I cried at the joy of knowing that in spite of this being a burden to our members, they gave it out of love for God and for Nani and myself. I could not contain myself and thank God for once more showing us His faithfulness. With this development, the other activities planned for our visit to Botswana did not have to be sacrificed. Our scheduled meeting with all the youth leaders happened Sunday afternoon. They were so fired up after that. They had all the plans to open CFCYFL in schools and other areas. God’s goodness can never be outdone! On Monday morning, we had a meeting with the parish priest of Christ the King Cathedral. It was a very fruitful meeting where he agreed to be the Spiritual Director of CFCFFL in the area as soon as the bishop approves. He even agreed to visit the Philippines in January of 2011.

On Tuesday morning, we left Botswana knowing that God’s work in CFCFFL will flourish and continue to grow. Once again, we felt God’s victory. He has triumphed over the evil one. We got to the airport early for our 10:00 AM flight from Botswana to Joburg and finally to Malawi. Once inside the boarding area, we heard the announcement that all flights were being cancelled because of bad weather. The earliest flight out would be 1:30 PM. This meant we will miss our 3:00 PM flight to Malawi. Believing that prayers are very powerful, I came before the Lord once more. God led us to our

godchildren, Eugene and Rachel, who went looking for us when they heard about the cancellation of flights. Eugene was the project engineer of the runway that was presently under construction and he knew the airport manager. Through him, we were able to board the earliest flight at 11:45 AM. We got to Joburg around 1:30 PM and had plenty of time to wait for our flight to Malawi. Now, how does one explain these things? How can such miracles happen? Only by the grace and love of God!!! Satan continues to be at work non-stop. He found a way to distract

me in particular. From Botswana to Joburg, we were fed chicken sandwich and a choice of orange juice or mango juice. I went for the mango juice. Once we reached Joburg, my stomach started acting up. It went on even after we arrived in Malawi. That night, I had fever and felt quite sick. The next morning, Nani asked our host family to take me to emergency at a private hospital. Tests were taken to rule out malaria, kidney infection or any viral infection. Thank God, the tests turned out negative, but bacteria showed that I had food poisoning. The only explanation would be the airplane food I ate. Due to dehydration, I needed an IV drip and was given three bottle of this, plus four bottles of antibiotics. I had to stay in the hospital for one night and two days. All these time, Rose Mbekeani, wife of our CFCFFL leader in Malawi, and Flor Aguirre, wife of CFCFFL Malawi full time pastoral worker, stayed with me and never left my side. It was a time of sharing our stories and bonding with them. In the meantime, Nani went ahead with the schedules prepared for us. He visited the four schools where CFCYFL are now in place. He also met with the leaders of the areas, as well as the potential members willing to attend the CLS. God prepared my body to be strong for the coming days. Saturday was the day of the consecration of Father Montfort Stima, CFCFFL Malawi Spiritual Director, as Bishop of Blantrye. We had to be at the venue at (continued on page 27)
evangeliStiC & miSSionary


Contributed by Efren & Flor Aguirre CFCFFL Malawi Missionary Couple

FCFFL has really made itself felt and has also been able to show active participation in being servants of the Church in Malawi.


Our missionary couple to Malawi was invited by the nuns for the Feast of the Monfort Congregation. Present were the Monfort Fathers, Sisters, and Brothers together with Archbishop Ziyaye, Bishop Fagani, and Bishop Stima, author of many inspiring religious books. Other attendees were Mario Belotti, Bishop Mangochi, Bishop Fagani and Sister Annie, Superior General of our Daughters of Wisdom. The Mother Superior of the Servants of the Blessed Virgin Mary - a local congregation in Malawi, was also present. █

Monfort Fathers, Sisters and Brothers with Archbishop Ziyaye,Bishop Fagani, Bishop Stima, Mario Belotti (wearing dark eyeglass)

Flor Aguirre with Mother Superior of the Servants of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a local congregation in Malawi

With the Bishop of Mangochi, Bishop Fagani and Superior General of Our Daughters of Wisdom, Sister Annie



he Pastoral Visit of the Regional Servants of CFCFFL Malawi, Nani and Bing Almanza, was truly “A Week of Encouragement” for all CFCFFL members in Malawi. They arrived on April 20, 2010 and stayed up to April 27, 2010. Although Bing got sick and was hospitalized for
Sound the trumpetS † June 2010

Contributed by Efren and Flor Aguirre CFCFFL Malawi Misionary Couple

two days, it did not stop them from doing the work of God here in Malawi. You can see in them the strength and the joy in doing

Truly, God is good all the time!! Praise God for sending us Nani and Bing to encourage us to give our all to God. █

God’s work of evangelization. Just imagine, Bing danced the “Deep , Deep, Deep” with the CFCFFL children!!! On the other hand, Nani was moving to and fro from one mission area to another (“parang lagare.. punta doon, punta rito”), just to give talks to our brothers and sisters in different areas even while Bing was in the hospital.


(continued from page 25) 8:00 AM so we could get good seats. The rain came but this did not stop the faithful from attending. Thank God we were at the front row seats near all the priests and bishops. The whole ceremony lasted five hours, but we never got restless. The music was African and so upbeat. During the offertory, people from the different parishes brought in chickens, goats, cows, fruits and others. The president of Malawi gave a refrigerator and there were other material gifts. The Archbishop, Tarcisius Ziyaye, said that it was his first time to witness such offering in abundance. Around 3,000 people came. What a sight! Our visit to Malawi was also full of surprises. We got to have lunch with Archbishop Ziyaye and Bishop Stima. We met with the priest incharge of lay apostolates and he was very eager to get CFCFFL in the different parishes. The structure of CFCFFL was put in place and all the assigned leaders were excited to move forward with the work. God cannot be outdone in his faithfulness. Nani and I were to leave Malawi on Tuesday morning

via Lilongwe instead of from Blantyre. This meant another six hours drive to the airport because of bad roads. On Sunday afternoon, after the general assembly, George and Rose Mbekeani, and Efren and Flor Aguirre told us they have bought a ticket to fly us out from Blantrye to Lilongwe, which was another miracle of God’s great love for us. It was like being on seventh heaven with the Lord. I could hear Him say, “This is just a taste of my reward for your faithfulness”. On Monday, the assigned

leaders came to say good-bye and wish us a safe trip. Bishop Stima also came. It was time to leave Africa on Tuesday morning. It was a very short visit of two weeks. God’s goodness continued to overwhelm us. We got VIP treatment as we arrived in Lilongwe. We were met at the airport by the director of communications in the office of the president of Malawi. He happens to be the boyfriend of the eldest daughter of our host, George and Rose. He got us from the plane to the VIP room and our luggage picked up by an airport personnel who took care of transferring it to our next flight. How can one beat such accommodations? I am in awe… in awe of our good God! Even if our flight back to the United States was long and tiring, I cannot thank God enough for His great love for Nani and myself. He was totally in control of everything. He made the impossible possible and allowed us to experience miracle after miracle. He showed us what He can do for us in our lives as long as we remain faithful to Him and allow Him to do what He needs to do in our lives. God is awesome! Awesome is He!!!!█

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ay 9, 2010 was a day of love and joy for the youth in the Archdiocese of Blantyre! Students from different schools, universities, youth from the parishes, and even the out-of-school youth attended this gathering. Their ages range from 9 to 35 years old.
The Archbishop of Malawi, Archbishop T.G.Ziyaye, celebrated the Holy Eucharist. He inspired the youth in his homily. The Youth


Contributed by Efren and Flor Aguirre CFCFFL Malawi Missionary Couple

Chaplain also delivered encouraging words to the youth, priests, nuns, and brothers from different congregations. They also had the opportunity to share their own vocation stories and experiences. George and Rose Mbekeani (CFCFFL Malawi members) talked about the marriage vocation and the CFCFFL community. Their daughter, Eliza, gave the talk, “Power to Succeed” and Ekari, their nephew, talked about “Deciding to be a

Winner”. Mr. Phiri, the National Coach of the Malawi Football Team who shared during the assembly, inspired not only the youth but the elders too - priests, sisters, brothers, parents and teachers. After the talks, games and presentations from different schools followed. It was really a joyful and fruitful day for all! The CFCFFL spearheaded this event. █


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Contributed by Efren and Flor Aguirre CFCFFL Malawi Missionary Couple

It was a very happy moment, indeed. It was just like a “Fiesta” (feast)! The altar was well-decorated. The people were singing and dancing. Gifts were overflowing. The affair was very well-attended. The Papal Nuncio of Zambia/Malawi,

t was a bright morning last April 24, 2010. A big day for the Archdiocese of Blantyre, it marked the ordination of Msgr. Stima, our “Kuya” (elder brother), as the Archbishop of Blantyre.

Archbishop T.G.Ziyaye, Archbishop of Malawi, and the seven Bishops and more or less 55 priests attended the big event. The different religious congregations all over Malawi likewise witnessed the ordination. The newlyweds, President Bingo Mhutarihka of Malawi and his First Lady, were also there. It was also graced by many more dignitaries members of Parliament, the Supreme Court Chief Justice, the different church organizations, parishes and out-stations (small Christian

communities from far away areas). The CFCFFL National Servant of the USA and the Regional Servant of South and East Africa, Nani and Bing Almanza, also witnessed this special moment. (Note: Bing was just discharged from the hospital the day before the event). The Ordination of Msgr. Stima, now the Auxiliary Bishop of Blantyre, in Malawi “AMBUYE”, was a truly memorable one! █

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e have been evangelizing youth in the secondary (boarding) school for girls through youth camps since November 2009. The first camp the Lord blessed us with was conducted for St. Mary’s ( for their 1st & 3rd year students), Zomba Diocese and Providence (for their 1st to 4th year students), and Blantyre Diocese. In January this year, we had another camp for the 2nd and 4th year students of St. Mary’s Secondary School. Another youth camp was held in February 2010 for the 1st to 4th year students of


Contributed by Elizabeth Mbekeani CFCSFL Malawi

The girls really enjoyed learning new lively Christian songs. Being so young and full of life, they enjoyed the fast action songs. They also enjoyed the different games interspersed between each talk. Most of them were very attentive and they actively participated in the group discussions. According to the Headmistresses of the different schools, the girls became more focused and behaved after they joined the CFC Youth for Family and Life. The Headmistresses were grateful for our efforts in reviving the spiritual life

Stella Maris. The average number of participants was 300 per school

of their students. They encouraged us to continue doing the work of evangelization and the strengthening of the spiritual lives of the young not only in their schools, but the whole of Malawi. On the other hand, the students who participated in the camps expressed how they enjoyed learning new songs and playing games. More importantly, they learned to relate well with their classmates. What was most touching to hear was how the students shared experiencing God’s love and growing in the Spirit. They have developed their own personal prayer time where they can talk to God and read Scriptures to listen to what He has to say. The service team for the Youth Camps conducted consisted of Emma Mbekeani, Ekari Malonda, George Jonathan “GJ” Mbekeani, and myself. We were assisted by CFCFFL leaders, Efren and Flora Aguirre,


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June 2010

and our parents, George and Rose Mbekeani. Further, allow me to share with you some reflections we made as we continue to grow in community life: ELIZABETH: Joining CFCSFL gave me confidence to speak in public. I did not only learn new songs, but I also learned the proper posture for prayer and worship. I have learned to be thankful for the blessings we receive. EMMA: I joined the community with the aim of strengthening my spiritual life as well as have the confidence to stand in front of an audience and spread the Gospel. Indeed, I achieved this short-term goal. The first few times were nervewrecking, but the power of the Holy Spirit helped me overcome my fears. EKARI: My joining CFC Youth for Family and Life has significantly altered many aspects of my life. My spiritual life was deepened as I attended various activities. Listening to other people’s testimonies and experiences did not only strengthen me, but they also reminded me that I am not alone. GJ: I learned so much and have come to meet new friends with whom I can share my problems. Our meetings and camps led me to the right path. CFCYFL also made me more confident in facing a crowd. I use this confidence to share the Word of God with my fellow youths. We, the CFCFFL Malawi youth, are grateful to the Lord for sending angels like Efren and Flora Aguirre. They are the kindest and most caring people we have ever met. They are doing God’s work to the best of their ability. They are dedicated and diligent. Without them we wouldn’t have the understanding and knowledge of our Lord the way we do now.█
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Contributed by Alex Visalda CFCFFL Warsaw, Poland Chapter Servant

he Christian Life Seminar (CLS) for CFCFFL Poland was planned two years ago. However, we encountered several obstacles which forced us to reschedule it countless times. This did not dampen our spirits. We were never discouraged believing that one day, the perfect timing for the CLS will come because we believe God is on our side. We were very much inspired by the passage from Galatians 6:9 which says, “Let us not become

God finally rewarded our perseverance.We conducted our first CLS last February 13-14, 2010 in Warsaw at the Parish of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church. It was a day to reckon with that people of different nationalities attended the CLS on the weekend of Valentine’s Day. Participants from the US, Poland and the Philippines gathered to listen and be imbibed with God’s teachings.

weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

From the 22 participants of our mega CLS, 2 couples joined the CFCFFL, 4 joined CFC Singles for Family and Life, and the rest became CFC Handmaids for Family and Life members. The CFCFFL Vienna Mission Center provided the much needed assistance for this harvest. Our deepest gratitude to Jun and Myrna Panganiban, Larry and Babeth Castillo, and Cocoi Javier. We pray that CFCFFL Poland will be able to continue God’s work and strive for holiness. God really showed His Love on Valentine’s Day. █


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June 2010




Contributed by Edna Lyn T. Morales CFCFFL Ecuador Missionary

It was a rainy weekend for everyone who joined the youth camp at the Schoenstatt Retreat House and singles and handmaids retreat at the Sabanilla House last April 17 and 18, 2010. Nevertheless, the rain gave a sure sign from heaven that everything that was about to unfold shall be victorious. And it did! Thirty-two youth joined the first ever camp of the year while 50 singles and handmaids embarked on a journey to discover their emotions as Christians during their retreat. The powerful presence of the Lord was strongly felt as each moment manifested His utmost nearness. Praise God for the service team who, even though lacking sleep, came like soldiers who were ready to fight for their king! The talks and sharings made the participants gauge how near or far they were from their journey

wo things struck me as I reflect on the reading today: one was the casting of the net on the right side of the boat as told by Jesus to the apostles, and a huge harvest of 153 fishes.

towards Christ. The youth wept as they asked forgiveness from God and their parents. The dialogue between parent and child was a sight to behold as they embraced each other, just like the way the father embraced his prodigal son. A healing session with the singles and handmaids became an essential factor in the retreat as most of them expressed their varied fears, and not just simple fears, but the kind which handicapped them from fully receiving the unconditional love and blessings of the Lord. All of us are prodigal sons by nature, but a camp or retreat is not complete without the presence of participants who would actually make you go down on your knees to storm the gates of heaven with prayers. Truly, only God can melt the hardest of hearts and make one beg for mercy and cry with remorse. I am truly amazed at how our Lord changes His people. The spectrum of God’s abundant grace was showered on everyone including the service team. Not only did He change the campers, but He changed all of us too. The Lord is mighty. He allowed us to experience the 153 fishes in a weekend: 32 youth, double it with the number of parents who came; 50 singles and handmaids; 25 members of the service team and more than 14 who dropped by to say a prayer. Thank you, Lord, for allowing us to cast our nets that weekend and experience the fullness of Your 153 harvest! Praise be to God!█
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Con la fuerza del Espíritu Santo, del 13 al 14 de febrero realizamos Seminario de Vida Cristiana en un lugar llamado Pajonal como a 100 kms de la Ciudad de Panamá (Este SVC fue a manera Retiro) Formamos dos equipos de Servicio para desarrollar: 1. 2. 3. Un Campamento para JPC, participaron 22 Jóvenes El SVC, participaron 20 Siervas, 5 Matrimonio y 3 Siervos El total de participantes en el SVC y Campamento fue de 55 personas.


