CFC-FFL SOUND THE TRUMPETS MAGAZINE MARCH - APRIL 2012

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VOLUME 6 ISSUE NO. 2

WE DARE YOU!
Live Pure In 2012, Catching Fire

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DARE TO MAKE A STAND

“At a favorable time I have answered you, on

DARE TO PRAY

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as I bid Dad good night, he held my hands with both his hands

DARE TO BE THERE

CHOOSE GOD AND LIVE THE BEST LIFE EVER!
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Young Couples Group: Re-Birth of a Community

DARE TO BUILD

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BINHI ng Pag-asa Scholarship Program sharers: Sharra Domingo and Kyle Veniegas

DARE TO CARE

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Why we need to Confess

DARE TO SAY SORRY

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Lord leads

DARE TO MAKE A MOVE. Follow where the

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IN THIS ISSUE
5 DARE TO BE A COOL CATHOLIC 6 DARE TO CARE: We Are Our Brothers’ Keeper 8 DARE TO MAKE A STAND: Live Pure in 2012, Catching Fire 10 DARE TO BE THERE: Myra Mabugat-Menguito 12 DARE TO CARE: BINHI ng Pag-Asa Scholarship Program

under the FIG

FRANK PADILLA

TREE

Christian discipleship is a call to radical living. It is a call to follow in the footsteps of one who was himself a radical. He was a King who became a slave. He was the Master who washed the feet of his subordinates. He was God who became man. He is Jesus. Jesus challenges us to follow him. He has defined what that means. Deny yourself and take up your cross. For the world, it is the fool’s way. Indeed, “when ridiculed, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we respond gently. We have become like the world’s rubbish, the scum of all, to this very moment.” (1 Cor 4:12b-13). What a glorious life! To suffer for the sake of righteousness, to be ridiculed for one’s faith, to be persecuted for the sake of the Name. It is a call to give totally of self, even to the point of giving up one’s life for one’s faith. It is a call to account all as loss, so that we might ultimately gain all. Are you daring enough to stand in the sandals of Jesus? Are you ready to become a fool on Christ’s account? Are you willing to die so that you might truly live?

ARE YOU DARING ENOUGH?

14 DARE TO MAKE A MOVE: Top 5 Moves to Make in Discernment 16 DARE TO EXCEL 19 DARE TO BE THERE: YCG: Re-Birth of a Community 20 DARE TO MAKE A MOVE: He Said, She Said 23 DARE TO WITNESS 25 DARE TO BELIEVE: Divine Mercy Sharing by Emy Siccion 26 DARE TO RECEIVE: Celerating 491 Years of catholicism in the Philippines 27 DARE TO SAY SORRY 28 DARE TO SAY PRAY

DARE TO JOURNEY
Country Servant, Philippines In this day and age, when everything almost always comes instantly, we terribly miss the point of enjoying life’s journeys. Many a times it is brought about by fear such that “life” is taken away because of the inability to cope with, or accept hardship or difficulties, beyond which, there is the promise of triumph and great joy. There too are times when we simply have the end goal or finish line in sight but we forget that we journey through life with others, the people who, like us, are pilgrims in this world and are made whole by our relationship with the Lord and each other.

Bob Murga

As members of CFC FFL, we are entrusted by the Lord, the work of bringing the good news to those who journey with us. It is therefore with a sense of boldness that we respond to this call and make our life’s journey most meaningful and look forward to experiencing His presence in any circumstance we find ourselves in – be it in the aspect of family life, work, service, or simply prayerful silence. We are but pilgrims, dare to journey!

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The solemnity is a fixed date. The celebration can only be transferred to another date should it fall on a Sunday in Lent (as it does this year, 2012), on Holy Week, or the Easter Octave. Liturgically, where this day should fall within Lent, the “Gloria” is sung or said. The singing of the “Alleluia” remains prohibited until the Easter Vigil of Holy Saturday Night. During the Profession of Faith, everyone is required to genuflect the words “and became Man (Nicene Creed) or “conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary (Apostles’ Creed). This is to venerate the mystery of the Incarnation, as we do during Christmas. The celebration counts nine (9) months before Christmas, following the natural computation that a child is born nine (9) months after conception. The solemnity is also often

Every March 25, as indicated the General Roman Liturgical Calendar, the Holy Roman Catholic Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord (or sometimes called the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary). The church commemorates the day when the Angel of the Lord announced the good news “to” the Blessed Virgin Mary, which happens also to be the day when the same Angel announced the incarnation “of” the Lord Jesus Christ.

“Always have your answer ready for people who ask you the reason for the hope that you all have.” (1 Peter 3:15)

DARE TO BE A COOL CATHOLIC

is celebrated in the daily life of the Christian. Except during the Easter Season, it is commemorated during the praying of the Angelus (at 6 in morning, noontime, and 6 in the evening). It is the first Joyful Mystery of the Holy Rosary. And every Hail Mary that we pray is a memorial of this great event. On a different note, when the calendar system of “Anno Domini (Year of our Lord)” was first introduced by Dionysius Exiguus in 525 A.D., the new year was assigned to March 25, since, according to our faith, the era of grace began with the Incarnation of the Jesus Christ. This year too, as in recent years, on March 25 we celebrate the Feast of the Unborn, and we pray to Christ Unborn, hidden in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, for all the unborn who have become victims to or are threatened by abortion.

referred to the Virginal Conception of the Lord Jesus Christ, which should NOT be confused with the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The story of the Annunciation is recorded in the Gospel according to St. Luke (Chapter 1, verses 26-38). It is traditionally held to have occurred in Nazareth, Israel. A church (of the Annunciation) now stands above the supposed site of the event. The marvelous truth of the Annunciation

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DARE TO CARE

WE ARE OUR BROTHERS’ KEEPERS
Pat Oconer
We are living in a world where everyone is busy pursuing his personal goals and aspirations, building their own careers and businesses, finding ways to make it big in the industry where they belong to and endlessly striving to be accepted in society. We are living in these times where the focus is on personal gratification, personal gain, and personal satisfaction.

There are two kinds of people you see in the society: those who have many opportunities and those who are deprived of opportunities. We look around and we observe the inequality in society - where the rich becomes richer, while the poor remains poor due to lack of opportunities and lack of people who could have mentored them. They say that poverty is connected to politics and corruption and that poverty is what defines a developing country. They say that the poor will forever be poor because of

how they think and how they view life. But for me, the real reason for poverty is lack of people who dared to show they care. We have forgotten to care for each other. We have forgotten to look after our neighbor. We have forgotten that we are our brothers’ keepers.

