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“Love Alive” Senior Couples Retreat A Weekend Like No Other!

April 7 and 8, 2018 was the Divine Mercy Weekend. Providentially, it was also the weekend for the second Senior Couples Retreat in the Greater Vancouver Area (GVA).

 

A heavy downpour started that day. Outside, it was dark, wet and windy but by 8:00 AM, the skies started to clear as the participants arrived. All in all, twenty enthusiastic and well-groomed couples checked in with smiles on their faces, excited to discover what the weekend holds for them. They were not disappointed.

 

The venue for the affair was the spacious Comfort Inn in Surrey, B.C., the site of many CFC events in the past. It was also here that the first retreat for seniors was held in July 2017.

 

Day 1 started promptly at 9:00 AM with the opening worship and a short introduction to the retreat. The first talk “Faithful Through the Years” was delivered by Chito and Mary Ann Marfori, GVA’s East Cluster Heads. The second talk “Looking Through the Eyes of Love” was given by Fil and Emy del Mundo, GVA Sector’s Senior Program Heads. Two other talks were given in the afternoon: “Rekindling the Love” by Art and Babes Santos, the Leaders of the Seniors Household in Richmond, and “Living Life to the Fullest” by Boy and Baby Maligson, GVA’s Sector Heads. The first day ended with a Lord’s Day celebration followed by a hearty dinner and non-stop dancing.

 

Day 2 began with a Sunday Mass celebrated by Fr. John Cosgrove, the parish priest of Our Lady of Good Counsel in Surrey, during which the participants, as well as the Seniors Core Group, the designated service team for the retreat, had a Renewal of Vows.

 

Boie and Angging Sescon, the National Coordinators of the Seniors Program in Canada, gave the last talk aptly titled “Celebrating God’s Goodness through our Marriages”. Sescon’s talk also touched on the Divine Mercy Weekend and the devotion to Mother Mary. He ended his talk with a pray-over and the rededication of the participants.


The demographics were quite interesting to say the least. Of the 20 couples who came, four have been married for over 50 years; nine couples have been married for over 40 years; and the rest for more than 3. It was a happy cross-section of fun-loving, engaging couples who stayed focused (and serious) throughout all the talks and danced endlessly to their hearts’ content as soon as the sun went down. Obviously touched by the talks, they were fully engaged during their couple discussions. The group dynamics mirrored their happy faces right from the get-go and smiles were there up to the last hugs and goodbyes. 

 

In their sharing, many were thankful for the opportunity and considered themselves blessed for having said ‘yes’ to the invitation. There were some who want to return next year while one couple even suggested that the retreat can perhaps be programmed twice a year. Girlie Cabanos shared her vision of “Mother Mary commissioning us to go forth with audacity and proclaim the Good News to all seniors as there is an urgency… their time is running out like a marathon in the race.”

 

The Senior Couples Retreat is getting more attention now as the CFC community slowly transforms into a graying population. With that in mind, the leadership will need to be more pro-active to respond to such an urgency. The Seniors Core Group of GVA is called to start rolling up their sleeves once more for the next round of planning. With expectant faith, CFC GVA claims that the next LOVE ALIVE Retreat will be on the Divine Mercy weekend of 2019. (Fil del Mundo)

Added on Thursday, May 10, 2018


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