Contributed by Vidal y Ma. Isabel López CFCFFL Panamá

is querido hermanos,

Quiero compartir con ustedes: Cuando comenzamos a organizar este Retiro, todo el Equipo sentía temor de no poder realizarlo, sobre todo que nunca habían tenido la experiencia de compartir una Charla, igualmente los jóvenes estaban iguales, pero el Señor que cumple todas sus promesas, nos envió a KD. desde Costa Rica y tuvimos una semana de entrenamiento continuo, ella fue un Angel de Dios, fue en el preciso momento que Dios nos estaba dando respuesta a nuestras suplicas. Hermanos y Hermanas de MPC. El Espíritu Santo se nos manifestó con su Gracia y su Misericordia, todos los que no creían poder dar

una Charla la dieron magistralmente, hubieron muchos testimonios de la presencia del Señor, hermanos el Señor cumple cada una de sus Promesas. “No fueron ustedes los que me escogieron a mí, fui YO quien los escogí a ustedes” Jn 15:16. Un abrazo a todos mis hermanos de Matrimonios para Cristo y gracias por sus oraciones y sigan orando por MPC de Panamá para que sea una Comunidad que crezca en Servicio y Santidad. También pedimos oraciones por la recuperación de nuestro hermano Carlos, todavía permanece en el Hospital debido a problemas del corazón. Como María: Todo por Jesús.█

Contributed by Vidal and Ma. Isabel López CFCFFL Panamá

he Holy Spirit has again manifested His grace and mercy on His people last February 13 and 14, 2010. We finished our Christian Life Seminar (CLS) in a place called Pajonal, 100 kms from Panama City. It was a CLS designed as a retreat.


“You did not choose me; it was I who chose you” (John 15:16)
Two service teams were formed to conduct the Youth Camp for 22 youth, and the Mega CLS for 5 couples, 20 Handmaids, and 3 Servants. This gave us an additional 55 persons that we have brought to the Lord. When we started to organize this retreat, the whole service team was very anxious whether this retreat

All those who thought that they couldn’t give a talk gave very powerful testimonies of God’s presence in their lives. Once more, our Lord had accomplished His promise: 34
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would even push through. The greatest fear was that no one in the team had any experience in giving a talk. However, God fulfilled His promise by sending KD AlbinoSoler (our missionary from Costa Rica) to help us! We had a week of continuous training to prepare us for the Camp and the CLS. She was God’s angel, and she came at the precise moment as God’s answer to all our supplications. CFCFFL Panama is a community opening itself to be led to grow in service and holiness.█

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Contributed by Ansel Beluso CFCFFL District of Antipolo


No experience in mission for God in our community has this truth been most gloriously proven as in the recent European blitz we did with CFCFFL Regional Coordinators for Europe, Tony and Ruby Borja. It brought us to Vienna, Milan, Rome, Hannover, Oslo and Lausanne where we gave the “Love Life, Live Life” pro-life seminar workshop to our brethren who passionately soaked in the powerful Ansel Beluso at the “Love Life, Live Life” Conference in Vienna message of God with intensified faith that produced a our community to Sudan. For me, more vigorous commitment and the powerful proof that God was conviction for renewing the family watching over me was the fact that I did not have to shell out any money and defending life. for the ticket that Qatar Airways gave Ruby counted no less than 10 me to continue with my journey. major oppressions we encountered Second, I lost my passport in on mission. First, on my way to Vienna, which was the first leg of Milan! Immediately, I rejected any the mission trip, I overslept while hope of still recovering my travel document and contemplated the waiting for my connecting flight at prospects of proceeding to the rest of the departure lounge of the Doha the mission destinations, no longer International Airport. The plane by plane where passports needed to left me to marinate and ruminate for 36
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he greatest victory is, indeed, plumbed from the depths of the greatest difficulties. And the most magnificent triumph is forged in the smoldering furnace of human suffering.

more than 30 hours to wait for the next flight. But God’s grace shone through. The incident gave me the opportunity to pray and discern precisely how the Lord wanted to use me in the mission up ahead. I felt closest to Him while praying a total of 24 mysteries of the Holy Rosary. I was also able to talk with two compatriots which may pave the way for us to bring

be presented at the airport, but by train where, with a lot of prayers, I claimed to be able to evade random immigration check. However, I did not reckon with the international prayer brigade of CFCFFL which Ruby summoned without delay. The ears of heaven must have been deafened by the insistent prayers from all over planet Earth that a miracle had to be done. The following day, with the intent of going first to the train station to find out whether anyone has surrendered a lost passport; next, to the police to report the incident; and then to the various branches of Philippine banks where we have been told people who find stolen Filipino passports go to return them, Nanding Cinco accompanied me to do “Oplan: Lost Passport”. On the first stop of our operations for the day, we recovered my passport from the girl manning the train station’s “lost and found” section. She had a quizzical look as she stared at me and Nanding bursting into “Praise You, Lord, Mighty King of Zion” with all the ebullience we could muster right there in the crowded train station. Third, Tony lost his voice on the eve of our side trip to Turin, effectively preventing him from giving the talk about how to express our

gratitude to God for providing for our brothers and sisters there.While on the train from Milan to Turin, only a few hours before Tony’s scheduled talk, i was informed that i would have to take this place in giving the talk. Fourth, Iceland’s Eyjafjoell volcano erupted, cancelling all domestic and international flights all over Europe including the one that would fly us from Milan to Rome. The trains were also overloaded. Good thing, two brothers volunteered to drive us all through the more than six-hour trip. We arrived in Rome at way past midnight with barely enough time to prepare for the seminar workshop at sun-up. Fifth, Ruby also totally lost her voice while we were in Rome all the way to Hamburg. She got it back just before the Germany National Conference in Hannover. Sixth, Ruby lost her bag inside the cubicle of a McDonald’s comfort room in Hamburg. In her bag were two credit cards, her driver’s license, two cell phones with all her precious contact numbers of CFCFFL members all over the world, the USB containing all the video materials of the Pro-Life Seminar Workshop, her rosary, her St. Benedict crucifix that has been blessed for exorcism and, thank God, very little amount of Euros. Seventh, after reporting the theft of the bag to the police, which took all of two hours, we were in the car on our way to our host in Hamburg, when suddenly a bicyclist crossed our path and our vehicle hit him causing him to suffer some head injuries. In a matter of minutes, the paramedics and the police came. Ruby and I stayed inside the car, praying fervently; first, casting out the evil forces, then reciting the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and the Rosary, while

pausing for a while to smile for the camera of an investigator who took photos of the car. It is ironic that Ronnie de Luna, who was driving the car, has been driving in Hamburg for more than 15 years without any record of a traffic violation, not even a parking ticket!

Ruby and Tony in St. Peter’s Square

Eighth, the usually efficient Ruby, who prides herself for being obsessive-compulsive about schedule arrangements and preparation details, somehow got confused and thought we were flying to Oslo on a Thursday when, in fact, it was to be the day before. The greatly mortified Ruby could only mumble that this has never happened in all of the 15 years that she has been constantly globetrotting for God. This is a

From left: Ronnie de Luna, Tony, Ruby, Ma. Paz Wenke, Gina Jambre, Rusty de Luna and Ansel after a hearty lunch in a Chinese resto in Hamburg.

huge oppression, indeed, as it not only made us purchase a new set of tickets, but also forced us to travel by train from Hamburg to Berlin – with our heavy luggage and at freezing temperatures at early morning – just to catch our flight to Norway. Ninth, Tony has a carry-on bag, which is usually accepted by airline

personnel into the plane’s overhead bin. Unfortunately, it was refused being too big and too heavy this time. Right there in the check-in counter, Ruby had to open the bag, expose the contents for everyone who cared to see, remove certain items and transfer them to a plastic bag. On top of that, we were forced to check-in the carry-on luggage and we had to shell out €100 for the excess weight! Fortunately, Raquel Schulz of CFCHFL Berlin was there and she offered to pay for it. Tenth, in Oslo, Ruby lost all the addresses in her webmail, Skybroadband address box. This is quite incomprehensible and it gave Ruby tremendous difficulty in reconfiguring and retrieving her address box to get in touch with brothers and sisters in Europe. Through all the great oppressions, we have reaped a bountiful harvest for the Lord. The success of the mission can be measured not only in the number of participants in the seminar workshops, but also in how we have now been able to establish our community’s Pro-Life Ministry at the very heart of the European continent where the fight for the culture of life already seems lost. God’s triumph could be seen in the glow of the faces of those who heard His word as well as in the queues of those who availed of the sacrament of confession during the event, which spoke of a deeper commitment and conviction for the defense of life especially in that part of the world. Indeed, in the spiritual desert of Europe, an oasis is being born. In the murky darkness of the European soul, a light of hope has been lit. May the Lord continue to bless our community’s efforts to champion the cause of Life as we remain steadfast in this great adventure for God! To God be the glory!█
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Our life and mission is founded on strong families in Christ. We recognize that the future of humanity passes by way of the family. We defend and strengthen Christian marriage, we raise our children to be the next generation of God’s people, we establish our homes as pieces of Kingdom ground. In our defense of the family, we are called to a strong advocacy and defense of the culture of life.


ocused on the amily

e just finished our Pro-Life Conference yesterday. Brian Clowes of Human Life International said that the Philippines is the last bastion for pro-life, the last spiritual superpower. Father Melvin Castro of the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life said that CFCFFL is the backbone of the pro-life movement in this country. Human Life International President, Father Thomas Euteneuer, says that only suffering has enough power to effect a change and get people to turn back to God from the current culture of death. Is this why God has brought CFCFFL to the book of Job? Are we being led to a deeper understanding of redemptive suffering? Are we going to be privileged to continue with our pro-life work and help lead the way to God’s victory for life? I believe so.
Satan is going to rage even more, especially against those who fight


Contributed by Frank Padilla CFCFFL Servant General

for life. If we are at the forefront of that, we can expect the devil’s rage to be directed at us. On our own, we are nothing. Though we are overwhelmed by the diabolical

powers arrayed against us in our prolife work, we are not afraid because God is for us. Let us humble ourselves and fully trust in the Almighty who is just and righteous.█


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Contributed by Xavier Padilla CFC Kids for Family and Life International Coordinator

he year 2010 started with a bang ... not only from the fireworks that lit up the night (and early morning) sky from December 31st to January 1st, but also from the Pro-Life Training held from January 5 to 7. It gathered almost 100 people from around the Philippines (as far as Davao and General Santos City) who were eager to learn more about pro-life issues.


and what we stand for. Dr. Clowes established that we need a clear goal in our Pro-Life work. Listening to all the topics, which included The Mission of the Pro-Life Movement, Source and Nature of the Anti-Life Mentality, Anti-Life Tactics, The Condom Conundrum,

Staunch pro-lifer Dr. Brian Clowes, Director of Research and Training of Human Life International, shared everything from the Essential Elements of Pro-Life Activism to How to Win a Pro-Life Debate. It was three days of information, inspiration and importance: INFORMATION on the needed Pro-Life issues; INSPIRATION to know that we are not alone in this fight for life; and the IMPORTANCE of FAITH and FAMILY in our priorities. Those three days clearly affirmed CFC FFL

Homosexuality: Rhetoric and Reality, The Population Control Agenda and How to Organize Your Pro-Life Group made us see the options on where we should focus. It will not be an easy fight. The rest of the world has been slowly brainwashed into believing antilife rhetoric. They are under the influence and finances of the world

powers that want to push population control and abortion. Definitely, we will end up suffering and attacked for our being Pro-Life. However, as Dr. Clowes mentioned, there is no greater joy than to suffer for Christ. When we start feeling that there is so much to do, we should pray not for a lighter load, but for a stronger back. Personally, I have been affirmed. I am even more passionate and I got the sense of urgency for the work for life. I also believe we are called to be obedient, not victorious. We are to be obedient not only for the work itself, but how we live our lives as well. Compromising with evil makes you lose because the culture of death thrives on gray areas. I commit myself to living in the light. I shall keep on bringing that light to the dark areas of my life, and to bring that light to the world, so others may see and believe.█


FoCuSed on the Family


(From: HLI Mission Report Pro-Life Missionaries to the World April 2010, Vol. 02, Issue 03)


By Brian Clowes

The L.A. to Tokyo leg of my ninth trip to the Philippines seemed to take forever. This feeling was reinforced when the airplane’s cabin electronics went bonkers and informed us that we had been in the air for 47 hours and that we had already flown 26,825 miles, a distance greater than the circumference of the earth! That, combined with the movie “Angels and Demons,” and no water for the last half of the trip, made for a fascinating ride. This trip to the Philippines was definitely my most enjoyable (after getting off the plane) – and, hopefully, the most productive. Instead of staying alone at a quiet and sterile hotel, I stayed with Ai-Ai and Rose Padilla Galvez and their five children. Their home is beautiful, having been built partly from materials of the Padilla family’s ancestral home. I was amazed by the highly polished wood flooring, made of huge planks of exotic hardwood thirty feet long, a foot wide, and three inches thick! The home is open in its architecture, so huge black bees, birds and even stray cats and squirrels wander in and out. 42
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t always amuses me when people gripe about the length of the trip on a crosscountry flight, say from Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles. They think that five hours of enforced inactivity is a trial. They should try a five-hour flight, followed by a fourteenhour flight, followed by a threehour flight, with a thirteenhour time difference thrown in to make things interesting!