Missionary, Work With the Poor

In Luke 4:18-19, Jesus revealed His mission: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.” This is our mission too. We are called to be our brothers’ keepers. We are designed to care for each other. We are called to co-exist with one another with love and care, sharing the same faith that Jesus has shown and taught us. Let us not forget those who are not receiving what is due to them in accordance to Gods plan. The Lord has intended a future

full of hope, and this is hope for everybody, and not a hope only for those who are comfortable in life. It is also a hope for those who are not experiencing the fullness of God’s promise. We are called to live a preferential option for the poor. Why? Because the poor need to know too about God, and it takes a certain commitment from individuals to share what they have, and to recognize what the Lord has provided.

I challenge you to start caring for the least by acknowledging what the Lord has provided for us, including the privilege to be our brothers’ keepers, to share Jesus, especially to those who are blind, oppressed and poor. May we be able to create an opportunity and make the most of every situation to look after brethren who are deprived of what the Lord has prepared for them. May we all dare to care, for the poor, and the needy.

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DARE TO MAKE A STAND

LIVE PURE IN 2012,

“Therefore I say to you: walk according to the Spirit and do not give way to the desires of the flesh!” (Gal 5:16)

CATCHING FIRE

Indeed, Live Pure is catching fire, but this would not have been possible without the passion and dedication of our young mission volunteers who are immovable in standing up and in living up for the cause of Chastity. Asked how serving in Live Pure has made an impact in their young lives, these are what some of them have to say:

“Live Pure is catching fire.” This is the statement Tito Bob Murga, CFC FFL Country Servant to the Philippines and International Family Ministries Coordinator, pronounced in describing the work of the Live Pure Movement these days. As the 1st quarter of 2012 comes to an end, over 7,300 young people from various cities and provinces in the Philippines have already heard of God’s plan for their life of love.

“Being a speaker of the Live Pure Movement helps me to strengthen my conviction to Live Pure and to overcome my own struggles to remain pure. As I give talks, I am reminded of how important it is for a guy like me to have a chaste life and why I need to. It also helps me to achieve one of my goals in life, and that is to be holy.” – Fyron Umali, CFC YFL Mission Volunteer “Ako po ang singer to set the mood ng mga tao for the Live Pure talks. Nung una, tinatanong ko po sarili ko kung nararapat po ba ako sa service na ‘to kasi madami akong bisyo at kalokohan pero dahil paulit-ulit kong napakikinggan ang mga talks at unti-unting napagtatanto na ito pala ang plano ng Diyos para sa akin, mas lalo ko pong inaayos ang aking pamumuhay at sinasabuhay ang bawat natututunan sa araw-araw. Sana mas marami akong ma-inspire na kapwa ko kabataan na mahanap ang totoong direksiyon at plano ni God para sa kanilang buhay.” – Ronald Villadar, Live Pure Team Singer/Member “The Live Pure Movement is a beautiful gift and grace from God. Serving here has allowed me to strengthen my convictions for Christ, for the Catholic Church, and for Chastity. Live Pure has taught me not to be afraid of what people may think when I share my personal chastity story; instead, to put it into the light as an opportunity to witness chastity’s good news and its possibility for God’s glory. The Live Pure Movement is one of the many expressions of God’s love in my life, where a lot of souls, including mine, have been blessed.” – Kaye Matignas, CFC YFL Mission Volunteer The lives of these young people have been changed because of how the essence of Live Pure has been ingrained in their lives. All these took place only because of God’s grace. With so many young people everywhere seeking answers and direction for their lives, the Live Pure Movement is unbending in doing what needs to be done and in saying what needs to be said just so the youth of today could hear of this wonderful message.

More than ever, Live Pure seeks to change the lives and to move the hearts of young people one person at a time. In a recent forum held at St. Paul in San Miguel, Bulacan last February 13, the Live Pure Team was overwhelmed with messages of how grateful the students were to have discovered the beauty of God’s plan for their lives. Some students even openly expressed their desire of becoming missionaries in the future. Sent last February 14 to the Live Pure text hotline, one student said, “I want to say thank you for such a great forum, for sharing your experiences, stories, His love for us and for the reminders. Ngayon pa lang po, ang laki na ng naitulong ninyo lalo na’t may pinagdadaanan ako. More power and may you continue to inspire and to open the hearts of the young ones like us.”

The Live Pure Movement in the first quarter of 2012 has been gaining ground. It is driven to touch more hearts and is ready to ignite for change. It has already begun, and will continue catching fire. Live Pure is an international Catholic movement directed at the youth. Its focus is for young people to look at Christ as their model of chastity and to live out purity in all the aspects of their lives.

You may contact Raine Eguico at (02) 7182213 or you may send an e-mail at iwanttolivepure@gmail.com for more details about the Live Pure Movement.

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MARCH-APRIL 2012 2006. That stroke left him with a weak right part of the body that all his movements had to be assisted. He also could not speak much.

DARE TO BE THERE
Myra Mabugat-Menguito

“Rise in the presence of the aged and honor the elderly; in doing this, you honor your God. I am Yahweh.” (Lev 19:32)

I used to hate him. I used to feel numb towards him. If ever I was concerned about him, it was just out of obedience to the Lord, and not because I wanted to. I felt this way because of some challenges we faced as a family. It was by the Lord’s goodness that He allowed my wounds to heal. In 2000, he had his first

Different Strokes

The Lord has His very unique ways which surpass human understanding. As he was recovering from that stroke, the Lord gave me some time to attend to him: I fed him through the peg, washed him, and changed his diaper. It was during those moments when I experienced how blessed I was for having been given the chance to heal emotionally and spiritually with Dad, while he also recovered physically. The sacrifice I made may not be much to others, but considering what we went through as father and child, each move was an offering of love of a child to the parent God blessed her with. As was said, “God’s heart is the most sensitive and tender of all. No act goes unnoticed, no matter how insignificant or stroke. It was Mom who small” (Richard J. Foster). was there for him. Still, I felt nothing. When Mom passed My Small Acts of Love away in 2002, my relation- It was a journey of healing ship with him did not im- and love for me and Dadprove. I simply appreciated dy. The Lord was telling me everything he did for me and one thing: “You have only my children, but I could not one earthly father. Care for say that I truly cared. That him, no matter the hurts and pains you’ve been through. was how wounded I was. By this, you make Me, your In May 2006, he had anoth- Heavenly Father, very happy er stroke. The relationship and proud.” turned for the worse because I discovered something that Caring for Daddy then bejust deepened my wounds. came no longer a burden, However, my heart took a dif- but has become small acts of ferent turn when he suffered sacrifice and love. I may not his third stroke in November be there with him 100% of

the time, but I am at peace, knowing that I have been with him and am willing to be with him at times when he needs me the most. As of this writing, I am in a hospital in Cebu, looking after Dad, taking turns with his caregivers. He is in the ICU, recovering from bleeding of his small intestine. I must admit that I made a huge sacrifice leaving my children behind; putting my office work and research work on a stand still, thus making me sob at certain times of the day, making me yearn to go home and wish to get my “normal” life back.

