Speaking to a crowd of more than 7,000 people at Couples for Christ Foundation for Family and Life’s (CFC FFL) 30th anniversary, he reminded everyone to fight against the forces that seek to destroy the family and life in general – such as the divorce and reproductive health bills.
And he went on to remark that God overwhelms us everyday with His goodness and love, even in the little things. We just need to open our eyes and hearts to recognize them.
He celebrated the anniversary mass of CFC FFL in Ynares Auditorium in Antipolo City together with Bishop Gabriel Reyes of Antipolo, Bishop Valentine of Gaborone, Botswana, Fr. Peter West the associate director of Priests for Life in the USA, Fr. Francis Gustilo of the Vatican’s International Theological Commission and more priests from around the Philippines and the world.
CFC FFL is a lay Catholic community that strives to renew the family and defend life, led by it’s Founder and Servant General Frank Padilla, who, along with his wife Gerry, is part of the Pontifical Council for the Family.
By Pat Oconer
CFC SFL Fulltime Worker
Feb 18 – 20 CFC Singles for Family and Life gather for its annual World Singles Congress in Tarlac City. Almost 1000 SFLs all over the Philippines and the world gathered for a weekend of experiencing Christ, and brotherhood and sisterhood amongst singles.
These years CFC FFL theme is taken from Isaiah 49:5 “ My God is Now my strength”, CFC SFL responded with the handle of Strong God, that we have a God that is strong and mighty, that we can depend on Him, that in Him alone we can find strength, that He is the source of all strength.
The weekend is packed with 4 sessions, and different workshops. The first talk is all about our identity as His children, that we are His, Cocoi Javier, KFL International Coordinator gave a very powerful testimony of Gods greatness in His life, and the many assurance and affirmation of His call as a missionary, as a husband and father to his kids. How the Lord has blessed him with so much, that despite the many trials and challenges in life, he remain His. The second session is divided to two set, those of 29 and below and 30 and above, the session is catered to discuss about finding strength in are weakness, that everything that happen to us is a purpose, that God can be our greatest source of strength in times of weakness and challenges, it is also the session that we get to discuss realities that a single person goes through.
Session three is about Strength in God, CFC FFL Servant General Frank Padilla gave a very powerful talk, affirming and telling everybody that only in Him we can fund strength, that He is the true source of strength, that we can depend on Him. The talk is also supported by 4 powerful sharers, anna who have found his vocation in life, and wanting to live a celibate life, marshal, who despite his physically challenge situation continue to serve God with passion and conviction, raine, a youth missionary, who desire to live a life of purity and chastity, and joji, SFL missionary, who despite two deaths in the family never doubted Gods way of loving and caring, and continued with the mission God has blessed him with. The session was ended by a worship and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament by Father Arlo Yap, SVD, SFL Spiritual director.
The last session given by JC Sarmiento, CFC SFL MM Head gave the singles the call to go out and evangelized, to be raised, to restore lives, and to reach out, it is also in this session that we get to see the bigger work ahead, and the fertile ground for evangelization.
At the end of the congress, 72 SFL Mission volunteers were prayed over, together with 4 SFL missionaries who will be going out on mission to Latin America and Indo China.
Over that weekend, the Lord has reminded us to remain in Him, to be dependent on Him, to recognized the many things He is doing in our lives. He is in control, He is the almighty, and He will never stop to show us, that with Him, who is strong and mighty, anything is possible, we just have to give our all, and surrender.
See you next year at the diocese of Paranaque!
By Pat Oconer
CFC SFL Fulltime Worker
It has been an exciting journey for the singles ministry of CFC FFL. Two years ago we organized ourselves to a group called CFC SFL, with the mission of proclaiming the name of God, His goodness, His majesty, and His greatness to the ends of the earth, to bring the CAUSE of CHRIST to single men and women around the world. The past 2 years has been an exciting journey, from the call of being ON A High during the World Singles Congress in 2008, to the Identified conference where we declared and revealed who we are as a ministry of CFC FFL, to the next World Singles congress, where we committed live out the conviction of AMEN..SO BE IT!
Last weekend we gathered once again, this time to claim our birthright, our destiny, and our purpose of existence, that we are Destined to Worship, Destined to Serve, and Destined to Witness.
The first ever Leaders conference of CFC SFL is attended by 308 Household servants from Metro Manila and Luzon Provinces, gathered in the mountains of Tagaytay. It was a weekend of acknowledging the goodness, greatness and majesty of God. A weekend of thanksgiving for the privileged of being called, formed and sent, commissioned by God to bring the Good News to the ends of the earth. It’s a weekend of declaring, and receiving the birthright of living a life of worship, service and witnessing.
The Destined weekend is anchored on the life verse of CFC SFL, John 15:16 “ you did not chose me, I chose you, to go and bear fruit “. In Session 1, Joseph Tesoro led the singles to a powerful worship, and a deeper understanding of living a life of worship. He reiterated that our Destiny is to live the life of worship and that worship life should manifest in our day- to- day life. It is also an opportunity to acknowledge the things that the Lord has done in our lives. This was followed by 2 workshops about the Eucharist by Fr. JP and Parish Involvement given by Tito Rey Sotelo. Tito Lachie Agana, gave the 2nd talk entitled Destined to Serve. He discussed that our Destiny is to serve God to the full, that serving God should be manifested in all areas of our lives: family, community, and workplace. He challenged everyone to take every opportunity to serve God with our best! The talk was followed by a re commitment Praisefest where SFL leaders had declared and surrendered to the cross their commitment to God and to the mission of God. It’s a night of letting go, giving up, a night of denying oneself and recognizing that it is all about God.
The last session is given by the Servant General of CFC FFL, Tito Frank Padilla, where he exhorted SFL leaders to speak about God, he stressed that the reason for our existence is to bring forth and push forth the mission of God and that we have to bring light to those in darkness, to claim every opportunity to speak and witness to other people. The work is big, and 308 people can make a significant push to the work of God, just like how the 12 believed and claim the world for God. It is the same call, and the same spirit that the Lord has prepared to each one of us. After the talk followed the powerful send off Praisefest led by JC Sarmiento.
We thank the Lord for a wonderful weekend, we truly brought home with us a lot of realizations as well as challenges, but with God, nothing is impossible. We might still be small in numbers to date, but it doesn’t matter, for we know that we have a big God who is with us, 308 SFL leaders can make a big difference, the world needs God, and we are blessed to be part of the great work of God! All for His greater honor and Glory!
CFC SFL: DESTINED!
See you all next year in Lipa, Batangas! WSC 2010.