The Galvez home is very large, the only one I have ever seen with three time zones. It has to be big to accommodate the frequent family get-togethers; Ai-Ai comes from a family of twelve, and Rose from a family of ten, so the respective family reunions each have more than sixty people at them. When a dozen or so relatives came over to the Galvez’ home for dinner and a meeting the first night, I was deeply impressed by how the


year Congresses, and will inevitably be introduced again in July 2010, when the Fifteenth Congress begins. SECuRING tHE PHILIPPINES AGAINSt tHE CuLtuRE OF DEAtH In order to fortify the Philippines against these vicious and uncaring attacks, I spoke to more than one hundred Couples for ChristFoundation for Family and Life (CFC-FFL) leaders at the San Carlos Seminary in Manila for three full days. We had 10 hours of talks and close to a hundred short discussions and questions during this time, and we went over the entire ProLife Basic Training Program in detail. The leaders were especially interested in the topics of condoms and homosexuality, both of which are being relentlessly pushed in the Philippines against the will of the majority of the Catholic people. The condom pushers, more than anyone else, betray the ugly face of the blind population control ideology. The Philippines has largely kept the ineffective condom out of the country (thanks in large part to HLI’s Dr. Rene Josef Bullecer), but Thailand has been flooding its people with condoms for more than two decades. The result is predictable: The 2007 adult HIV infection rate for Thailand was one in 90, and the adult HIV infection rate for the Philippines was one in 22,000! Homosexuality was another hot topic of discussion. I gave many quotes by the homosexuals themselves, showing

little ones are the stars of the show, and everyone pitches in to care for them and play with them. Everyone was joyful to be a part of such a large extended family, and I envied them secretly, having grown up with only one brother. But this kind of serene and happy family life is anathema to the population controllers, who are trying their best to destroy it with their fanatical meddling. Their DEATH bill (Divorce, Euthanasia, Abortion, Total population control and Homosexuality) went down to defeat yet again with the adjournment of the Filipino Fourteenth Congress in February, but the Devil never gives up. This bill, in its various forms, has been introduced at the beginning of the last several three-

that the sexual abuse of minor children is common among “gays,” and this is a concern in the Philippines. I also spoke about how more than 80 percent of the child molestation that happened during the clergy scandal in the United States was committed by homosexual priests. The homophiles are softening up the Philippines with an ongoing campaign of desensitization. The last time I was in Manila, a huge fortyfoot advertising banner showing two women kissing hung from the side of the giant Megamall in one of the busiest parts of Manila. The first time a person sees this, he will be shocked and outraged; the fifth time, he will be disturbed; the twentieth time, he will just shrug. That, of course, is the idea. This time, a giant billboard along the Southern Freeway showed a popular “gay” disc jockey advertising for GlutaMax, a compound that allegedly lightens skin color. The picture shows him lying naked on a bed with another man in the background, and the slogan is “I feel whiter and gay each day.” Curiously, Filipino homosexuals prefer very light skin, the whiter the better. They do not seem to recognize the racism of this attitude and would apparently prefer to be identified as “gay” rather than Filipino. tRADItIONAL PRO-LIFE StRONGHOLDS FALLING LIKE DOMINOS The next day, my hosts told me that we would be going to a meeting of CFC-FFL leaders. Now, when someone tells me that we are “going to a meeting,” I naturally expect maybe 15 or 20 people sitting around a boardroom table in a nice air-conditioned office. What I didn’t expect was 4,000 screaming Filipino pro-lifers crammed into a full-sized

basketball stadium! I didn’t mind, until Frank Padilla asked me to talk for a couple of minutes after Holy Communion. Needless to say, I did not pay much attention to the homily, trying frantically to think up what I was going to say. The people did like what I had to say, and I meant every word: During our 40-year battle against impossible odds for the lives of the unborn in the United States, we American prolifers have often looked overseas for encouragement and edification. But we have seen our inspirations fall like dominos, one by one. There was a time when we looked to Ireland; but the Land of Saints and Scholars seems desperately eager to trade its rich heritage and history

for a mess of stinking pottage just so it can be considered stylish and “European” enough to be a part of the EU. It welcomes fetal stem cell researchers with open arms; the numbers of Irish seminarians has dropped by more than half in the past 20 years; more than 5,000 Irish women make a short hop to London to kill their preborn children every year (Cromwell lives!); and Ireland has a sub-replacement total fertility rate of 1.67. How about the land of Pope John Paul the Great- Although we were hugely encouraged by the fall of Communism and the overturning of pro-abortion laws in Poland, the nation proves the adage that Communism simply poisons the hearts and souls of the people, and

there seems to be no antidote. Even with pro-life laws, no Polish woman need travel more than a few hours to get her preborn child killed in a neighboring nation, and busloads do exactly that every day. Poland’s TFR is one of the lowest in the world at only 1.04, and its population is already decreasing, leading to many severe demographic problems. Malta’s laws are the most truly pro-life in Europe, and the Maltese are holding strong, but the island’s small population of only 410,000 will soon begin to decline, because women there only have an average of one child per family. This leaves the Philippines, which is now unique in all the world. Its population of 90 million is more than 90 percent Catholic— although, less than half of these attend weekly Mass—and despite a very severe priest shortage, signs of the Faith are everywhere in the country. Ten million Filipinos live in other countries, and I meant it when I called them the “yeast of the Faith,” spreading it everywhere they go. I urged the people not to follow the sad example of the United States and give up the only two things that will make them happy: Faith and family. I finished by saying that practically everyone admires the United States, if grudgingly, because we are the greatest military and economic powerhouse the world has ever seen. But what does God care about how many trillions of dollars we generate, or how many tanks and guns we have- In the eyes of God, Faith is all that matters, and from His perspective, there must be only one First World nation on Earth: the Philippines! EMBRACING A CuLtuRE OF LIFE The pro-abortionists are using (continued on page 45)
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lose to a thousand people came and joined the fun and excitement at the 1st CFCFFL Run for Life on Sunday, May 16, at the University of the Philippines Campus in Diliman. The early morning air was cool when the first gun blasted off at about 6:00 AM for the 5km Race participated in mostly by the more serious running enthusiasts. A couple of minutes later, the second race began for the 3km Run with more walkers than runners participating! It was a truly refreshing and fun way to start the day watching couples and families with children in tow and babies in strollers – walking, jogging and running together under the canopy of acacia trees along the Academic Oval. It was truly a sight to behold! Almost 400 registered participants, plus race marshals and cheerers filled up the streets of the oval. At the end of the races official time records were


Contributed by Marilyn Lopez-Tan CFCFFL Novaliches

in. Medals and cash prizes were awarded to the Top 3 finishers of the 5Km and 3Km Race for each of the male and female categories. Certificates were also given out to the Top 10 finishers (male and female categories) of each race.
Run for Life was organized as part of the community’s advocacy for the protection of Family and Life. Hence, the event carried the theme “Defend the Family, Choose Life”. Around the route of the race, banners with Pro-Life slogans were placed at strategic spots to send our message across. Emcees Bob and Reena Murga also spoke about CFCFFL’s advocacy for Family and Life in between announcements of winners. Unlike many of the popular races that are being organized all over the country these days, Run for Life successfully brought together many families, and not just individuals, to participate. It was a fun and festive affair with the help of the UP Economics Society (our event partners) and product sponsors who set up their booths and gave away lots of freebies. At the end of the program, event head Pancho Lopez-Tan thanked and acknowledged the many sponsors who generously contributed to the success of this event. We hope to see you and your family in our next Run for Life!!! █


Sound the trumpetS

June 2010

FCFFL Chicago was chosen by the Archdiocese of Chicago to be its cosponsor for the pro-life conference of the archdiocese.


Contributed by Ray Manaloto CFCFFL Chicago

The gathering, held on March 27, 2010 at the St. Lambert Parish, was a major conference on bioethics and life issues. The CFCFFL community ably assisted the Archdiocese of Chicago Respect Life Office. The speakers were Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., Archbishop of Chicago and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; Rita Marker, J.D., Executive Director of the International Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide; and David Bereit, National Campaign Director of 40 Days for Life.█ (continued from page 43) all of their tired tricks in their attempts to convince the people that they really do want abortion. They did one of their phony public opinion polls that allegedly showed that more than 80 percent of Filipinos are “pro-choice,” but of course, they gave leading questions and deliberately skewed their results. Manila Mayor Lito Atienza commissioned a study with neutral questions that showed the truth: More than 80 percent of Filipinos are strongly pro-life! During my last day in Manila, Rose took me to see Lito and Beng Atienza’s “Home for the Angels,” which has been in existence for 15 years and has adopted out about 300 lucky children during that time. They had six children there presently, including “Angel,” who has lived there since shortly after she was born six years and 11 months ago. She was born severely handicapped in both mind and body, but her beautiful face smiles when you stroke her hands or feet. She also cried when Rose and I said “Bye-bye,” because she wanted us to stay. The staff said that was real progress. She really captured my heart. The last stop before going back to Ninoy Aquino International Airport was a small barangay school just a mile away from the Home for the Angels. We had to thread our way through a narrow warren of alleys just off a main road, and I was lost almost right away. At this school, a young grandmother has taken on the task of teaching nearly 100 three- to five-year-old children very basic concepts. She does this in three shifts in a room measuring about eight by ten feet. When Rose and I were there, they were counting and learning how to greet strangers politely. The small amount of education they receive at this neighborhood school probably greatly increases their chances of having a better job once they enter the labor market. PRO-LIFE INSPIRAtION As I began the 30-hour trip home, I thought about the importance of the Philippines to the international pro-life movement. We have to do everything we can to protect the Faith of this country and the lives of its people, because if the Philippines collapses into the anti-life swamp along with virtually every other nation in the world, who will we have left to give us a good exampleYou can be assured that we at Human Life International are doing absolutely everything we can to keep Catholic Philippines pro-life. █ 45

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Contributed by Mary Grace H. Pingoy CFCFFL USA


t was in the month of January 2010 when all the fighting for the pro-life movement in the US went out to the streets to rally for the end of abortion. January is the anniversary month of Roe vs. Wade where the Supreme Court gave the tragic decision in 1973 to legalize abortion in the US. This opened the floodgates of the culture of death in

There were actually two main marches: one in Washington DC and another in San Francisco, CA where thousands of marchers took to the streets in defense of the dignity and sanctity of life. Recently, however, other cities have started local marches. One of them is Chicago, IL. CFCFFL Illinois was at the forefront of this event organized by several pro-life groups in the area. It started at the Holy Name Cathedral downtown. Led

the country.

by the banner of CFCFFL, the marchers numbering about a hundred walked the city streets towards the historical Chicago Water Tower. There were prayers, speakers/ sharers led by Joe Scheidler of Pro-Life Action League and members of the clergy. Despite the cold wintry, windy day, we once again stood up for life and family! The rally ended with the pro-lifers marching back to the church singing and praying. It was truly beautiful because this year, many young people joined.█


Sound the trumpetS

June 2010

Contributed by Joanna Marie S. Oliva CFCFFL Peru Missionary

atrimonios Para Cristo (MPC) - Peru actively participated in CFCFFL’s fight to defend life. The whole community Matrimonios Para Cristo (MPC), namely, MPC-Fundacion por la Familia y la Vida(CFCFFL), MPC-Niños por la Familia y


La Vida(CFCKFL), MPC-Jovenes por la Familia y la Vida (CFCYFL), MPC-Solteros por la Familia y la Vida (CFCSFL), MPC-Siervas por la Familia y la Vida (CFCHFL), joined the March for Life (Marcha ProVida) organized by the Archdiocese of Lima. Together with

60,000 people from the different parishes of Lima, MPCPeru marched on the streets of Lima to proclaim our fight for Life! █

FoCuSed on the Family


Contributed by Xavier Padilla CFC Kids for Family and Life International Coordinator

hat exactly does “A nation living life, love and family” mean? It takes some minutes of reflection to scratch the surface of what that phrase means. A nation, a people, a generation all living their lives to the fullest. Living out the demands of love. And living out the true sense of family.


What does “living our lives to the out the demands of out the true sense of family” mean? Dr. Brian Clowes of Human Life International, Fr. Francis Gustilo, SDB, and ProLife Manila Mayor Lito Atienza all helped us understand it. They spoke on Pro-Life issues to a crowd of more than 500 leaders of different organizations from all over the Philippines. It felt good to be united with ProLifers from all over. It was assuring to know that we are not alone in the fight for the right way to live. “Living life to the fullest” means knowing our priorities - Faith and Family. We need to put God first, family second, and everything else after that. “Living out the demands of love” means fighting for what is right and true and finding out what that truth is. For instance, the reality that 92% of people are against the RH Bill if only they knew what it contained! That is the truth. Fighting for that truth is living out the demands of love. “Living out the true sense of family” means everyone is important - from our grandparents (maybe 48
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even great grandparents) all the way to the baby formed in the mother’s womb. Everyone is important, and all relationships are important as well. The world will try to tear these bonds apart, but we know better. We need to keep our family intact. Lately, there has been news of a group who wants to make marriage renewable every 10 years. If the marriage is not renewed, it is automatically considered null and void. I believe that no Filipino mind can think of a devilish concept like that. Our culture and nature just won’t allow it. Some foreigner thought of that, along with the RH Bill, wanting our country to slowly slide towards extinction - just like many other “first world” countries. We cannot allow this to happen. We need to keep our life, love and families not only protected, but solid. That is what the world needs to see in the Philippines - a nation living life, love and family. Without having that conviction, we will end up swimming around in circles.█

es and I are blessed. We are blessed with wonderful families, great children, an awesome community, understanding and supportive friends, jobs and service that we can only dream of having. We are blessed with a God who sees into our hearts and gives us what we need.


Contributed by Xavier Padilla CFC Kids for Family and Life International Coordinator

Another great blessing was the privilege to attend the 10th International Youth Forum (IYF) on March 24-28, 2010. The IYF, held every three years in Rome, is attended by hundreds of young people sent by episcopal conferences and international movements/ associations.

The Pontifical Council for the Laity - Youth Division organized it. This year, they wanted a young couple to attend. We got interviewed by a panel who asked us about our marriage, family life, our community, our message to the IYF (if chosen) and a host of other topics. I didn’t expect it to be so exhaustive, but it was good to further purify our intentions in going. Finally, after several weeks, we were told that we were chosen to represent the Philippines! This year’s theme is, “Learning to Love”. For days leading up to the IYF, the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth helped us prepare logistically and pastorally. What was also awesome and

touching was the send-off mass prior to our trip. After several lectures, round table discussions and work groups, the IYF culminated with a mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI on Palm Sunday. After the IYF, we had the opportunity to go to Lyon, France to attend the Taize Holy Week activity. We are truly blessed to be chosen to go to this event. I would never have imagined this would happen.█

FCFFL conducted its Same-Sex Attraction (SSA) Awareness Program last May 6, 2010 at the CFCFFL Home Office. Attended by our community’s fulltime workers and volunteers, the seminar was conducted by Joe Garcia, founder of the Ichthus Community.


Contributed by Dave Balino CFCSFL Fulltime Pastoral Worker

ARE WILLING, to give up their homosexual condition and lifestyle. CFCFFL plans to cascade this seminar to the different CFCFFL areas. It is hoped that this will promote better understanding, pastoring, and caring for our members in such condition.█

CFCFFL and Ichthus forged a partnership in terms of helping our members address same-sex attraction concerns. The Ichthus community is a recognized Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Family and Life (CBCP-ECFL) ministry for individuals who want, AND
FoCuSed on the Family


We are part of the larger family of CFCFFL, a global family of many different nationalities and cultures but all sharing brotherhood and sisterhood in Christ. We desire to move forward together in our life in the Lord, providing love, affirmation, friendship, support and healing. We are committed to the good of our brethren, always living the truth in love (Eph 4:15).


eing ommunity




Contributed by Marie Relucio CFCFFL Young Ministries Missionary

The afternoon opened with a spirit-filled worship led by Roy Maturan, District Servant of Marbel, South Cotabato. During the prayer, white doves were released. It symbolized the offering of thanksgiving for the blessings of the past year, as well as the freedom of following the Lord’s directions and plans for 2010. This was followed by an equally energetic community dance led by the CFCYFL dancers. The program emcees, Xavy Padilla and Denice Price, invited everyone to dance to the upbeat techno music of “Our God is an Awesome God”. To everyone’s delight, the CFCFFL Body of Counselors and District Servants led the community dance! Our Servant General, Frank Padilla, gave the first talk that helped everyone gain a better appreciation of this year’s theme taken from Job 37:23. We were invited to see God as He truly is – “The Almighty! Just and righteous is He.” A great learning that afternoon was seeing how God responded to Job’s questions by pointing him (Job) to His awesome majesty. Our amazement of His greatness leaves us 52
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he CFCFFL family hit the ground running as it kicked off the new year with its first Community Conference for the year last January 9 at the Ynares Sports Gym in Pasig City. Hundreds of leaders and members from all over the country, together with some CFCFFL brethren from other parts of the world, came united in spirit and in love. Everyone geared up as one community for a promising , exciting and challenging year.

responding in humility, in reverential fear, and in living just and righteous lives. However, the more we strive to grow in holiness, the more we experience affliction of every kind. It is in these trying times that we are called to hope, trust and find joy in the Lord. We are drawn to a deeper relationship with Him and our hope becomes genuine when we choose to keep the faith even when there seems to be no reason for hope anymore. To persevere in carrying our cross is an opportunity to experience redemptive suffering. Hence, we have reason to rejoice for the privilege of walking the way of the cross... the way of Jesus. The second talk was given by Jerome Protacio, CFCFFL Mindanao Regional Coordinator. It was a highly exhortative session that focused on the kind of posture we should adopt as we internalize the message of the Book of Job. Inspiring testimonies by Jess Lumbang, Stephen Ramos (both from CFCFFL) and Ronald Repolona (from CFCSFL) gave much encouragement as they shared about their faithful Christian witnessing through regular households, regular tithing, and evangelization in their workplace – all of which they persevere to do, despite the struggles of doing what is right. A Holy Mass celebrated by His Excellency, Bishop Gabriel Reyes gave the event a meaningful ending. Bishop Reyes exhorted the community to take action in transforming society by conquering sin. Gaining victory over sin will entail suffering, but when this suffering is endured for the love of God, then it brings true joy. We can do all things in God’s name, for He is truly “The Almighty! Just and righteous is He.”█


Contributed by Myra M. Menguito CFCFFL Education Ministry


Thus chanted everyone who came to witness the Lord’s majesty and splendor during the CFC-FFL Awesome Weekend at the CAP in Camp John Hay, Baguio City last January 23 and 24, 2010. The theme, “The Almighty! Just and Righteous is He!” was derived from Job 37:23. The conference welcomed around 2,000 members and leaders of the CFCFFL community from the Philippines and abroad to this cool city that was warmed by the love shared by each other through fellowship, and by the love richly showered by our awesome God! The excitement splendidly poured as participants started trickling in on Friday morning to register and claim their weekend kits. By Saturday morning, CFCFFL members and leaders swarmed the venue with joy and eagerness etched on their faces! After the recitation of the Rosary led by Nani and Bing Almanza, CFCFFL USA Country Servant, the

wesome! Awesome! Awesome is He!”