However, on hindsight, what I am going through now is “normal” actually. It is the normal thing for a child of God to care for her aging parent. It is the normal thing for a Christian to make sacrifices for others, despite the persecutions and insults that come her way. It is normal to look after one’s sick loved one, to

attend to him, to let him feel hind our Almighty Father, the love because her mere our source of wisdom and presence makes him smile. strength. As St. Paul said, “For the foolishness of God At times, we get irritated by is wiser than man’s wisdom, our aging parents. However, and the weakness of God is we just have to bear in mind stronger than man’s strength that weak or strong, able or (1 Cor 1:25). disabled, they are the parents the Lord gave us. They are In all honesty, it is physicalthe people who made beauti- ly and emotionally draining ful acts of love and sacrifice to care for an aging parent. to raise us. They are the ones What makes it all bearable is who make life meaningful. It seeing Christ’s face in them, is also worth remembering and taking on the Lord’s that soon, we shall be like heart, which is the only one them, also in need of others’ capable of giving perfect and unconditional love. care and affection. There may be times when we could not comprehend how the Lord wants us to care for our beloved aging parents. At times, it may bring us to tears as we see them - once strong and able, but now weak and unable to do so much. There is only one thing that will keep us strong , peaceful, and guided : LOVE. And this is the same love be-

Last night, as I bid Dad good night, he held my hands with both his hands. He was unmindful of the discomfort this brought as his hands were full of IV tubes. Dad pulled me close and kissed me on my forehead. That made every ounce of sacrifice worth it. I love you, Daddy Willie and my late Mommy Susie. This is for you.

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DARE TO CARE

BINHI NG PAG-ASA SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMS
BINHI ng Pag-asa (Seed of Hope) Scholarship Program is one of the programs of CFC Educational Foundation, Inc. (CFC EFI). It provides financial assistance to deserving dependents of CFC-FFL members who meet specific criteria of eligibility. Our scholars, preferably enrolled in public schools, range from elementary to college. The ministry also gives priority to those who opt for short-term technical & vocational courses because of its better employment prospects. Our initial beneficiaries are dependents of our members from the New Bilibid Prison, Correctional Institution for Women and Work with the Poor sites. At the Seniors’ Assembly held at Xavier School last February 26, 2012, two of our eleven scholars – Sharra Mae Domingo and Kyle Veniegas, shared about their BINHI experiences. Transcript of the sharing of Sharra Mae Domingo: just had to wait. At BINHI, not only was I helped in my education, but I also experienced the goodness of God through our monthly formation. I was also privileged, together with four other BINHI scholars, to participate in a Youth Camp last October 2011. It was an unforgettable experience. My dream, through the help of BINHI, is to be able to finish my studies, help my family and God-willing, to see my father come home so that we could be together as a family again. I would also want to make an appeal to you to help this program so that more underprivileged children, like me, could be given a chance to study and improve their lives and those of their families. I especially thank my sponsor, the Viridalla Cooperativa for all the support they have given me and CFCEFI: Tita Mimi, Tita Mye, Tita Cel, and Tita Marlyn who were always there for all the scholars. God bless! Transcript of the sharing of Kyle Veniegas: Hi! I’m Kyle Samrah Ayle Veniegas. I am 16 years old and a 4th year student at Dr. Jose Ynares School. I am an only child. My mother is an inmate at the Correctional Institute for Women and I have never known and seen my Saudi Arabian father. I live with my Lola who has taken good care of me since I was born. She pays P2,500.00 per month

Hi! I’m Sharra Mae Domingo, 18 years old, taking up B.S. Secondary Education at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Marikina. I am now in third year and hopefully, I would be able to graduate next school year. My father is an inmate at the Iwahig Penal Colony in Palawan and my mother works in a factory engaged in repacking diapers. I also have a younger brother who is in school. Life had been really difficult for us since my father was incarcerated first at the National Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa, where we were able to visit him. But when he was transferred to the Iwahig Penal Colony in Palawan a year ago, we have not seen him since.

Being born out of wedlock, having an Arab as a father who deserted us, and a mother in CIW, had not been easy for me. I had been the victim of gossip & ridicule but instead of minding them and getting mad, I just focused on my studies and getting good grades. To be a scholar at BINHI was and is the biggest blessing I have received.

for our rented home from her P3,000.00 monthly pension. Aunts and uncles help us out with our other expenses but these are not enough to answer all our needs.

At BINHI, we are not only helped financially but we also have monthly formation which I really appreciate very much. I was so happy when I attended the Youth Camp last October 2011 together with four other BINHI scholars. There are 11 of us scholars at BINHI and we treat each other like brothers and sisters. I feel so blessed that, despite my situation, I realized that there are still other people, apart from my family who care - people from CFCEFI and my sponsors, Tito Ming and Tita Beth Ludovice. I am very grateful for all the help they have given me. I will be graduating this March 2012 and I owe this to the BINHI ng Pag-asa Scholarship Program. Even if my mother is at the Correctional Institute for Women, her love for me transcends the walls of her prison cell. Through her persistent prayers, she was able to extend her love and care for me through people like my Lola, who is the most important person in my life, and the care and support of all my benefactors and CFCFFL.
 

 

Because my father was incarcerated, I never had him with me during the important events in my life such as my graduation in school. My mother had no job then and we were already losing hope until someone from CFC-FFL informed us about the BINHI ng Pag-asa Scholarship Program. I submitted an application and I was taken in as one of its first scholars. God is really good and I realized that He had been there all along. We

I was also told that Tito Ming & Tita Beth Ludovice are willing to sponsor me through college. What more can I ask for? This is another blessing for me and I am also making this appeal to all of you to help other children like me through the BINHI ng Pag-asa Scholarship Program. Please help us who are underprivileged to be an asset and a blessing to our families and our country. God bless!

TOP In Discerning Your State Of Life MOVES TO MAKE
Nothing beats finding the vocation God has in store for you because when you find it, you will find your greatest joy and experience life to the fullest. So if you really want to know what it is in store for you, decide to do something about it NOW. DARE TO MAKE A MOVE.

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Raine Eguico

Ask God what He wants you to do. If you do not learn how to pray and to listen to God’s voice, how can you possibly hear what He wants us to do in our lives? We need to sit still and listen as He tells us what that plan is.

1

Dare to Pray.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6 It is about the faith that you get throughout the whole discernment process. It is a difficult time with all the struggle with uncertainty, but the faith that God gives you at the time is something that you will be in need of someday when you become a husband or a wife, a priest or a nun or a consecrated lay person.

2Dare to Trust.

In order to hear God’s voice, you have to make time for silent prayer. Breathe silence in your life especially nowadays wherein there is so much noise. Alongside with silent prayer, receive grace from the sacraments as often as you can.

3Dare to be Silent.

To discern alone is not the way to go. Be humble to get a good spiritual direction either from a priest, a nun, a good parent or a youth minister. They will be there to help you find out what God’s plan really is for your life.

4Dare to Seek Help. 5Dare to be Open.
Be courageous to be open to get to know yourself deeper, to accept who you truly are and to love yourself just the way you are. Be open to resolve past issues and hang-ups. Be open to attend search-ins and vocation workshops that may assist you in finding God’s plan for your life.

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DARE TO EXCEL
“Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name be the glory, for the sake of Your love and faithfulness.” (Psalm 115:1)
March is a memorable month for many families because it is graduation time! Whether it is from kindergarten, elementary, high school or college, the graduation season is a time to celebrate, not only the achievements of the graduate, but the efforts of everyone who made this major accomplishment possible. When we see the youth choosing a life of education, we witness a generation that chooses life. To all the kids and youth of our CFC-FFL families, we share your pride for the labors of the past and your hope for the dreams of the future. We give special honor to those students who worked exceptionally hard to gain outstanding recognition in their schools or universities this graduation season. These honor graduates inspire us to dare to excel – all for God!

Name: Jose Alfonso M. Tagulinao Age: 6 years old School: Camellean Academy Favorite subjects: Reading, Science Award: Most Outstanding Student Ambition: To be an Engineer Hobbies: football (die hard), create things (building blocks), computer (youtube) Favorite TV Show: Phineas and Ferb, Top Shot Favorite baon: Cookies KFL member since 2011 Idol: David Beckham, because he is good in football

“SEPPI”

Study Habit: I always accompany every review period with prayers. I actually pray before, during and after taking the exam, and this has never failed me.

“There were two precious things that I kept in my heart in my student life: my parents and God. I kept in mind that education provided by my parents was the fruit of their hardships and sleepless working nights, therefore these must not go to waste and must be reciprocated with hard work and honor. A student must acknowledge the blessings that God has given and is continuously giving to his or her life.” “The honor of being a graduate does not only define what we did, but it is a collective effort of those who care about us, our future and also our efforts to make it through. Let us share this joy with these people who have shown us great love. And let us thank God for guiding us all throughout the journey of being a student. Without His grace and love, we would not be where we are today.”

Name: Tricia Magarette Rivera Balanon Age: 19 years old Course: BS Psychology School: Far Eastern University (Manila) Graduating as Magna Cum Laude

“TRICIA”

YFL Chapter Servant from District of Pasig Member since 2009

Name: Ayana de Ocampo Age: 20 years old Course: Bachelor of Fine Arts, Major in Advertising Arts School: University of Santo Tomas Graduating as Cum laude YFL Cluster Servant from District of Novaliches; YFL since 2005 Favorite subjects: Visual Mechandising, Package Design, Textile Design Hobbies: Surfing the internet, Watching movies and series, drawing Study Habits: Having a balanced schedule, following a strict checklist Plans after graduation: To fix my resume and portfolio then go jobhunting Her advice to fellow students: “Whatever you do, put God first. Striving for excellence means giving your all for God.”

“AYANA”

Message to fellow graduating students: “Believe that you can do beyond your capabilities, because you can. Put God first and everything else will follow.”

Name: Mary Josephine S. Quimpo Age: 16 years old School: Xavier University High School (Ateneo de Cagayan) Will receive an award for Academic Excellence (Third Honors) YFL Household Servant and Music Ministry from Cagayan de Oro; YFL since 2007 Favorite subjects: Social Studies and English Hobbies: Almost anything that has to do with music and writing Study habits: I don’t usually take a lot of time studying, but I make it a point to pray before I start. Plans after graduation: Enjoy summer and spend some time with my family. Then hopefully, I can study music production at College of Saint Benilde. Her advice to fellow students: Though this may sound really cliche, it still is good advice to always remember to give all the glory back to God. In everything, may He be praised!

“MJ”

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YOUNG COUPLES GROUPS:

DARE TO BE THERE

RE-BIRTH OF A COMMUNITY

“You are the children of the prophets and heirs of the covenant which God gave to your ancestors when he said to Abraham: All the families of the earth will be blessed through your descendant.” (Acts 3:25)
In 1981, Couples for Christ started with sixteen couples from all over Metro Manila. They were of varying ages, but mostly in their mid-30s. They took the Christian Life Program, felt the Holy Spirit work in their lives, and started to bring the Good News to the ends of the earth. That was almost thirtyone years ago. Today, most of those sixteen couples are in their mid-60s, still serving the Lord with the same passion they felt as in the 1980s. At the turn of the century, the Holy Spirit is again fueling young couples all around the country to do the work of evangelization. Young couples and young families are responding to the call of the Lord in growing numbers. Assemblies and gatherings have

more kids running around than ever before. There are pregnant mothers, doting fathers, smiling grandparents at every corner of events that we have - both big and small.

All of these are signs of a growing, energetic, passionate and active community. The fire that was started thirty-one years ago burns just as (or even more) brightly and the same zeal for mission that our founding couple has is now passed on to the next generation. In 2007, our community faced a crossroad where we made a choice to take the direction of promoting family and defending life. With the resurgence of these young, evangelistic and missionary families, we know that we have taken the right path.