Holy Eucharist, presided by Fr. Arlo Yap, SVD, together with Fr. Justin Sequeira, sss, and Msgr. Anthony Kornu of Ghana, perfectly marked the beginning of the conference. The event was emceed by Grace Oconer together with Jay Pangan, who brought the house down with his very unique antic of leading the “awesome chant.” Everybody was not only reminded about his/her posture as a child of God, but the first talk entitled “THE ALMIGHTY,” delivered by Patrick Oconer, CFC Singles for Family and Life International Coordinator,

likewise brought forth the perfection and glory of our Father, as seen in His creation, in our salvation history, in the people around us, and by the way He has provided for our needs. The worship led by Patrick proved to be such a wonderful segue to

the succeeding points of his talk, that focused on God’s majesty and greatness. The message that “majesty is God’s basic nature” awakened everyone to avoid belittling God. The truth that sin and pride blinds us from seeing this majesty of the Lord further struck everyone. Chinka Besinga-Sarmiento’s rendition of Psalm 139 was very touching, reminding all God’s children that He is always near! Yet, as Patrick noted, we still doubt and have anxieties about so many areas in our lives. “Surrender the unknown future to the known God” was perhaps the message from the talk which all took to heart. As an expression of this “surrender”, the participants wrote all their concerns, needs, and wants on a sheet of paper. Sealed in an envelope, the petitions will be lifted up in prayer by the CFC-FFL Intercessory Group. Since sin and pride blinds our ability to witness the awesomeness of the Lord, all of us are then called to live a holy life, exemplified by “THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF JOB,” a talk given by Chito Liban, CFCFFL Novaliches District Servant. He related the essence of how Job’s holiness, which consisted of a life lived in purity, sincerity, honesty, faithfulness, generosity,
(continued on page 54)
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(continued from page 53)

compassion, justice, hospitality, and good stewardship that enabled him to face the most difficult and trying moments. Further, Chito’s story about faith, hope, love and grace was something the delegates pondered on. As he said, “God said, ‘Faith, hope, and love can cover the bases, but only My grace can bring you home.’” The Examination of Conscience, which led to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, highlighted the session. Father Arlo Yap, SVD, Spiritual Director of CFC Singles for Family and Life, and Msgr. Anthony Kornu of Ghana were instrumental as the channels of grace borne by the sacrament. It seemed that the messages of the session on “The Almighty,” emphasizing the glory of God, and the talk on “The Righteousness of Job,” which called on each one to live upright lives, paved the way to a point which is inevitable, something all of us must go through if we are to be identified as sons and daughters of God: “REDEMPTIVE SUFFERING – THE WAY OF THE CROSS.” Father Justin Sequeira sss, laid down the very powerful message on how we should see the cross as meaningful when he said, “The ‘cross’ is a word used by unbelievers, but see no meaning in it. With suffering, believers see the cross as something negative turned into something positive. As the Lord said, ‘I am present in your tragedy’.” Father Justin further explained that suffering becomes redemptive when we free someone by undergoing suffering ourselves… when we suffer to benefit others. However, as he said, suffering should be undertaken cheerfully and willingly, without 54
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complaining, and still continually praising God at all times. The sharings given by Jojo Junio, District of Novaliches and Mike Javier, CFCFFL Canada, manifested how such suffering is endured. Jojo shared what he and his family went through during the great flood brought by Typhoon Ondoy in September 2009, and how their faith and trust in the Lord led them to safety. Mike, on the other hand, was among the missionaries who met a terrible vehicular accident while on mission in Ghana. He shared how he was held in the Lord’s palm, and how our Blessed Mother interceded, throughout the ordeal until his recovery. The outpouring of God’s love and mercy, as all of us face life’s travails, was experienced when His awesome presence was celebrated through the exposition and veneration of the Blessed Sacrament. The procession, marking the entrance of our Lord, made everyone feel the profound healing and merciful love our Father has for each of His children. Everybody was given the opportunity to come up front and touch the white cloth that magnificently flowed from the Blessed Sacrament, while pouring out one’s sufferings and longings to the heart of God. Adoration hymns were also sung before the Blessed Sacrament. It was touching and truly moving. It was a perfect spiritual feast that concluded the day. On Sunday, January 24, participants were greeted by the Lord’s and Mama Mary’s love through the praying of the Holy Rosary led by CFCFFL Thailand Country Servants Gerwyn and Rissa Tuason. Immediately after, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was concelebrated by Msgr. Anthony Kornu

and Fr. Justin Sequeira. In his homily, Msgr. Anthony emphasized that “Rejoicing in the Lord should be your strength.” He also passionately reminded all that “the word of the Almighty is not just a concept… it is not just in our imagination. He is in our midst! God Emmanuel!” This, Msgr. Anthony said, gives us enough reason to rejoice. Soon afterwards, Joe Yamba of CFCFFL New Jersey led the worship. Just like the message of the

homily, he made everyone realize that we are not just gate-keepers of our faith, but more importantly, we are “God-keepers!” Truly, all of us ought to be moved not only to keep God in our lives, but also to share Him with others. Our faith should move us and others to come to a deep understanding and full appreciation of the “JUSTICE AND RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD.” As CFCFFL Servant General Frank Padilla weaved the messages of all the talks, it became clearer how God wonderfully arranges events in our lives, and how He continues to work in us and through us. The key, he said, is humility so God can continue to work in us. “I only want such a God!

I will give Him my all!” should be our response. The Servant General also made it clear that suffering and affliction are not punishments, but rather, they are God’s ways to purify us. Just like what happened to Job, sufferings should deepen our understanding of who God is, which leads to restoration/redemption. As Jesus chose the cross to witness to a life of redemptive suffering, we are also called to holiness. The last session further assured everyone that we, indeed, have a very just God. God’s plan for us is to live in total harmony with Him in paradise. However, as we stand before our righteous God, we are not free to go about matters our own way, but only God’s way. The Servant General also related how persistent God is, that no matter how hard we try to push Him away, He is still with us, going to the extent of giving His only Son! Hence, Divine Justice is not to condemn us, but to restore us through Jesus who is our model of holiness. From ourselves, this should be passed on to the family and to others through our community. That is why the Servant General said, we do not “recruit” members, but we “witness” to them. The session was capped by a reflection led by Mon Arguelles, with the song “The Restoration of Zion” wonderfully rendered by Bambi Urgino. A W E S O M E … B R E AT H TA K I N G … SPLENDID… MAGNIFICENT. No words can capture the greatness of our God, yet, He chose to be with us and make us His own. With this, we give our Lord a never-ending standing ovation. We give Him our infinite applause by living holy lives as a witness to His righteousness, as we desire for His justice. Amen to God! All praises and glory to Him! He is truly an AWESOME GOD!█
Being Community



Contributed by Denice Nillas-Price CFCFFL District of Cubao

aul, can you and Denice come to Hong Kong for the echo of the Awesome Weekend?” Paul answers simply, “How can I say no?”


Eager beavers we were, we booked our flights in no time at all. Was it the fact that Paul and I had never been overseas together since our honeymoon, which was six years ago? Probably! Paul and I had been meaning to go to Hong Kong for both work and fun. Thus, when the opportunity came to serve and enjoy time together, we never looked back! The last time Paul and I served together overseas was during our twoyear mission in South Africa, which was six years ago. Now, we have three sons: William is 5, Matthew is 3, and David is a year old. Serving together as husband and wife is really awesome in itself. A brother from CFCFFL Hong Kong asked what we achieved in our mission for our marriage. I had to pause and recall those days: days of loneliness since it was so hard to be away from family, friends and all things comfortable; days of hardship because some people are not too keen on being renewed; days of absolute joy because our eldest was born in Joburg- the first CFC baby born on mission; days of warmth and closeness because of friendships made which lasts a lifetime. After that recollection, I answered with a twinkle in my eye, “Though it had its ups and downs, going on mission together as a married couple brought us closer.” 56
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Although we were on mission for only two years, the lessons gained and bonding we made spanned five years. After all the talks and sharings we had both given while on mission, we knew each other’s lines down to the tee! Serving once more as missionaries, this time in Hong Kong, the love, awe for each other, the warmth and friendship came flooding back. Along with the crowd, I was laughing my heart out at his narration of times gone by. I have not heard him give a talk as often as I used to. When he would be invited to give a talk, I would rather stay at home to be with our sons, especially if it was at night. Because of this weekend, the joy of serving together came back. I also believe that my husband’s confidence in

giving a talk and wholeheartedly share his life comes from the knowledge that I am there supporting him. Aside from our renewed vigor to serve together as husband and wife, the CFCFFL brethren, our wonderful hosts, the CFCFFL Coregroup of Hong Kong, our CFCFFL tour guides, the service team, the first Filipino priest ordained in Hong Kong made our weekend truly AWESOME! We came back to the Philippines really fulfilled. We got to serve as missionaries and definitely, we had fun serving as husband and wife. The memories and friendships gained continue to bring us warmth. Thank you CFCFFL Hong Kong! You are AWESOME! █

From left: JC Sarmiento, Denice & Paul Price, Chito & Maribel Liban, Marilyn & Pancho Lopez-Tan, and the HK CFCFFL members Tony Mangente and Noel & Miriam Soliva.

FCFFL Viet Nam conducted seven Awesome Weekends in four dioceses with more than 750 participants. During each weekend, we felt the presence of our Almighty and Powerful God through small and big signs: we always had everything we needed in each venue; we had the active help of the priests and people in the parishes in preparing the venue; we had very good weather; we had very powerful sharings that touched the hearts of the community deeply; we always had an active participation in worship.


Contributed by John Peter Vui CFCFFL Viet Nam Country Coordinator


This Awesome Weekend brings to CFCFFL Viet Nam the strength necessary for our restoration. We shall go back to our parishes to build up witnessing communities. We envision our households as a “Home of Hope” through the fire of love in worship to God, in communion with each other, and in service to the parish.█

Being Community


Contributed by Benjie Gadi CFCFFL Middle East Regional Coordinator


The focal point of the weekend was the touching of the cloth attached to the cross. Almost all participants were in tears as they sought the Lord’s mercy and experienced His forgiveness. Benjie Gadi, Middle East Regional Coordinator, and Lachie Agana, Metro Manila Mission Coordinator, were around to inspire the participants with the Lord’s affirmations.█ 58
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n Awesome Weekend truly inspired our CFCFFL brethren in UAE. Held on April 23, 2010 at the Sharja Hotel, the blissful event was attended by 122 members who came from different emirates like Dubai, Sharja, Al Ain and Abu Dhabi. Two couples from Saudi Arabia, Cris & Chie Miranda and Russel & Diosy Malveda, also came to attend the weekend. A fellowship hosted by Don & Ellen Cruz followed after the occasion. CFCFFL Qatar also experienced a very Awesome Weekend last April 30, 2010 which was attended by 60 participants.

Being Community


Contributed by Ray Manaloto CFCFFL Chicago

FCFFL Illinois is now 16! Their a n n i v e r s a r y celebration was attended by around 200 people, mainly by CFCFFL Illinois members, together with a handful of CFCFFL Indiana brethren. The event started with a mass at 9:00 A M, and was followed by several activities which made everyone feel the Lord’s awesomeness!


Among the highlights of the festivities was a historical presentation of the birth of CFCFFL Illinois in 1994. It was very meaningful since some of the very first CFCFFL Illinois members were there to share. What was also touching was the floral offering to our Blessed Mother Mary by the CFCKFL Illinois members. After the inspirational talk given by Father John Era, a visiting Filipino priest, a very sumptuous lunch was served for all. It was truly a feast, as everybody partook of the lechon (roasted pig)! The different Family Ministries likewise gave their own presentations which delighted all those present. The praying of the Divine Mercy Chaplet culminated the celebration. It was tr uly a spiritfilled, entertaining, and enjoyable experience for all. It was a great blessing for everyone and for CFCFFL.█


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Contributed by Gemma Castro CFCFFL Cambodia


asketball….Team…. Players….. “Tara sali tayo…” (Come on, let’s

It only started as one of those “for the boys” talk during one of the household meetings when the news about the basketball tournament sponsored by the Philippine Embassy in Cambodia sprang out in the course of the conversation. There and then, the members of the CFC Servants of the Lord, together with the husbands from the Couples household thought that making up a team was a very good idea. Things happened so quickly that before everyone in the community knew about it, the boys were already talking about their uniforms, registration fee, practice time and were even encouraging the girlmembers to cheer for them. “Seriously????” This was what most of the girls thought….or at least I thought they thought. How could they possibly win over those veteran tournament players who have been playing for so many years and have been constantly competing in the Embassy’s Tournament? How could they score more or even as much as the other teams would, given the odds against them – like age, speed, stamina... (No offense, brothers!) Many of us thought it was

ridiculous for them to join the tournament where they might have 1 in 10 chances to win. But then, through our “pangungulit and pangangantyaw” (teasing and ribbing), we learned that the only reason why they wanted to join was to foster friendship, brotherhood and eventually, show good Christian values through sports. Wow! How deep! We never thought about that. The truth is that somehow, we have underestimated the intentions of our brothers in joining the tournament. Well, lessons well-learned! Deep apologies! So then, in every household meeting before the tournament started, their respective players and games would be lifted up in prayer,

not really asking to win but just to play the game and accomplish their VISION and MISSION. The team’s name? “TEAM ni BRO” (Bro’s Team) The much awaited tournament started. First game…lost. Second game the week after…lost. Third game, from what I heard...still lost. “TEAM ni BRO” showed everyone that losing was nothing for them. They didn’t feel bad. In fact, they found humor in the experience. They would laugh about it while waiting for everyone to arrive during household meetings. On the fourth game, they were even very enthusiastic to invite cheerers. They
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were very persistent. They even asked us to wake up early and be there to cheer for them. Thus, I tried to wake up early that Sunday morning and together with the other sisters watched them play. I was so glad I did. Every one was just cool. Coach Robbie exchanged jokes with the sisters on the sidelines and Jojo took pictures of every one with catching moves. Tito never got tired bringing the water jug with a line on top saying, “Salamat sa lahat, Bro” (Thanks for everything, Bro). The players took their time in playing and actually had fun. During the game, there were fouls called to which our brothers would just smile at the referee and proceed to catch up with the other players running speedily. There were moves that caused some of them to bruise a knee or two, slide on the roughly-cemented court, with the ball hitting their heads as they tried to grab the rebounds.