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HE SAID, SHE SAID
DARE TO MAKE A MOVE By Harle D. Piga

DARE TO MAKE A MOVE

Jesus said, “Come and see.” (John 1:39)

I started getting to know about community life at a young age. Growing up in Catarman, Northern Samar, I first joined the CFC Kids Ministry. Then in high school, I moved to the CFC Youth ministry. In 2009, I attended the CLS and became a member of the CFC Singles for Family and Life. Now, I am a twenty-two year old seminarian of the Society of the Di- A life that is exciting, yet difficult; reasonvine Word (SVD) at Christ the King Mission able, yet beyond explanation; motivated yet Seminary in Quezon City. tempted to hold back. In all of these extreme circumstances, only God and His plans make From Comfort Zone to Courage Zone sense. His grace alone has sustained me to For two decades, I was pampered by my stay in this “courage zone”. His grace has family and this community with love and gripped me and has assured me that I can support in every way possible. Entering the trust Him to take care of my family and my seminary seemed a foolish choice as it was community. I made a choice to embrace this a new environment with people who are all state of life, and this is a choice of life for Jestrangers to me. It is not exactly heaven on sus. earth as I first thought it would be. It is a place to purify my being and my intentions for being there. I had a stable job as a teacher. As a seminarian, the tables have been turned. I am back as a student dealing with some immature classmates and difficult professors. Life in the seminary challenges me to deal with brothers who have different personalities and diverse backgrounds. I gave up my personal dreams in order to fulfill God’s dream for me.

tween me and the SFL community where I belong. Most of the people around me were not supportive of my decision to enter the religious life. I could not blame them. Even I could not understand the ways of the Lord. I do not have a logical explanation for entering the priesthood. The temptation to go back to my comfort zone remains. It is a continuous struggle of proving to all that this is where God wants me to be.

I heard it said that “Life Begins at 30”. But honestly, who wants to be single and thirty? Then there were those whom I heard say: “Don’t be so choosy and try to lower your standards”, “Remember that there is no perfect guy!”, “Are you pressured now that your age will soon be out of the calendar?”, “You This decision to respond to His call was not always give your time serving the church and easy. It created a gap and caused misunder- the community, so no wonder you do not have standings between me and my family, be-

DARE TO MAKE A MOVE By Maria Eloisa Abanador

time to look for guys! Before you knew it, the celebrate the Christmas season away from next time you wake up, you are already 40! my loved ones in the Philippines. This was a moment of solitude with Jesus as I prepared myself to welcome Him on Christmas Day. It The Single Life I have been part of the CFC Singles for Fam- was the first day of the Simbang Gabi in Sinily and Life ministry since 2003! 9 years gapore and for the first time in my life, I sinand counting! I have attended almost all the cerely prayed to God for my vocation. This World Singles Congresses, where I always was my special prayer for the next 9 days. It secretly declare to myself that I should not was also during this time when I started to miss this event since it might be the last one have short visits to the Adoration Chapel. I’ll attend as a single person! Nine years, and I am still single and actively attending these On the Feast Day of the Holy Family (Decemcongresses. It is not yet God’s perfect time. ber 30, 2011), I went to attend mass and proceeded to spend quiet time at the Adoration I am also just a girl who enjoys daydreaming. Chapel. God led me to a copy of the “Miracle I had imagined my own fairy tale on how Hour” booklet which I used as my prayer my love story will unfold. I have dreamt of guide that day. This was a very intimate time a handsome guy who is also hopelessly ro- with God where I listened to what He wanted mantic and who is willing to travel with me to tell me. And then it came. It was a mesin the most romantic places in the world! Of sage so clear: “Your vocation is for married course, Paris is number one on my list! That life. Get ready. The time has come!” is where our fairy tale will have a happy endI was completely in awe with God’s answer ing as we live happily ever after. to my prayer. I previously thought that He Last August 2011, after World Youth Day, God was leading me to join the religious life tosurprised me with the opportunity to visit gether with my great saint intercessors- St. Paris. I wondered why I was alone in the city Therese of Lisieux & St. Teresa of Avila who of love. He then affirmed me that I was not were both nuns. alone because He, who is Perfect Love, was with me. He wants me to be consumed by As I approached Mama Mary’s grotto at the His love first and foremost. Jesus declared parish, I jokingly told her: “Mama Mary, I His enormous love for me in the most ro- cannot believe that God called us in the same mantic place in the whole world. How sweet vocation in life!” I pleaded with her, together with St. Joseph, her spouse, to intercede for it is to be loved by Him! my married life vocation. The Journey To Discovering My Vocation Last December 2011 was my first time to

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DARE TO
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It Was The Day before Valentine’s Day (February 13, 2012) I went to mass at St. Joseph on February 13. I chose this church because I learned that this parish celebrates the mass in honor of Our Lady of Fatima every 13th of the month. After the mass, Fr. Michael announced that ladies who are 35 years old and below will receive flowers that were offered to Our Lady of Fatima during the procession. To receive these flowers from Mama Mary at a church dedicated to St. Joseph was a strong affirmation for me that Mama Mary and St. Joseph are my ultimate intercessors for my married life vocation. World Singles Congress 2012 Pilgrimage (March 2, 2012) Going home to the Philippines for one single day only was one of the craziest things that I did in my whole life! I only had Friday as my day-off from my new job in Singapore. There is also no way that I can miss my work on weekends since almost all of our students at the therapy center come on these days. I knew that I only have one day to participate at the WSC, but I know that this is where God wants to meet me . Before heading the WSC, I had an opportunity to have another pilgrimage with my mom at St. Therese Shrine. While we were eating our breakfast, my mom saw the “Miracle Hour” booklet among my things. She shared to me that she and dad received the same prayer booklet as a gift from one of their friends and that they used this as their prayer guide as married couple. I believe that my dad was the one who personally gave me the same prayer booklet while I was in the adoration chapel last December 30. He was the one who helped me to guard my heart for almost 17 years since he died. I believe now that he was the one who allowed me to experience a great miracle all throughout my life for 30 years by consecrating myself to Christ alone without any romantic relationships. My dad adviced me to unfailingly consecrate my heart to Jesus each day, and he assured me that it was the safest place where I could keep my hea rt. During the WSC, God further affirmed me with these words: “You are special in my eyes, Eloi! Live your life to the fullest! Dare to see My perfect plans as I lead you towards married life vocation. Get ready! My perfect time has come!” Nothing is gonna hold me back as I joyfully surrender to God all the desires of my heart. 20/80 500 20/80 2

WITNESS
by Bob and Reena Murga
lizing the world. There is a reason why God has allowed many of our brethren to work overseas and in shipping vessels. There are over 10 million Overseas Filipino Workers nowadays who animate the Churches in EuWhat do these figures represent? rope, North America, the Middle East and • Almost 500 years ago, the Spaniards Asia. brought Christianity to our shores. The Philippines with its population of 95 million, has Our very own parish in Quezon City, Our about 86% Christians. Lady of Consolation Parish (OLCP), is like a mini-picture of this 20/80 scenario. Why is • However, only 15-20 % of Filipino Catho- it that our parish church gets filled up during lics go to Church regularly (at least every Sun- the Simbang Gabi masses and not receive the day). More than 80% are nominal Catholics, same turnout of churchgoers during regular going to mass only when it is convenient, and Sunday masses. OLCP, being the main church most likely during Christmas. (You probably is surrounded by a cluster of Area chapels, did not know that!) and these chapels would be too small if all the families in the Areas would come to mass • There are only two countries in the world every Sunday. That would really be a nice where divorce is not legal, the Philippines problem to have! and the Vatican (Since there are hardly any married people in the Vatican, that leaves Call to Action the Philippines to be the last man standing It is time to reverse the 20/80 trend towards in this fight for the sanctity of marriage). 80/20, and every bit of effort, big or small, counts. Those who have already been evanThere are many good programs from the gelized (the remnants) must be empowered Diocese, the mandated church organizations to start re-evangelizing those who are going and trans-parochial movements, yet, despite astray. As early as 2010, OLCP started prethese and the recognition of the Philippines paring our Parish leaders by initiating the to be still strongly Catholic: Parish Renewal Experience (PREX). This - we still have a lot of corrupt officials (who year we continue to prepare our leaders to be may be Catholic); evangelizers and pray that, just like the dis- many Catholic couples still use contracep- ciples in the Acts of the Apostles, we would tives and support the RH Bill; grow in number and in spirituality. With - many among our marginalized brethren the blessings of the CBCP, our dear Bishop are still living together without the benefit of Antonio Tobias, DD, and our beloved Parish marriage Priest, Fr Mhadz Lucero, OAR, our parish em- those of us who have more than enough do barked on its first Live Christ, Share Christ not share enough with the marginalized (LCSC) seminar. It is a program intended to reach everyone in the parish, especially those What do all these mean for us? who are not regular churchgoers. It is carThis means that the Philippines, being God’s light in Asia still has a special role in evange-

THANKSGIVING PRAYER FOR THE GIFT OF VOCATION Lord God, thank you so much for the 30 years of single life that You have blessed me with. I thank you for preparing my heart to receive Your gift of vocation at Your most perfect timing. I am not afraid anymore to embrace my vocation wholeheartedly because I know that You are the one who is holding my heart. Thank you for personally leading me towards married life vocation. May I be able to radiate Your Holy presence to every person that I will encounter. I joyfully await as I continue to consecrate myself to Your Holy presence each day until the day comes when I will consecrate my heart with my future husband! I also pray for the single sisters who are still journeying towards their vocation - lead them to the perfect life that You have called them. May all of us dare to live whatever vocation You have called us here on earth until we unite ourselves to You towards eternal life! Amen.

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DARE TO

WITNESS
ried out by the laity under the overall direction of the parish priest. It intends to raise more workers to support the work of the Church, especially in evangelization and mission. Among those who were first to attend the one and half-day seminar were members of the Parish Pastoral Council, Secular Agustinian Recollects Foundation, Apostleship of Prayer, Couples for Christ, and Area Chapel representatives. This is what the Head of the Social Service and Development Ministry, Dr. Babes Amante, has to say about the seminar: “It has taught me to take my spiritual life seriously, humbly commit myself to a mission of sharing Jesus’ loving kindness to others, as a servant leader.” Our Mission as Christians Before Jesus ascended to heaven, after having commissioned his disciples to preach the good news to all the nations, he told them to wait for the promise of the Father, by which they would be “clothed with power from on high.” (Lk 24:49). Jesus told them that they would “be baptized with the holy Spirit.” (Acts 1:5). Jesus further said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8). This baptism in the Holy Spirit is empowerment for worldwide mission that the Lord is calling all Filipinos to do as evangelizers for the world! And we will start with our own community in OLCP. By God’s grace, may we be instruments so that more people in our parish can meet Christ, live Christ and share Christ.

YOUNG COUPLES GROUPS:
Jun and I are already devotees of the Divine Mercy, but just the usual 3 o’clock habit. The true devotion to the Divine Mercy started late 2008, when my mom (now 85 years old) had to stay with us in Antipolo after she had a bad fall where her whole face was swollen (blue and black). That time I was already retired from San Miguel and had put up a franchise fried chicken business. I would go home before 3 pm in time to pray with my mom the 3 o’clock chaplet in EWTN. This was sung and my mom will sing along. Our intention for this prayer was for my mom’s healing and that no complication will occur due to that fall. And of course, for a peaceful and happy death. Jun and our youngest son, Patrick, would join us if ever they were at home at that time.

DARE TO BE HEALED

RE-BIRTH OF A COMMUNITY
In our April, 2010 pilgrimage there, Jun met bro. Rolly Lirio who invited him to attend every Monday, the formation teachings conducted by Sis. Monina about the Diary of St. Maria Faustina on Divine Mercy of Jesus. It was also there that Jun met the Polish priest, Fr. Mariuz, who was the custodian of the Divine Mercy shrine. He later became Jun’s father confessor.

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On April 28 -29, 2012, CFC Handmaids for Family and Life will gather in Baguio for the World Handmaids Congress (WHC). This year’s event builds up on the community’s 2012 theme by adopting the WHC title “Choose Life … In A Heartbeat”. If something happens very fast or immediately, then we say it happens “in a heartbeat”. Heartbeats are quick, less than a second, and things that happen in that brief time happen quickly indeed. “In a heartbeat” - these three little words can mean different things. The expression is often used to describe how quickly one state of being gives way to another. Typically, there is a sense of surprise, horror, or amazement. When two peoples’ eyes meet across a crowded room, they can fall in love in a heartbeat. A boy who runs after a ball into the street and into the path of an oncoming car might find that his life changed in a heartbeat.

We have heard it said that life is not predictable or that things can change “in a heartbeat”. But for CFC-HFL, this WHC will aim to build up women who will act with certainty and urgency so as to make choices that are life-giving and not deathdealing, choices that seek to honor God and not serve the selfish purposes of man. Whenever we choose God, we choose life at its fullness. Anyone who truly knows God will choose His way “in a heartbeat”. Every heartbeat is a sign of life. As every life be* With excerpts from “The New Evangeliza- longs to God, then so does our every hearttion in the Philippine Setting” (by Frank Pa- beat. This WHC 2012, CFC HFL will choose dilla, February 2012) life … in a heartbeat!