There were also those whose sides were elbowed as they tried to steal. All these make up true basketball players. What sets them aprt from the rest of the team is that “TEAM ni BRO” never ran out of smiles. They never forgot to pray before and after the games, to shake the hands of those they made their duty fouls on and would even smile to those who made bad, injuring fouls on them. I never saw them shouting at the referees for bad calls (though the other team was constantly trying to make arguments). I never heard them say bad words to anyone even to those who were really making personal fouls very personal. They were just so joyful as they struggled to catch their breath while trying to keep up with the running game. It was all for fun. It was for brotherhood. It was all to foster friendship and the value of sportsmanship. And the cheerers? We also did our best. We shouted for every basket made, though scores were doubled up from start to finish. We

were making “kantyaw” (ribbing) to the other team’s players just to distract them, but we were polite ha! We never said foul words and the opposing team seemed to be having fun hearing us because they would even look at us and smile. Though TEAM ni BRO lost again during this game, we were all happy! The final game was really wonderful because the cheerers also doubled up. With white shirts as our uniform, we served “turon” and “biskotso” for snacks. Going to the final game, TEAM ni BRO was having a 0-4 win-lose slate. Nevertheless, everybody went to the game with mighty hearts full of joy. And let us not talk about what happened as the game ended. Would you expect anything else? During the two last games that I was there, I saw how the players and the crowd treated us. They were all smiling at us. Everything was so light and cool. Everyone was just having a good time. There was no tension, no fear, and no hatred. This was a kind of spirit and atmosphere you will never see in a typical basketball game. The game was over for TEAM ni BRO as they were the first to be eliminated….as expected. However, talks about the games and the other players did not stop. I heard from our brothers that there were two players from one of their opposing teams who were actually members of CFC in the country they last came from and that they were asking how they could possibly join our own CFCFFL. Sure. Why not? During the games, one of the TEAM ni BRO players named Jaypee was


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not a member of the community yet. After the tournament, he expressed his intention of joining not just the basketball team, but CFCFFL. On the other hand, Jaydee, the “TANK” as he was called, might also join the Couples’ Household with his wife in the weeks to come. See? Though we did not win in the tournament, we have triumphed over winning people for the Lord through TEAM ni BRO. Indeed, the team was able to evangelize and show the goodness of the Lord and of the community through simply playing ball. The team was able to invite members through the best invitation that could ever be made - invitation by example. We didn’t need to tell them how good it would be to join the community. They saw firsthand. They saw it through the support and generosity of everyone during the games. That’s when they answered the invitation. Needless to say, despite the losses and the struggles they had during

the games, TEAM ni BRO has successfully realized that they have triumphed over their VISION and MISSION of evangelizing, fostering brotherhood and sportsmanship among the players and teams. St. Francis of Assisi once said “Preach the gospel at all times and when necessary, use words.” For

TEAM ni BRO, there weren’t too many words, but their actions have spoken what the mouths didn’t have the chance to say. Hopefully, more new people will be part of our households after the tournament. New friendships have been made especially with those we have met. With prayers, we are sure we will be meeting them again even after the games. So who says losing is bad and sad? Well, why should we be sad when we can have triumphs over defeats? TEAM ni BRO was defeated in the tournament, but they triumphed over the people. Friendships and work of evangelization was achieved by the team in such a short span of time. So, kudos for TEAM ni BRO for next year. There might be more games to lose, but there will be more people to win for the Lord. For that we say….HURRAH!!!█

Being Community



Contributed by Laya and Imelda Victoria CFCFFL Ministry for Restorative Justice International Coordinator

Touched by the preparations and events during the assembly inside the NBP, Msgr. Anthony willingly addressed the Chapter of George Milliona under the supervision of Arthur and Medy Yap, Chapter of Boy Romero under the supervision of Jinky Carandang, Chapter of Pascua Galladan under the supervision of Willy Navarro, Chapter of Robert Gungon under the supervision of Ed Cabuhat, and Chapter of Lito Abiday under the supervision of Rey Navarro, and the Chapter of Chito Delicano under the supervision of Fernan Junsay. The crowd responded tearfully with the Bishop’s message of hope, faith, and love for the inmates. Still impressed with what they saw, Msgr. Kornu and Brother Peter declared that they will replicate the prison work of CFCFFL Ministry for Restorative Justice in their prison compound at their hometown in Ghana, West Africa. They said that their prison compound is almost fronting the Church where they serve. More foreign delegates were expected to visit NBP that day, but due to changes in schedule, a briefing on the Prison Ministry’s work was given instead last February 11, 2010 at the Home Office for the delegates from the USA and Canada.█

onsignor Anthony Kornu and Catechist Kukah Peter Fidelis Koku, better known as Brother Peter, visited the Maximum Security Compound of the New Bilibid Prison last February 13, 2010. They were part of the visiting delegates of the International Congress from the USA, Canada, and Africa last January 2010.


Msgr. Anthony Kornu and Brother Peter listen and observe how medicine is distributed to, and how juice is prepared, for the inmates.

Msgr. Anthony Kornu addresses the chapter of Boy Galladan which is under the supervision of Jinky Carandang.

Msgr. Anthony Kornu and Brother Peter receive hand-made mementos of various images of Christ done through ‘burn’ painting.

Msgr. Kornu, together with the chapters of Robert Gungon and Lito Abiday. From left: Robert Gungon, Msgr. Anthony Kornu, Ed Cabuhat and Brother Peter

Msgr. Anthony Kornu addresses the chapter of Robert Gungon and Lito Abiday. With him are Robert Gungon and Ed Cabuat of ALS.

Msgr. Anthony Kornu together with the chapter of Boy Romero which is under the supervision of Willy Navarro. Ed Cabuhat, head of the Alternative Learning School, poses to the right of Msgr. Anthony.

Msgr. Anthony Kornu listens to the proceedings of the chapter assembly of George Milliona and Chito Delicanto after addressing the crowd. The chapter of George Milliona is under the supervision of Arthur and Medy Yap who are seated to the left of Brother Peter and Msgr. Anthony. Fernan Junsay supervises the chapter of Chito Delicano.


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Contributed by Laya and Imelda Victoria CFCFFL Ministry for Restorative Justice International Coordinator


Welcome sign at the New Bilibid Prison. The sign reads “Maligayan Pagdating Sa Munting Paraiso”. A statement full of contradictions at the sorry state of the penal institution in the Philippines.

General Assembly mass held every first Saturday of each month.

Paradise is a state of mind, subject to one’s appreciation and understanding. For the CFCFFL Ministry for Restorative Justice, they believe that they have contributed a paradise of hope, faith, and love among brother inmates when every Saturday, for the last five years, the spirit of Christian brotherhood and service has bonded a thousand and more at the end of 2009. The General Assembly mass is held every first Saturday of each month,

ne who enters the Maximum Security Compound a f t e r Gate 1 and 4 will not miss a welcome sign which boldly says, “MALIGAYANG PAGDATING SA MUNTING PARAISO” (Welcome to a Small Paradise), a statement full of contradictions considering the sorry state of the Penal Institution in the country.

parlor games wherein various gang members participate, food and snack distributions, and the distribution of cash gift during the Christmas party of December 12, 2009 demonstrate the kind of loving service shared inside the New Bilibid Prison. One time, an inmate by the name of Drew, also a member of “Bahala na Gang,” carried a box while he patiently waited for the Service Team. The box was meant for “Ugnayan” to deliver to a family in Bulacan. There was nothing unusual about it, but what was most surprising was that the box did not belong to him but to an inmate named Victor who belongs to “Sputnik,” a different gang affiliation. When asked why he agreed to do a favour for a “Sputnik” when he is a “Bahala Na,” he simply said, “Kapatid ko naman ‘yun” (He is my brother). If this isn’t paradise, what is? Paradise is truly when God is with us and in us.█

Parlor games wherein various gang members participate.

Food and snack distribution.

Distribution of cash gift during the Christmas party of December 12, 2009.

Being Community


Contributed by Khyme Esteban CFC Kids for Family and Life


There goes the chant that keeps on sounding in my head. Several days have passed but I still feel the WKC 2010 fever! Kids Revolution - the title of the World Kids Conference 2010 held on April 23-25 at Lipa, Batangas City. I remember getting stares from the coordinators or “Ano yun?” (What’s that?) remarks from the kids when I told them about the title of the WKC 2010. One coordinator even asked me, “Bakit, tuturuan ba natin maging rebelde ang mga bata kaya revolution ang title ng WKC?”

kahit bata, kilala na namin si God! Mabait, magaling... para sa ‘min Siya’y sikat!”

(Why, are we going to teach the children to be revolutionaries?). It’s different. It’s bold. It’s what we wanted for CFCKFL. It was a change to show the people around them that even at their young age, they can stand for what is right and for what they believe in. They can speak about God and live a life for Him. A month before the WKC, Xavy Padilla (CFCFFL International Kids Coordinator) and his wife, Des, were asked to go to Rome to represent the Philippines for a conference. The four of us - Angel Bangaysiso, Joanne Angon, Kuh Belarmino and I, called “ The KFL Girls”, were left with all the preparations for the WKC. We were very relaxed


at first, having prepared so many conferences before. However, God had other plans. Since the theme of the conference, “Kids Revolution”, was a bold change, that was exactly what God did to the three of us. Everything that we had initially prepared was scrapped. Our initial reaction was “WWHHATTT???” Though we haven’t recovered yet from the shocking news that we received, work had to be started! Together with the amazing “ates” - Grace Oconer, Chinky Magtibay, and Mariel Tesoro - we all worked together for the changes that needed


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to be done. It wasn’t an easy process though. A lot of tears, sleepless nights and revisions were done just to put everything in place, as God willed it to be. We all just wanted the best for the children. We all just wanted them to experience the awesome power and majesty of God, the same way their parents and siblings have experienced in their respective conferences. “Growing -up

pains” was how Grace Oconer called our painful experience. However, I believe these pains allowed us to be stronger and to hold on more to the Almighty. Besides, this conference is all about Him and the children. We are just instruments of His plan. This realization made me more excited! This conference allowed me more time to get down on my knees and really pray for God’s will. I just know that this will be a great conference notwithstanding all the oppressions happening around us, especially with the service team. Nevertheless, this didn’t stop nor dishearten the team. It made us cling more to God’s promise that He will deliver. And He did! • Daniel, the youngest worship leader, proved to us that even a 6-year old can really give a heartfelt worship to God!

• A big surprise for me was Joshua Padilla, whom I have met and bonded with last year in the KFL Antipolo Sportsfest and WKC. From the very playful little boy last year, I was surprised to learn the depth of his thought when I asked him about the slogan he wrote during the Pro-life workshop. He said, “We need to save Mother Earth because she needs us.” That really impressed me! He was now actively participating in the activities! So no wonder he was able to give a sharing on the last day. • Witnessing the kids from all ages worshiping God during the last Kids Praise on Sunday - some were dancing, others were just raising their hands and everyone singing at the top of their voices was a sight to behold. It was something you want to keep in your memory for the rest of your life. You have seen

how these kids were really changed during the weekend because they know who God is! This conference really lived out its theme - a kids revolution! Changing their perspectives and allowing them to grasp in their young age who God is in their lives and why we worship Him; teaching them to live a life that they are called to as sons and daughters of God. We have started a Kids Revolution! I believe that it wasn’t only the children’s lives that were changed, but all of us who were present in that weekend. WKC affirmed me that I am doing what God wants me to do. I am living the life He has chosen for me and He has allowed me to appreciate the important work that we are doing for the Kids’ Ministry. Kids Revolution: a new generation of CFCKFL. They are deeper and bolder in their faith, because no one is too young to know Christ! See you next year in Subic! █


Being Community



Contributed by Kuh Belarmino CFC Kids for Family and Life

t’s been an exciting and incredible weekend. God really affirms our children that He wants them in His vineyard.


Being small, innocent and fragile beings, they are the purest creations of God. During the three-day stay at Bluroze Farms in Lipa, Batangas City for the World Kids Conference (WKC) on March 23-25, I, too, witnessed His greatness. God once more proved that He is the Almighty! The parents and older siblings of these children have experienced this awesomeness in their respective conferences. Now, it’s these CFCKFL children’s turn to experience the same AWESOMENESS of God in their very own conference! They met Him in each activity. He revolutionized their minds and hearts. They learned that He is all-knowing, all-powerful, ever-present and loving. God revealed Himself to our children in this gathering.

The kids spoke. They danced, sang, acted, played, and drew. They participated and they took part in God’s plan. They let God renew them by accepting that they are special, talented and able to join the evangelistic work - even if they are kids! They CAN! CFCKFL stepped up on higher ground ... a step closer to the will of God. “Let the children come to me and do not stop them, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:4) The World Kids Conference (WKC) was a whole new experience not just for our children, but for all the CFCKFL coordinators, the parents, the “ates” and the “kuyas”. All went home in AWE of God’s majesty! F o r CFCKFLs, “Si God ang Sikat!”█


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Contributed by Kuh Belarmino CFC Kids for Family and Life




It was really a fun weekend and we got a perfect venue for the conference. The children, together with their families and coordinators, strolled around the site and seemed to have a great time. One of my favorite moments during the

he World Kids Conference (WKC) preparation was mindboggling, tiring, and draining, but when the plans were brought to life, it struck me inside out. It was God’s plan for the kids to experience such event. It was a Revolution in His likeness and a lasting change that will set their hearts on fire. One by one, each child sang in worship. Their feet started to wobble as they made a step to glorify the Almighty in praise. Little by little, voices were heard in the hall as they began to SPEAK on how awesome our God is. They actually felt it! These children learned to appreciate the goodness of the Father and recognized that everything in their midst came from Him.

conference was the presentation of each district’s Praise Dance and the Kid’s Got Talent portion. I was amazed by the little ones as they performed on stage to represent their areas and to showcase their Godgiven talents. I excitedly watched the children, their free spirit taking them

“I found myself staring at the WKC stage, witnessing the Greatness of God to His children.”
to the heights of God’s majesty! The children were not only entertaining, but absolutely inspiring. I remember watching a child, Kent Patrick Chavez, while he was practicing for the Kid’s Got Talent portion. He was giving his all! When it was Patrick’s turn to perform, I was in the chapel praying. I could hear the cheers and the astonished voices filling the air as he performed. I was brought to tears while praying. I was so proud of him. I cried and talked to God that very moment. I thanked Him for His generosity and for allowing us to witness Hi s a w e s o m e n e s s through t h e s e c h i l d re n . I was speechless as I saw the children walking up and down the hill with their enthusiastic and

cheerful faces to their respective Kid’s Sessions. It was time for God to work through the Heart Champ “ates” and “kuyas” to make known to each child that God is all-knowing, all-powerful, ever-present and loving. I was so inspired while observing the Worship Revolution Session. They were taught everything about worship in a language they can understand. What was more inspiring was seeing the children raising their hands, singing loudly and dancing endlessly to our God. The workshops were central to the conference as an affirmation to these children about God’s plan and purpose for each of them. It further affirmed that each of them was created uniquely and are special before God. After the overwhelming experience of that weekend, all the difficulties and pressure experienced during the conference preparations was all worth it. We realized that we are so blessed for having been given the privilege to serve the children of CFCKFL. We could have not done this on our own without the Lord guiding us. A revolution has started in this World Kids Conference. A continuation of a deeper understanding of God’s goodness and might will live in the hearts of each spirit-filled member. I am looking forward to the next steps that God has in store for CFCKFL. With the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, many more hearts will be touched and will stand in awe before our Awesome God.█
Being Community



Contributed by Joanne Angon CFC Kids for Family and Life


That Sunday, Rev. Fr. Gustilo came early. I saw him walking towards the stage area. As I approached him, he asked me how many kids attended the conference. “Around 500, Father,” I replied. Then he said: “Five hundred? Hmmm, it was more than I expected.” He asked me to gather five district coordinators with 10 kids each from their area. I went out of the hall and I saw Tito Ric Lijauco from Laguna with his kids all set for the day’s activities. I asked him to see Rev. Fr. Gustilo at the hall. I also bumped into Tito Jimmy

wo weeks before the World Kids Conference, I was able to talk to Rev. Fr. Francis Gustilo. I asked if he could celebrate the Sunday Mass at the conference. He smiled and told me “Hmmmm, paano ko kaya kakausapin ang mga batang iyon… Magdala kaya ako ng puppet?” (I wonder how I could talk to the children. Perhaps I should use a puppet.) He further said, “Did you know that the reading for Sunday will be about the Good Shepherd?” When I heard that, I got more excited. I felt that it would be an awesome weekend indeed.