Jun, seeing that I still have sleepless nights, set a meeting with Fr. Mariuz. This meeting was the most comforting and consoling moment. He led us up to the upper room where a lifesized crucifix stood. There he prayed over us and prayed the divine mercy chaplet. He assured us that Patrick will be with God and because of his divine mercy and love for him, God had forgiven him, despite of what Little did I know, that this Divine Mer- he did. But we need to continue to pray the cy devotion would be my refuge and strength Divine Mercy chaplet . in the trials ahead. Our devotion intensified when Jun, in June, 2009, was diagnosed It has been 2 years now, God’s plan for me with Stage 2 B cancer of the prostate which and Jun had always been the best. Looking needed an immediate operation/treatment back,I realized that if God took Jun due to because the tumour was obstructing his uri- his cancer, mas mahirap pala. Wala na akong nary bladder which made him difficult to uri- katabi sa pagtulog, wala na akong shock abnate and might affect his kidney. This started sorber when things are not well. Yung anak our Job experiences – sold our business and kasi, when they get married or they go abroad to work, hindi mo na rin sila makasama. So sold our car, to cope up with the finances. para lang nasa abroad si Patrick (in heaven). Then, on March 9, 2010, the most tragic event, which changed my life happened, Kami na lang kasi ni Jun. This incident had when our youngest son, Patrick, single, 24 made Jun and I closer to each, closer to years old and gainfully employed for 4 years Church where we can go to Mass everyday, already, chose to end his life. WHY? ONLY closer to my work in CFCFFL Starmall, closer GOD KNOWS. After the burial, I refused to go to our community and most especially closer home in our house in Antipolo. I was griev- to God whom we will forever serve. ing and not in my right mind, so with the help of our only daughter, ,Lala, and I believe I pray that the Divine Mercy of Jesus, the love was also God’s perfect plan, brought Jun and of God, and the power of the Holy Spirit overI in a condo in Mandaluyong, very near the flows to our love for others as well. Divine Mercy shrine.

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CELEBRATING 491 YEARS OF CATHOLICISM IN THE PHILIPPINES
March is an especially significant time for our nation to give thanks to God for choosing to plant the seeds of faith and preserve this faith in us for exactly 491 years now this 2012. It is always good to look back at how Christianity began in our country, so we can offer a meaningful thanksgiving to God for building us up as the largest Catholic nation in Asia. On March 16, 1521, Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer working for the King of Spain, reached Philippine territory. About two weeks later, on March 31, 1521, Easter Sunday, Fr. Pedro Valderama, an Augustinian friar who was also the chaplain of Magellan’s fleet, celebrated the first Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on the island of Limasawa, part of the province of Southern Leyte. At the consecration, all the canons saluted our Eucharistic Lord. After the Mass, Magellan planted a big cross on the top of the hill. This was the first Holy Cross planted in these isles, and it was the Easter Sunday when they did it! As the universal church was celebrating the Risen Christ, a Catholic nation was also being raised up by God.

DARE TO RECEIVE

celebrated mass for the natives of Cebu, and baptized both Rajah Humabon and Hara Amihan together with their 800 loyal subjects to the Roman Catholic faith. Rajah Humabon was christened ‘Don Carlos’ in honor of the King of Spain during that time, King Carlos V. Likewise, her queen Hara Amihan was christened ‘Doña Juana’ in honor of King Carlos V’s mother, Queen Juana. To commemorate the event, Ferdinand Magellan gave Doña Juana the ‘Santo Niño de Cebu”. Today the Santo Niño de Cebú is housed at the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño at the heart of Cebu City where millions of Filipinos and international devotees visit the holy relic each year.

Why say sorry? Often, we reason that we say sorry for hurting someone. But come to think of it, it is not the hurt that we should be apologizing for. Rather, it is the intent behind the hurt or the heart’s motive for causing the hurt that is worth reflecting on: Was it to protect ourselves that we ended up offending another person, or was it to help the other person be built up or was it simply because we were not in a good mood, and the other party happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time? To say “I’m sorry that I made you feel this way” is a selfish apology, and it is better left unsaid. Do not say sorry unless you truly believe that you were wrong, as it would simply come out hypocritical.

“If my letter caused you pain, I do not regret it. Perhaps I did regret it, for I saw that the letter caused you sadness for a moment but now I rejoice, not because of your sadness, but because this sadness brought you to repentance. This was a sadness from God, so that no evil came to you because of me. (2 Corinthians 7:8-9)

SAY SORRY
new beginnings and a chance to turn over a new leaf in preparation for Easter. Is “sorry” hard for you to say? It shouldn’t be. Let the Act of Contrition be our prayer of apology as we ask God to forgive our sins. Trusting in God’s infinite and divine mercy, let us dare to say sorry. My God, I love you above all things and I hate and detest with my whole soul the sins by which I have offended You, because they are displeasing in Your sight, who are supremely good and worthy to be loved. I acknowledge that I should love You with a love beyond all others, and that I should try to prove this love to You. I consider You in my mind as infinitely greater than everything in the world, no matter how precious or beautiful. I therefore firmly and irrevocably resolve never to consent to offend You or do anything that may displease Your sovereign goodness and place me in danger of falling from Your holy grace, in which I am fully determined to persevere to my dying breath. Amen. — St. Francis Xavier SJ (1506 – 1552) Patron Saint of Missionaries

DARE TO

An Act of Contrition

On April 4, 1521, Magellan sailed to Cebu and was welcomed by the King of Cebu Rajah Humabon and his queen Hara Amihan. A week later, on April 14, 1521, at the instruction of Magellan, Padre Valderama blessed the Holy Cross erected by the Spaniards,

After 491 years, this revered icon of the Señor Santo Niño de Cebu made a historic voyage last March 30-31, 2012 to Limasawa as part of the anniversary celebration of the first Mass in the Philippines. The Holy Child Jesus stayed at the Maasin Cathedral on March 30 and left at dawn the next day for the fluvial parade to Limasawa, the site of the first Catholic Mass in the Philippines.

In 2021, we shall celebrate the 500th anniversary of Christianity in our country. That is nine more years to prepare a nation, each diocese, and every Filipino family to claim its precious calling as God’s light, not only in Asia, but to all nations. We pray for God’s grace to lead us as families in the Holy Spirit renewing the face of the earth.