Cacho from Manila who just had breakfast with his kids. Then, I saw Tito Dennis Dimapilis and likewise asked him to gather 10 kids from Novaliches. Tito Allan Porincula was resting at the Sampaguita Hall with his delegation. I also informed him about Rev. Fr. Gustilo’s instructions. On my way back, I saw Tito Roel Gonzales and asked if he could gather 10 kids. Ten minutes later, they were all there, listening attentively to Rev. Fr. Gustilo. He asked them to make a unique sound and let their kids memorize that sound. During his homily, Rev. Fr. Gustilo motioned the five coordinators to make the sound. He also asked the kids to stand up and quickly look for the sound made by their coordinator. Rev. Fr. Gustilo said that if you are familiar with the voice of the one calling you, you’ll follow. That time, I realized that I heard this parable when I was a kid. The lesson of the story never changed and will never change. I realized how I am like a sheep. I might be lost along the way and may get distracted. I may stumble looking for my way back, but my shepherd knows me and will find me. He looks for me and will always take me back into His arms . It was a great reminder not just for me, but also for all the kids. Young as they

are, they were reminded to obey the people that God sends to guide them. It is knowing that obeying the people God sends will keep us from harm and make us better persons. It is also a reminder to the parents, coordinators, heart champs, fulltime workers and mission volunteers that, like the shepherd in the story, they also must be vigilant and responsible in taking care of their sheep. God entrusted the kids to us to love and guide them as they grow up. God is really so awesome that He wanted to end the conference with this message. It is something that we’ll carry on the whole year through. Our God is our shepherd; He is our awesome God.█


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Contributed by Xavier S. Padilla CFC Kids for Family and Life International Coordinator


Our community has been around for almost 29 years now. I joined it when I was 20 years old. When I go to different areas and hear the sharing of older couples, they always say that if they had joined CFCYFL or CFCSFL when they were younger, they would not have done many of the mistakes they had done in their lives. It just so happened that there was still no CFCSFL or CFCYFL when they were younger. It was the same with me. If I had joined CFCYFL earlier, or if there was CFCKFL when I was younger, I would not have done a lot of the mistakes I committed when I was growing up. This led me to ask the service team: “If you were in CFCKFL when you were nine years old, what would you have done differently in your life?”

gave a recollection to the Service Team before the start of the World Kids Conference. This was done to allow everyone to re-focus on the reason why we do this service - to glorify God and to make Him known. It is easy to get distracted by everything we need to do for a conference. With all the deadlines, props, designs and dances, we sometimes miss out on the REAL REASON for it all.

Suffice to say, all of us would have done so many things differently. I got exposed to the world quite late. My early years were in Maria Montessori Cooperative School in Pasay. It was a small school with a different learning and teaching style. I was not exposed to any vices or bad habits while I was there, until I moved to Ateneo when I was in Grade 5. I was then exposed to teasing and bullying. In Grade 6, I was exposed to pornography. In Grade 7, I would say I had been desensitized already. Those things had no more effect on me. These led to more things in High School and College. There were a lot of mistakes that didn’t have to be done if I had known Christ earlier. Things would’ve been different

if I had experienced community earlier, if I had the support of ‘kuyas’ and ‘ates’, ‘titos’ and ‘titas’ earlier, if I had realized that the community of my parents was the community for me as well, if I had that Revolution in my heart earlier to witness Christ to others instead of being beaten down by the world. I thank God for the chance given to the generation now: to those sixyear olds who know how to worship; to those nine-year olds who realize that it is God that they worship; to those 11-year olds who dance with all their hearts because they dance for God; to all those kids who are going to be GOOD examples to their classmates, cousins, and friends. Because of them, this world will be a better place.█

Being Community




I had no passport and the uncertainty of getting a leave from work has made this desired trip to the Philippines very difficult. But just as the Scriptures say in the book of Psalms, I will take control of every situation in your life. I then placed every hurdle I had to surpass in His Hands. I got my passport in four days from the usual 30 days processing time. This was the sign for me to go ahead with my plans to go to the Philippines. I was all set to attend the World Kids Congress (WKC). But the Lord had other plans for me. I was requested to schedule my trip two weeks ahead of the WKC to give me the opportunity to attend the World Youth Congress (WKC) too. Just 36 hours before heading off for Manila, I got my leave approved! In just 36 hours I would have to either cancel this trip or quit my job to fly to Manila. But by God’s grace, I could keep the cake and eat it too! I could keep my job and attend the 2 conferences at the same time! April 9, 2009, after 10 hours of flying and over 200 kilometres of driving, I was at the beautiful Bluroze Farms in Batangas City. Just like snowflakes or tiny raindrops falling continuously, during the Congress, God’s words and blessings kept dropping from heaven for three full days without stopping. As the priest said during the Homily, this was a time where I 72
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ometime in November 2009, miles across in Goa, as a CFCKFL Mission Volunteer, I had the desire to get a feel of the CFCKFL community from where it started. That was when I decided to fly to the God-blessed island of the Philippines.

Contributed by Neshwin Almeida CFCKFL India Mission Volunteer

logged on to a new world. This world gave me a chance to open a new account. I now had a ‘FAITHBOOK’ account with the faith and love of Jesus added to my profile with no restricted settings. The first session was a flashback of what I heard as a CFC Fulltime Worker 10 years back from Joseph Tesoro. “Kuya” Joseph is now the CFCYFL International Coordinator. It spoke to us of God’s love that made me realize how blessed I am in every situation in my life. Obviously I was chosen to be among over 1000 young Filipinos shouting praises to the Lord while the J-Band was playing hours of Gospel music at the Congress. Bonding with and personally getting to know the other foreign delegates were an experience. Every session was part of a learning curve that made me reflect on my commitment to God; how special I am before God; how He sent His only Son to save me and the whole world from sin. The final session by Rev. Fr. Manuel made me realize that my worries, troubles, fears and anxieties was just like a tiny butterfly in a very vast world. His inspiring story about the soccer player who suffered much is something that will keep reminding me that Jesus is always with me. I may miss my dad, my family, my country, my Indian food but the ever-changing experience was worth all the effort of coming here. They say

God has His plans for each one of us and He did have a plan for me. The pictures, souvenirs like the “Live Pure” wrist band I am wearing with me from the Congress, and the memories may remain or may be lost in my journey through life. But the experience and love in my heart will remain forever with me. I truly praise God and the loving and hospitable Filipino brothers and sisters who made this trip a moment to cherish!█

Contributed by Khyme Esteban CFC Kids for Family and Life



I bathed in the fire hose bath with other kids (and other feelingkids). i felt free. i felt so happy. i felt like nothing matters, but only that moment. that moment of freedom and pure happiness. moment of pure satisfaction. 2 i remember my colorful childhood. every time it rained, i’d go out with my friends, grab a soap and shampoo and just bathed in the rain. i remember those times when we’d keep on jumping until the water splashed on our faces. or those moments that we rode a styrofoam-made boat that we used when there was a little wave (called flood). or wear our “salbabidas” (floaters) and pretend that we’re in a beach. simple joys, life-changing moments. when i think of it, i still can imagine the smiles on our faces. the sound of shrieking girls while the boys teased them with dirty water. and our moms scolding us for bathing in the rain. again. after a million times of stopping us and telling us not to. but it’s different. you become one with nature. you become one with yourself. you feel free. different. it’s like you want to stay for a long time under the rain.

ast weekend, I had the chance to be a kid again.

but you can’t. you’ll get sick. and your mom will get more mad. so you’ll stop bathing under the rain. and even if your friends call you, you’ll turn them down and say “nah, i already had enough.” and that moment will become one of those treasured ones you want to share with anyone who cares to listen. 2 back to the fire hose bath. 2 thanks to precious and marion who pulled me into this. i never regretted any moment of it. seeing the kids enjoying the moment made me desire to experience their joy as well. so even if i had jeans and shoes on, and had money on my pocket, i joined them in the bathing spree. indulged myself to freedom. indulged myself in becoming a kid again. and while having this moment of my life, i realized a very important lesson. in life, we don’t need everything. we just need the basic, ordinary things. what makes us happy. what makes us complete. for me, it’s my family. my friends. my work. my community. my faith. my God. and it made me appreciate more that the life i have is the life God wants for me. thank you fire hose bath. thank you kids for making me realize how beautiful life is.█ 73

Being Community

hen you see young people gather to worship and profess their love for the Lord, you cannot help but be inspired. You will definitely be infected with their energy and their passion. Last April 9-11, 2010, 1,500 servant leaders of CFCYFL gathered in Bluroze Farms in Lipa, Batangas for the World Youth Congress 2010. It was a life-changing, spirit-filled and awe-inspiring event.


Contributed by Joseph Tesoro CFC Youth for Family and Life International Coordinator

Righteous is He” (Job 37:23). Being young today is tough. They are dictated by society about who they should be. The congress instilled

The conference theme, “I AM”, was taken from CFCFFL’s theme for the year: “The Almighty, Just and

in the hearts and minds of the participants about who they should look up to, who they should trust, imitate and go to in times of trouble - no other than the Great “I AM”. The congress was opened by our new Family Ministries Coordinator, Bob Murga. It was followed by a powerful session led by Jepoy Meneses which focused on the awesomeness of God. It made everyone realize the presence of the Great “I AM”. 74
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Gam Guarnes, mission volunteer from De La Salle University and District Youth Servant of Antipolo, later led the praisefest. Gam is the son of Gary Guarnes, CFCFFL District Servant of Pasig. The second day was as powerful as the first. For the first time in CFCYFL history, we had separate sessions for the brothers and sisters. This was done so that then participants could have more freedom to talk about issues concerning boys and girls. The sisters’ session was conducted by Ina Gasgonia, while

and Ina Gasgonia (for the sisters). The session was followed by the Sacrament of Reconciliation by CFCYFL’s Spiritual Adviser, Rev. Fr. Francis Gustilo.

Dylan Reyes facilitated the session for the brothers. Both Ina and Dylan are CFCYFL fulltime workers. The next session was entitled, “Living a Righteous Life”, where a couple of sharers declared to the crowd their conviction to live righteously. The sharers for the brothers’ session were Gerald Cruz (Cluster Youth Servant for Pasig), Cedrick Camayo (District CFCKFL “kuya” for Antipolo), while Bamba Reyes (District Youth Servant for Batangas) shared for the sisters. Before the session ended, the participants committed to live righteous lives and declared to support “Live Pure”, a pro-life advocacy of the CFCFFL Young Ministries. The commitment ceremonies were led by Jermer Cruz (for the brothers)

Youth Camp. That experience allowed him to be a testimony of God’s faithfulness to His people. The last day of the conference was truly festive. It started with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass celebrated by Rev. Fr. Gustilo. The talk entitled, “I Am Just and Righteous” given by CFCYFL mission volunteer Fyron Umali followed. It was a fitting finale which challenged the participants to remain faithful to their covenant with God. Only then will each truly experience God’s divine justice and righteousness. The praisefest was led by Ziggy Maturan, a mission volunteer for CFCYFL Mindanao mission volunteer. Ziggy is the son of CFCFFL fulltime worker Roy Maturan. It was truly a weekend of worship, self-discovery and commitment. CFCYFL is ready to take on the challenge to continue the work of CFCFFL. As the participants experienced the power of the Great “I AM” in the WYC, they are all now ready to go out and evangelize for the awesome God, the Great “I AM”!█

The third session entitled, “I Am Redeemed”, was given by Rev. Fr. Gustilo who talked about redemptive suffering. The adoration of the Blessed Sacrament which culminated the session was a powerful moment for the youth to stand and adore the Great “I AM”. The day ended with a praisefest led by Adrick dela Rosa, a Cluster Youth Servant from the District of Antipolo. Adrick went through his own redemptive suffering two years ago when he met an accident while preparing for a
Being Community




Contributed by Adrick Joshua A. Dela Rosa CFCYFL District of Antipolo

On December 25, 2008, two of my fellow CFCYFL team servants, Omar Cervantes and Rhondy San Andres, and I were preparing for a youth camp to be conducted during the Christmas break. We decided to buy some of those materials needed for the camp. On the way, we met a motorcycle accident. We all got hurt, but it was I whose life was in danger. My face hit the wall. My forehead was badly wounded. I had a broken nose and broken teeth. My speech was unintelligible. Omar was unconscious. Rhondy was the least hurt, that was why he was able to run to our house to inform my parents. We were brought to the hospital by a CFCYFL member who happened to live near the accident site. No one from the hospital assisted me nor gave me first aid. I got the impression that they were afraid to touch my face since it was completely injured. Perhaps, too, the hospital was not fully equipped to handle cases like mine. I lay there, helpless and in so much pain. I cried when I touched my face and I knew that it was a total wreck. While I was in the ambulance on the way 76
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have been a member CFC Youth for Family and Life for five years now. Since I offered my life to the Lord, it was filled with joy and satisfaction. Serving the youth is a great privilege. I have the opportunity to testify the words of God in my life. I do these wholeheartedly, believing that a life without God is not life at all. However, tragedy struck. My life changed completely.

to a bigger hospital, I was praying while singing worship songs. I knew that only the Lord can save me and lessen my pain. In the ICU, I was vomitting blood. It was a good thing that my father was there to give me strength. My mother could not bear to look at me because she felt all the pain I felt. Even though I was in pain, I kept on thinking about the camp. I thought, “Who will conduct the camp if the service team was there with me? Who will replace me as one of the speakers?” I was frustrated, thinking that I failed the Lord. That time, I felt I was a burden to my family. Before my operation, my CFCYFL and CFCFFL community offered prayers for me. I knew that my recovery was not solely dependent on the doctors, but on the perfect will of the Lord. The prayers lifted up were very powerful, that I recovered in a week Instead of feeling miserable because of this experience, I could say that I am a living testimony of God’s greatness. I proclaim the word of the Lord through mission trips, congresses and youth camps. I can say that without the Lord, I would not have overcome everything. Without the CFCFFL, I would not be able to feel the love and support of God’s people. Without my family who made me feel that I was not unfortunate, I would not have realized that God always has a reason for everything. More importantly, if the Lord was not there beside me, I would have felt that I was nothing. I promised myself that my conviction and passion in serving


the Lord will be forever. Everything will fade away, but my love for God will remain forever. Whatever happens, nothing can separate me from the love of God.█

Contributed by Xavier S. Padilla CFC Kids for Family and Life International Coordinator


The Friday started with the Holy Rosary and the Holy Mass celebrated by Rev. Fr. Martin of Argentina. Rev. Fr. Martin was introduced to CFCSFL by our Argentinian Missionary - Teny Mardo. He served in Payatas while we were in Argentina serving his parish. Dylan Reyes, CFC Youth for Family and Life (YFL) fulltime worker, led the opening Praise and Worship, followed by a talk on “The Almighty” by the CFCSFL International Coordinator, Patrick Oconer, which was capped off by a Praisefest led by EJ Aguila, CFCYFL Missionary. The night, though cold with temperatures comparable to Baguio City, ended with everyone on fire for the rest of the weekend! “Jampacked Saturday” Saturday started with the Holy Rosary and the Holy Mass celebrated by Rev. Fr. Daks of Batangas. He even serenaded the participants with a song during his homily, which reminded everyone of the reason why we were all serving the Lord. It was followed by Praise and Worship by Ronald Repolona of the District of Paranaque. A series of workshops designed to equip and empower the delegates followed. There were

hat was the theme of the World Singles Congress held last weekend at Bluroze Farms in Lipa City, Batangas. More than 900 delegates came from around the world to attend the annual Congress of the members of CFC Singles for Family and Life (SFL).

workshops on “E-vangelize” by Monsignor Pepe Quitorio of the CBCP Media Office and Kris Bayos of YouthPinoy, “Faithbook” by Rev. Fr. Arlo Yap, “Witnessing in the Workplace” by Reena Murga and “Vocation” by Rev. Fr. Reggie of SVD. All these made Saturday morning awesome! By the afternoon, all the men and women separated for a talk exclusively made for them on “Romance and Sex”. It was a no holds barred discussion. It was facilitated by the husband and wife tandem of

unrighteousness around them (Xavy is the International Coordinator of CFC Kids for Family and Life). This was followed by the talk on “The Redemptive Power of Suffering” by Rev. Fr. Arlo Yap, SVD, Spiritual Adviser of CFCSFL who also leads the worldwide partnership of SVD and the CFCFFL community. Rommel Gerodias of the Diocese of San Pablo and Ina Gasgonia of the District of Pasig shared about redemptive suffering in their lives. The session ended with the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and an almighty experience of Jesus physically present with all the delegates. Even at 1:00AM, it seemed that everyone just wanted to spend more time with Jesus. JC Sarmiento, SFL Missionary, capped the evening with a Praisefest. “The Call to Faithfulness” The last day was full of promise. It started with the Holy Rosary and the Holy Mass celebrated by Rev. Fr. Arlo Yap. The Praise and Worship led by Jay of the Diocese of Tarlac again reminded us of the reason for a CFCSFL ministry. Session 4 was given by Dave Balino, CFCSFL Missionary, who spoke on what we still needed to do to remain faithful to God, despite everything that is happening around us. The delegates were also challenged by the sharing of Blanche Halili of our call to defend life and to speak up against those who want to attack the sanctity of life. The weekend ended with everyone focused on the Almighty and ways to focus on Him every day of our lives! The next WSC will be in the Diocese of Tarlac!█

Joseph and Mariel Tesoro. Joseph is the International Coordinator of CFCYFL. The rest of the afternoon was dedicated to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, where the delegates had the opportunity to receive the sacrament of reconciliation, based on their realizations from the weekend. There were two sessions in the evening following a rousing Praise and Worship led by Policeman Atoy of Naval, Biliran. A talk on “Living a Righteous Life” by the International Family Ministries Coordinator Bob Murga focused on the example of Job and how we can be more like him in living out our lives. Marie Relucio, CFCSFL Missionary, shared on her personal struggles; and Xavier and Des Padilla shared on a relationship that can be righteous even with the

Being Community



We recognize Jesus’ mission to bring glad tidings to the poor (Lk 4:18). We look to both the spiritual and material upliftment of the least among our brethren. In doing so, we will be in solidarity with the poor by striving to live a simple lifestyle, to share our resources, and to fight for social justice in the world.

iving a referential ption for the oor


o encourage parishes to have work with the poor leading to a massive work in poverty eradication”.


Contributed by Isaias Bonjibod CFCFFL Work with the Poor

This is the mission statement of the CFCFFL Work With the Poor (WWP) ministry. It is a mission that hopes to enlist the various parish organizations in helping our poor brethren. Initially, WWP started with Restoration Villages wholly run by CFCFFL Restoration Teams waiting for the right conditions for an ideal parish-based Restoration Village (RV). God provided the ideal set up at the Sto.Nino de Getafe Parish, Getafe, Bohol. Romy Cabading, both a CFCFFL and a Parish Pastoral Council leader of the town, was inspired to donate a one hectare piece of land after listening to the talk of Frank Padilla in Bohol. With the blessing of their parish priest, Father Alex Auxtero, Romy formed the 18 parish organizations into the Sto. Nino de Getafe Alliance for the Upliftment of the Poor, Inc. The group included, among others, the Parish Pastoral Council, the Lay Ministers, the Family & Life Apostolate, Parish Youth Ministry, the Catholic Womens League, Legion of Mary, and the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. The alliance will be the restoration team to take care of the village. The WWP National Core Team, composed of Rene Evidente, Bonjie Bonjibod, Jett Reyes and Robert Lim, 80

arrived from Manila to conduct the Restoration Team Training (RTT). A total of 60 leaders from the 18 organizations attended the RTT last February 27, 2010 at the parish church. Both the WWP National & CFCFFL Bohol Core teams have pledged the initial houses to start the village. Getafe is located 92 kilometers north of Tagbilaran with some 28,000 residents and a land area

of about 10,000 hectares. Most residents are dependent on fishing and agriculture. A total of 120 families will be the beneficiaries of the village. A positive outcome of this initiated parish-based Restoration Village endeavor may resonate to other parishes nationwide and may serve as a model for further parish engagements.█

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June 2010


Contributed by Isaias Bonjibod CFCFFL Work with the Poor


Although classes started quite late for the current school year, we welcome the fourth BATA Center set up in the CFCFFL Work With the Poor villages. The BATA Center is the community-based early childhood education center supervised by the CFC Educational Foundation, Inc. (CFCEFI). CFCEFI is the education ministry of CFCFFL. The B.A.T.A. Program of CFCEFI aims for a holistic, Christian, and values-based education for children ages 3-6 years old in our Restoration/Mission Villages. █

fter several months of preparations, the BATA Center at the Immaculate Conception Mission Village of Pandi, Bulacan finally opened its doors to welcome the children. Classes started on January 18, 2010, with a total of 18 students enrolled in the program. The classroom was renovated through funds from CFCFFL Maryland, USA, while the pre-school operation is supported by the CFCFFL Chapter of Missisauga, Canada.

living a preFerential option For the poor


fter a lengthy review with the legal office of the Diocese of Parañaque, the Parish of San Isidro Labrador signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the CFCFFL Work With the Poor Ministry to jointly establish the San Isidro Labrador Child Learning Center. The partnership is the first of its kind in the Diocese, as well as for CFCFFL. The signing ceremony took place last December 19, 2009 at the office of Rev. Fr. Eric Salazar, Parish Priest.


Contributed by Rene Evidente CFCFFL WWP International Coordinator

The parish of San Isidro Labrador is located in Barangay Almanza Uno, Las Piñas City. The Child Learning Center manifests the shared vision of SILP and CFCFFL of empowering

the poor through communitybuilding program and activities based on Christian values and principles. After just a few months of serving the Parish, both parties recognized the need to provide poor children of pre-school age with academic and values education to prepare them for entering regular elementary education. The program will use the B.A.T.A. (Biyayang Aral, Tanging Alay) Program, an early childhood education program developed by the CFC Educational Foundation, Inc. (CFCEFI). The academic operation of the school will be under the supervision of the CFCFFL District of Parañaque, while CFCEFI will undertake the training, guidance and monitoring of the teachers, as well as the values formation

for the parents of the enrollees. Under the terms of the agreement, SILP will make available approximately 200 square meters of space in its chapel premises located in Barangay Almanza Uno. CFCFFL, on the other hand, will renovate the chapel in order to build a pre-school classroom, a community library, a pantry and comfort rooms. In addition, CFCFFL will also shoulder the monthly operating expenses of the learning center. Classes will start in June 2010. CFCFFL Indiana, USA under Ray and Au Manaloto, has pledged to fund the renovation and the monthly operating expenses of the school. As of this writing, the group has long raised and remitted the funds required for the renovation.█


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June 2010

Contributed by Bonjie Bonjibod CFCFFL WWP Fulltime Pastoral Worker

DECEMBER 27, 2009

The groundbreaking ceremonies started with a prayer and blessing of the site by Fr.Vince Reyes, Asst. Parish Priest of San Diego de Alcala.

Cornerstone laying

The SDRV beneficiaries with CFCFFL leaders

The brick-making machine with its output bricks beside it.

Kids receiving Christmas gifts

Ver Acuña, CFCFFL Valenzuela Servant, receives the relief goods.
living a preFerential option For the poor




Contributed by Deity Lim CFCFFL WWP Volunteer

This is the essence of the livelihood program that CFCFFL Work With the Poor Ministry intends to conduct to various Mission Villages (MVs) and Restoration Villages (RVs). Since livelihood is one of the components of this ministry, a seminar that will provide entrepreneurial skills to interested beneficiaries has been conceptualized. On April 18, 2010, at 5:30 AM, four couples from Las Piñas and Parañaque cities traveled northward to Pandi Bulacan with the mission to conduct a whole day livelihood seminar with beneficiaries from Immaculate Concepcion Mission Village as target audience. Another couple from Pasig and a WWP fulltime mission worker later joined the group. As early as 7:30 AM, people trooped to the seminar venue, the Brigino Estate, home of Ed and Zeny Brigino of CFCFFL Pandi. Around 50 participants came, most of whom had mixed expectations. There were those who came because they were obliged by their elders; some others were curious to know what good it will bring their families; a number of them were anxious on how long the seminar will last since they had other plans that Sunday. Nevertheless, they stayed on. As the seminar progressed, most of them showed interest and were later immersed in the various 84
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ive a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

discussions. They also became active participants in the workshops that allowed them to experience how to be a business entrepreneur for a day. The Livelihood Seminar, “Daan sa Programang Paghanap-buhay”, started with Ed Brigino leading the opening prayer. Bart Ongtangco later welcomed the participants. Veo Balbalosa, on the other hand, gave the orientation and facilitated the

Some of the bible verses mentioned were Genesis 1:25, Psalm 24:1, Deuteronomy 10:14, Genesis 1:2728 and Matthew 25. Since the next topic required the participants to actively participate, they were divided into five groups with 10 members each. “Magagandang Kaugalian ng Kristianong Negosyante” was given by Becky Ongtangco. She related the story of a couple named

expectation setting. The service team made sure that they engaged everyone to ensure the 100 % participation of the beneficiaries. The first part of the seminar proper was a talk on “Paghahanapbuhay ng Tunay na Kristiyano” by Alice Balbalosa. The Bible verses served as a springboard to describe the ideal Christian businessman. Since man was created in the image and likeness of God, it is inherent that he be righteous, hardworking, and patient. He should know how to use His God-given talents, and develop a personal relationship with God. Therefore, he should act in accordance to God’s plan for him.

Fidel and Precy and their three children. Their source of income was preparing and selling “tocino”, a type of sweetened cured meat (pork in general), that is traditionally served for breakfast in the Philippines. From the short story, she asked the groups to write the characteristics they have identified of the couple and their children. They shared with the other groups the qualities that they perceived the family possessed that led them to be successful in the business they ventured into. This exercise aimed at letting the participants analyze and realize the good qualities

or attitudes a Christian businessman should possess in order to succeed. A short video entitled, “Mga Negosyong Pwedeng Pagkakitaan” followed. The film showcased some of the different micro/small businesses commonly seen in the wet market, on a busy sidewalk, or even along the roads of villages and subdivisions. This gave way to Bong del Espiritu’s talk on “Iba’tIbang Uri ng Paghahanap-buhay”. The talk aims to stir the participants’ desire to have their own business, to inspire them to dream of becoming a successful businessman, and to realize a business that will last. This topic gave us a quick insight on the following areas: first, “Negosyo Ayon sa Laki” (Business According to Size), which include micro, small, medium, and large business; second, “Negosyo Ayon sa Uri” (Business According to Type), which include trading, production/manufacturing, and services; and third, “Negosyo Ayon sa Pag-aari” (Business According to Ownership), which are single proprietorship, partnership, corporation and cooperative. It was a very informative talk that allowed the participants to understand clearly, and see the different kinds of businesses they can venture into in the future. After a hearty lunch prepared by our gracious host, a short praise and worship was led by Bonjie Bonjibod and Marie del Espiritu. As a follow through, “Ang Kabuuan ng Paghahanap-buhay” (Totality of a Business) and “Pagpili

ng Negosyo” (Business Selection) was discussed by Marie del Espiritu. The session equipped the participants with the basic knowledge of how to start a business. Emphasis was on the basic elements of a business and how to manage it - planning, organizing, staffing, marketing, getting a loan (for capital), and complying with government regulations (government permits). Each of the step was discussed thoroughly. On business selection, emphasis was given on the decision process in the choice of a business venture. It included studying the target market, reading business magazines, watching or listening to regular business shows on TV or radio, attending business seminars and learning from the experiences of successful businessmen. She ended her talk by sharing her own experience in starting her own school bus service business. Most of those who attended were thankful that CFCFFL-WWP came all the way to their place, to equip them with the basic knowledge of becoming successful businessmen. Bart also came up with an acronym that summarized the whole day seminar, “PAWIS”. This is a tagalog term that means “sweat”, normally equated to hard work or labor. PAWIS represents: P – “Palawakin ang kaalaman” which means they need to widen their knowledge by attending seminars like this; A – “Ayusin ang lahat ng aspeto ng kanilang buhay” – which means they need to straighten out all aspects of their lives that

encompass both their spiritual life and relationship with family and neighbors; W – “Wag kang manood lang, kumilos ka” which means they should not just watch, but act; I - “Itigil ang sisihan”which means they should stop blaming each other; and S – “Sundan natin ang pangarap” which means we follow their dream. The participants posed the question, “How will we follow our dreams?”, “How do we get started?”, “Where will the capital come from?” Bart mentioned that as soon as the participants’ business plans are done, they will be collected, and micro financing capitalization will be sought to jumpstart their venture. The officers for the Pandi CFCFFL livelihood program were also elected: President – John Dignaran, Vice President – Romy Corpuz, Secretary – Minda San Diego, and Treasurer – Mike Brigino. CFCFFL, through the Work With the Poor Ministry, and by way of the Livelihood Seminar conducted, has now started to equip our beneficiaries with the necessary skills, knowledge and attitude that will improve their present state of life. The work is not yet complete. It has just begun.█

living a preFerential option For the poor



Parents of students from Grades One to Six of Malaya Elementary School in Quezon City intently listened to the insights shared by Peggy Burgoyne of the CFCFFL Pro-Life Ministry. They also actively participated during the open forum.

he Education Ministry of CFCFFL, together with the CFCFFL Pro-Life Ministry, conducted a Parents’ Forum on “The sEX-FACTOR: Sex Education Primarily Belongs to the Parents”.