If you are genuinely sorry for your selfish reasons, an apology is a good way to express your repentance, especially when this is followed up with a clear statement of a realization about where you were wrong. Do not just simply say sorry. Explain and confess clearly what you are saying it for. Even if your conscience was clear but your actions caused harm and more damage than intended, it would be the right thing to apologize too. Then you will be in a better position to receive forgiveness and be reconciled. The season of Lent is a very good time to say sorry to God for the past wrongs committed through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Our Lord thought so much of this sacrament that He made it one of seven He instituted to give us grace. Lent is an opportunity for

“At a favorable time I have answered you, on the day of

salvation I have been your help… “ (Isaiah 49:8)

How many times have you heard someone thank God for answered prayers? It makes one wonder if it is possible that there are prayers that God refuses to answer. Are there such things as unanswered prayers? When God told us to ask, to seek and to knock on the door, He said that we shall receive, that we shall find and that the door will be opened to us. This is His promise, and He is forever faithful to fulfilling His Word. For the one who has faith, there can be no question that God hears and answers our EVERY prayer. But this does not mean that God will give us whatever we ask of Him. God answers our prayers in a variety of ways – “Yes”, “No”, “Later”, or “Here is something better.” He guarantees us that He will give us what we need. And that is quite often different from what we “think” we need. The one who asks, will always receive - not what he wants, but what he needs. The one who seeks, will always find – not what he wants, but what he needs. The one who knocks, will find open the door not the door he wants, but the door he needs. Inherent in every prayer must be the attitude shown in the prayer of Jesus, “Not my will, but Your will be done” (Luke 22:42) Trust God to do what is best for His people – always. Let us learn to accept whatever answer He gives us. As we accept His answer, whatever it is, may we learn to give Him thanksgiving. Here are some “Thank You” notes to God from our brethren:

MARCH-APRIL 2012

excited to be changed and molded by Your love in the next years of my life. I love You! From: Stefanie Pajarillage (SFL Austria)

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Thank You for loving me this much. Your great love for me gave me and my family enough strength during our toughest and trying times. Thank You for bringing back my sister to us when we thought we already lost her. Thank You for Your grace, that we are able to live everyday through Your gift of healing, forgiveness and love. You will always be the center of our family. I love You, Papa God! From: Bianca Louise P. Garcia (SFL Novaliches) Thank You God for giving me the opportunity to know You deeply through this community. Thank You for the gift of wisdom and strength that makes me strong enough to face all the challenges You have given me. I am proud to call You Father and to be part of this community. From: Julie Sayson (SFL Taiwan)

When I was a kid, my prayer was “to be a successful business woman”. When I got to know You more deeply, my prayer changed to “to be the best woman You want me to be.” Now, I’m thanking You for guiding me through the years, for every opportunity to know You more and for enlightening me to see my worth and my purpose in this world. Thank You for the little and big milestones that have happened through the years. Your little girl is all grown up now, changed and humbled by what You have done IN me. My heart is full of gratitude of this very precious gift of life You have given me and I’m

Thank You so much for Your faithfulness to my prayers. You are really a God of perfect timing be cause You answered my prayers at the right time when I need it. Thank You Lord also for Your uncon ditional love, for always making me feel worthy and deserving of the things You are giving to me even if it is too much than what I prayed for. Thank you Lord so much! I love you! From: Fyron Umali (CFC YFL Mission Volunteer, CFC YFL High School Based Program)

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I am awed by Your love, mercy, generosity, kindness, understanding, patience and forgiving heart. Thank You for being so ALIVE every minute of the day manifesting Yourself in good and bad times. Thank You for using the CFC-FFL community to make me discover my real purpose in life. You made me realize through this ministry that You continuously endow us with endless gifts and resources to make a community grow for the purpose of reaching out to more people who may be groping their way to the right direction. My restlessness has now been put to an end for I found YOU through this community. May God be with us all and be praised forever! From: Rosanne N. Huan (CFC-FFL Taiwan) I thank the Lord for changing people’s lives through the CFC FFL community. I have witnessed the miraculous transformation God has made to my brother, and I believe that He will do the same to my whole family. Thank You Lord for the gift of family and community. From: Gem Itao (CFC YFL Mission Volunteer, CFC YFL Campus Based) My yes meant nothing until You’ve let me experienced life to the fullest through sufferings and pain. Thank You Lord for giving me courage and for being my strength, and for letting me know and love You more. From: Aiza Buensalido (CFC YFL Mission Volunteer) I humbly thank You for all the blessings that You have given not only to my life, but also for the the lives of the people around me. I thank

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MARCH-APRIL 2012 You Lord for choosing me to be Your servant to teach Your word to Your people even if I am not worthy to do so. I will commit to serving You to even greater heights for nothing is impossible under Your name. I love You Lord and I always will From: Fernando Miguel Magtibay (YFL Lucena)

Father God, I am most thankful to You for granting me the privilege to be a missionary in a foreign land. It has been a journey of faith, hope, joy and most of all it paved the way to my freedom from a bondage. It is a great adventure indeed because of Your unceasing grace and mercy! From: Iyam Salvanera (Missionary in Malawi, Africa) Thank You Lord for allowing me to pass my second exam in training. I’m having difficulty in studying but I know that this is what I prayed for a work that will give me more learning and more time to serve You. I love You Lord! From: Dhianna Monica Micaller (SFL Cubao)

Thank you Father God for my pause from work, for unfolding before me my heart’s desires, for allowing me to spend more time with my family, loved ones and friends. Thank you for the chance to experience the wonders of motherhood, the smell the roses, for making me see and appreciate the things that I previously took for granted. Thank you for the opportunity to celebrate the little joys and so much more. You are an awesome God! From Soy Molina (CFC-FFL Singapore)

by Arvin Serra

Over 900 CFC Singles for Family and Life (SFL) members, leaders, and coordinators, from all over the Philippines and some from abroad, gathered at Our Lady of La Salette Shrine and Retreat Center, in Silang, Cavite, for the annual World Singles Congress (WSC), last March 2-4, 2012.

Mindanao, gave Session 1 entitled, A Life Chosen by God, during the 1st night of the congress. The following morning, the brothers and sisters had separate sessions, in the form of a talk show. Session 2 was entitled, Dare to Choose. Rey Sotelo, CFC SFL Couple Coordinator for the District of San Pablo, led the brothers’ session, while Teny Mardo, CFC SFL Full-Time Pastoral Worker assigned to the U.S., led the sisters’ session. Cocoi Javier, CFC YFL International Ministry Coordinator, gave Session 3, entitled, Choose God, during the 2nd night of the congress. An Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, led by Fr. Arlo Yap, immediately followed, which culminated the whole evening. On Sunday, the last session, Dare To Live, was given by Jepoy Meneses, CFC SFL International Ministry Coordinator. This was immediately followed by the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, with The Most Reverend Jesse E. Mercado, D.D., Bishop of Parañaque and Chair of the Episcopal Commission on the Laity, as the main celebrant. Carrying their Dare to Live convictions, all the delegates undoubtedly went home inspired and encouraged knowing that their lives are meant for something great, thus, they will “Dare to Choose God” in all aspects of their lives.

This year, CFC SFL has chosen to call this WSC event Dare to Live, as its response to the CFCFFL community’s theme for 2012, “Choose Life”. This was anchored on Deuteronomy 30:19 that states, “…I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live”. The different sessions and workshops challenged the delegates to always choose the path that leads to fullness of life, in their everyday circumstances. Dylan Reyes, CFC SFL Full-Time Pastoral Worker assigned to

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