The parents appreciated the fact that the responsibility to educate their children in matters of human sexuality belongs to them. They also realized that there is a great need to further their knowledge on such issues. This engagement of giving

Contributed by Myra M. Menguito CFCFFL Education Ministry

formation session to public schools is in line with the Adopt-A-School Program of the CFCFFL Education Ministry. The program sees the integrative work of the different Social and Family Ministries of CFCFFL as we minister to the parents, teachers, and students.█

Contributed by Aster Bughao & Bobbie Co-Laguitao CFCFFL Livelihood Ministry

ekton Entre-workers Cooperative or TekWork is a Workers Cooperative under the Livelihood Ministry of Couples for Christ Foundation for Family and Life (CFCFFL).


God-based organization that could provide livelihood with job security, sustain the efficiency of self-directed members, and build self-esteem and moral responsibility. It trains its members with developmental

It started its operations in July 2003 and is managed by human resource professionals who are driven to fulfill the mission of helping the poor through self-employment and savings. It is directed towards the pursuit of giving the unemployed income from decent work. Tekwork’s vision is to be the leading religious organization in manpower placement imbued with God-given values of work ethics and discipline. It endeavors to sustain a 86
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programs on Self-Development that includes Working as a Team, Effective Communication, Good Grooming, Values Education and Education (VEEP), Christian Work

Attitude, Business Ethics, among others. TekWork membership is currently numbering about 190 selfemployed members, 34 non-working members, and 19 cooperators. Our self-employed members, deployed in partner-companies, have a high level of participation, dedication and are strongly rooted on sound Christian Values. Among others, they pride themselves with their dignity of labor. Tekwork shall continually pursue and practice the values of Moral Integrity, Responsibility, Professionalism, Quality Service and Work Excellence through Teamwork. So if you need a manpower cooperative for your organization, Tekwork is open to serve you!█


Contributed by Myra M. Menguito CFCFFL Education Ministry

St. Vincent Foundation sought the assistance of the CFCFFL Education Ministry in giving values formation to their 270 sponsored children ages six to 12 years old. Specifically, the children needed to be affirmed of their worth as persons. The children in their communities were observed to have very poor selfesteem, which eventually redounds to lack of respect for others. Given this, the Education Ministry designed a two-day program for these children. Simultaneous values-based workshops were conducted for the 60 sponsored children of St. Vincent from Marikina (held at Purok 7, Multipurpose Hall, Marikina) and the 210 children from Novaliches (held at the Brgy. Hall of Brgy. Sta. Lucia). The CFCKFL Heartchamps (CFCYFL “ates” and “kuyas” serving in CFCKFL) from Antipolo and Novaliches were the very energetic support to the teachers and fulltime workers of the CFCFFL Education Ministry who served as the main facilitators. The Heartchamps did

ate in May 2010, the Lord knocked at the heart of CFCFFL through its Education Ministry. He knocked for the children of St. Vincent Foundation for Children and Aging, Inc.

not only introduce the Kids Praise to these children enrolled in the public schools, but they also helped guide the children during the sessions. According to the social workers of St. Vincent Foundation, it was their first time to see the children very enthusiastic about the activities. The social workers even got inclined to participate during the activities. Victor Bago, Heartchamp from Antipolo, excitedly exclaimed, “Thank you for inviting us. This is another battle for the love of God!” Though there was limited time to gather the volunteers from CFCKFL, the CFCFFL Education Ministry was grateful to CFCKFL Novaliches Coordinator Dennis Dimapilis and CFCKFL Antipolo, through Pal Castillo and CFCKFL Fulltime Pastoral Worker Khyme Esteban, for their efforts in encouraging the youth to come together for this undertaking. Truly, they have responded to the Lord’s call. This is only the beginning of a mission. St. Vincent Foundation expressed their desire to implement our family ministries’ programs not only for their children, but their parents and teachers as well. All these are wonderful! When the Lord knocked, not only a door was opened, but windows as well!█

living a preFerential option For the poor



Contributed by Manny Estrella CFCFFL Education Ministry

t was the first time I reached that part of Parang, Marikina – clean, tranquil and inviting. People in sari-sari stores were smiling as we passed by, even bobbing their heads in curiosity! I was accompanied by Nonoy and Chato Ledavesus, the indefatigable couple of


the CFCFFL Ministry for Restorative Justice. Weaving our way through the unfamiliar, narrow passageways, we finally reached the residence of candidate scholar, Sharra Mae Domingo. She was beaming with her infectious smile as she greeted and introduced us

to the rest of the family: her mother, Regelyn, and her 12year old brother, Ben Junior.
Sharra displayed charm and confidence typical of an unassuming young girl. She was unaffected by the fact that her mother earns an average of P2,000 per month as a worker


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June 2010

in a factory of disposable diapers, nor by her father serving a sentence of reclusion perpetua in the New Bilibid Prison’s Maximum Security Compound. She said she visits her father during weekends. On occasions that she is unable to do so, Sharra writes an inspiring letter to him about the awesomeness of God. Her quick and straightforward replies demonstrated her confidence and determination to reverse the state of life they are in. As we ended the interview, her eyes and gestures failed to mask the urgency and hope that brewed in her. The Binhi ng Pag-asa (Seed of Hope) Scholarship Program is one of the flagship programs of the CFCFFL Education Ministry. The scholarship fund comes from generous partner institutions and private individuals from the Philippines and abroad. It is so touching to note how a number of CFCFFL members pledged their support for the program. It provides financial assistance to

deserving students in all levels to target sectors, namely, Restoration Villages (RVs) and Mission Villages (MVs) under the CFCFFL Work with the Poor Program (WWP), children of CFCFFL members in the New Bilibid Prison and Correctional Institute for Women, and dependents of CFCFFL members in parishes and indigenous tribes. The seed money of the Binhi ng Pagasa (Seed of Hope) Scholarship Program was provided by the Viridalia Cooperativa through the efforts of Tony and Ruby Borja, CFCFFL Europe Regional Coordinators. Viridalia Cooperativa is an Italian-based cooperative. Sharra is now in her 2nd year BS Education at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Marikina. Her grades

were outstanding with an average of 1.62 or 90-93%. She looks forward to attending CFCYFL activities, including the Youth Camp, which she said will allow her to make many friends, improve her character, and fortify her relationship with God. █


living a preFerential option For the poor


We in CFC-FFL are an integral part of the Catholic Church. We are submitted to our bishops and to the pope. Our life, formation and service will conform to Catholic values and ideals. We make ourselves available to be of service in the parishes and dioceses, especially in the areas of family and life. We look to Mary, the mother of the Church, as our inspiration and help.


eing a ervant to the hurch

Contributed by Cel Montilla CFCFFL Education Ministry

he B.A.T.A (Biyayang Aral, Tanging Alay) Program is the Early Childhood Education Program of the CFCFFL Education Ministry. The B.A.T.A. Program (formerly called “Sibol”) started as early as 1996 when the Couples for Christ Educational Foundation Inc. (CFCEFI) started.


On the other hand, the communitybased early childhood education program is being implemented in our Restoration/Mission Villages in our Work with the Poor (WWP). The B.A.T.A Program uses the value-based/ Bible-based Integrated Curriculum. Its program components include: Feeding Program – the children and the parents are made to appreciate the value of nutritious meals; Educational Field Trips – children can discover, explore, and learn concepts through actual experiences; Parent Involvement/ Formation Seminars – parents as the primary educators of their children are empowered and formed; Teacher Formation teachers are formed and empowered through talks on improving their teaching skills and forming them to be Christian teachers after God’s own heart; Community Day – children, parents and teachers come together every month for activities that will enhance the theme and concepts learned for the month

The early childhood education program of CFCEFI is being implemented through the School of the Morning Star (SMS) and the BATA Centers in the Mission/ Restoration Villages. The SMS is the CFCEFI supervised school, which is open for both CFC and nonCFC members. To date, we have SMS supervised schools in Valencia City (Bukidnon), Wao (Lanao del Sur), and Candelaria (Quezon Province). Our SMS supervisedschool in Bukidnon does not only offer a pre-school program,but the elementary and high school levels as well. We also have the Start Learning Center, our supervised school in Tala, Caloocan City.

as well as develop a closer bond and relationship as partners in education; Moving-up Day – the children stepup to the next stage of their learning experience. During the Moving-Up day, each child receives his certificate of attendance and virtue award. The Work With The Poor areas offering the B.A.T.A Program are the following: • District of Paranaque – Mary Mediatrix of all Grace Restoration Village under the supervision of Manny Edralin and


Sound the trumpetS

June 2010

Contributed by Jesse Tabora CFCFFL Livelihood Ministry International Coordinator


The LSS was launched in Pasig City District’s St. Jude Thadeus Parish bordering the Mangahan Floodway. The workshops started in August 2009 but resumed in January to March 2010 due to the two

he CFCFFL Livelihood Ministry conducted the very productive and enterprising “Livelihood for Self Sufficiency Program” or LSS in Pasig City.

typhoons that occurred in September last year. At the outset, 20 sisters and one brother attended. However, only 50% were able to continue after the flood due to relocation. The LSS was requested by the parish servant leaders after a successful fund-raising birthday event to finance livelihood projects. The workshops were focused on four of the Six Key Result Areas (KRA), namely: (1) Community Organization & Development, (2) Values Education & Enhancement, (3) Community Enterprise Development, and (4) Micro-Credit Development. The last two were focused on individual entrepreneurial development & growth and micro-credit financing. Only two sisters with family Teacher Rhodora Esteban and Teacher Irish Peruda. • Provincial Areas: Bulacan – Mary Immaculate Conception, Pandi Mission Village – under the supervision of Ed Brigino with Teacher Vislumin San Diego. To date, we have a total of 72 children in our BATA Centers in our Work with the Poor areas and over 130 children from the supervised schools. To ensure that our curriculum is constantly updated to meet the needs of the children we serve and to assist the teachers in preparing for the next schoolyear, all our teachers attend Summer Training Worshops/ Seminars. On April 14-16, all the teachers went through a Curriculum Review Seminar (RETRO Training). Here, they shared their respective

members remained for the last three workshop days. They were in candle-making and prepared meals businesses for micro-credit. The Parish Fund required a Business Project Feasibility Study to qualify for financing which most of the participants felt ill-prepared to do. Much has been learned working with our brothers and sisters from this initial undertaking of the Parish and Livelihood Social Ministry. We shall be “angels” to our two sister entrepreneurs and Parish servant leaders. We will also continue to encourage the sisters who dropped out and continue to engage the usurious lenders.█

Carms Caringal together with Teachers Tan-Tan Relampagos and Laura Feniza. • The District of Novaliches – CFC International Restoration Village under the supervision of Baby Principe with Teacher Susan Ramos and Teacher Jonah Esdrelon; Brampton Restoration Village with Teacher Laila Santos; • The District of Caloocan – San Roque Mission Village under the supervision of

curriculum of the previous schoolyear, evaluated their curriculum, prepared plans to improve and enhance their curriculum for the next schoolyear. It was also a time to bond and strengthen relationships among themselves. The B.A.T.A. Program has benefited all its stakeholders - the parents, the teachers, and the children. The teachers have grown in their love and commitment in serving God’s children; the parents have grown to appreciate their special call and mission in bringing up their children in the ways of the Lord; the children grow in virtue and appreciation of God’s love for them during the most important formative years of their lives. There is so much more to look forward to in the years to come. The joy that every moment brings with God’s children is God’s greatest gift to us who serve Him!█
exerCiSing Servant leaderShip


We are privileged to serve God and His people, both in and out of CFC-FFL. We serve with the mind and heart of Jesus, who came to serve and not to be served (Mt 20:28). Leaders are to serve with humility, self-sacrifice and submission to the Chief Shepherd, to whom we will render an account (Hb 13:17). He who wishes to be great shall be the least of all (Mt 20:26-27).


xercising ervant eadership

Contributed by Frank Padilla CFCFFL Servant General


Our current Spiritual Directors, namely, Bishop Gabriel Reyes (CFCFFL Spiritual Director), Archbishop Socrates Villegas (CFCFFL Young Ministries Spiritual Director),Father Francis Gustilo, SDB (Assistant Spiritual Director), and Father Arlo Yap, SVD (CFCSFL Spiritual Director), continue with their relationship with us.█

n line with the Holy See’s desire to bring together as one the two CFCs -- CFC Global and CFCFFL, Cardinal Rosales has appointed Spiritual Directors for each of the two CFCs. Father Greg Gaston is the Spiritual Director of CFCFFL.


Sound the trumpetS

June 2010

Contributed by Maribel Descallar CFCFFL Pro-Life Ministry

ight after the CFCFFL Awesome Conference in Baguio, CFCFFL was privileged to serve during the National Clergy Congress, a five-day retreat for 5,000 bishops and priests of the Philippine Catholic Church from January 25 to 29, 2010. CFCFFL was part of the organizing committee of this historical event of our Mother Church, headed by His Eminence Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales. Ambassador Tita De Villa served as its Chief Operations Officer of the event. CFCFFL Spiritual Director, Father Francis Gustilo, designed the retreat program for this congress.


Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.....If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Pet 4:10-11)

A major aspect of our community’s participation was taking charge of the program during the Laity Encounter with Father Raniero Cantalamessa (the Preacher of the Holy Father and the entire Papal Household) on January 28, 2010, from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM at the Araneta Coliseum. Father Cantalamessa was also the Retreat Master for the National Clergy Congress. Another privileged service of CFCFFL was being assigned to assist Father Cantalamessa for the entire duration of his stay in Manila. Truly, we take any service that is being asked of us as a Divine privilege!█


Left photo: Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. Right photo: Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family. Xavy Padilla was with them at the International Youth Forum of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for the Laity in Rome, March 2010.

Being a Servant to the ChurCh


Contributed by Frank Padilla CFCFFL Servant General


books on “Servant Leadership” and “Stories from Prison”. The presentation we made was very well received. About a dozen persons later approached us to express their appreciation and congratulations. The second day again started with a Mass. We did the first reading and the responsorial psalm. There were various lectures, most of which were very intellectual and academic. Bishop Soc commented that there were no biblical references. The third day was a half day session where more inputs were gathered. The PCfF under Cardinal Antonelli seems geared up to be more participative. More inputs were sought, and a website is being developed.█

Eight new couple-members were introduced. We used to be the only ones from Asia. Now there are three of us -an Indian couple and an Israeli couple. The total number of couple-members is 20. The Indian couple is from CFCFFL Bombay. Some old friends were there, like Bishop Gregory Kpiebaya of Ghana. We also met Cardinal Polycarp Pengo of Tanzania. Archbishop Fouad Twal, patriarch of the Holy Land, whom we met when we were recently in Israel was also there. The audience with Pope Benedict XVI was advanced to the first day, when it usually is at the end of the plenary’s third day. We were again privileged to meet personally with him. We had the privilege to present to him with our

he Pontifical Council for the Family (PCfF) gathered about 120 participants this year. The event, which had as its theme “The Rights of the Child”, started off with a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, together with about eight other cardinals and bishops. Archbishop Socrates Villegas was there. My wife, Gerry, and I did one of the prayers of the faithful.


Sound the trumpetS

June 2010


Renewing the Family and Defending Life

Apartelle 12, Star Mall, EDSA corner Shaw Blvd., Mandaluyong City Telefax 718-2213 or visit

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