Diocese of Borongan, CFC Partner for Diocesan Family Congress

The past two years in the pandemic had been difficult for our Church. Masses were held online; Churches stayed open at the urging of Pope Francis, but people remained sheltered, either because they were afraid to go out even after the lifting of restrictions, or have grown comfortable attending Mass and other Church activities online.

While this allowed for the opening and strengthening of the domestic church ⏤ the homes and the families ⏤ the faithful still needed to be connected, encouraged and nourished by the bigger family, the Catholic Church. 

With this need in mind, the Diocese of Borongan, in partnership with Family is a Gift, held three Diocesan Family Congresses in the province of Eastern Samar. The Family Congress was initiated and fully supported by the beloved Bishop, His Excellency Most Reverend Crispin Varquez. This was the first time that the Diocese held major face-to-face gatherings since the start of the pandemic. 

The pilot Family Congress on June 24, 2022, held at the Seminario de Jesus Nazareno in Borongan City, featured the Diocese’s local celebration of the World Meeting of Families. Three hundred and fifteen delegates from the central area of Eastern Samar attended the Congress. The following month, on July 16, the second Family Congress was held at the town of Guiuan, Eastern Samar, where 500 participants from all over the southern part of the province came. Finally, the third Family Congress was staged on August 20 at the town of Can-avid, where almost 700 participants from the northern area of Eastern Samar attended the Congress. 

Each Family Congress opened with prayer and worship, and closed with a Mass concelebrated by various parish priests of the Diocese, with Bishop Varquez as the main celebrant. Parish organizations actively served in the events, such as the youth ministry, which provided energetic presentations. The emcees came from the Family and Life Ministry, the Communication Ministry, Singles for Christ and Couples for Christ. 

In all three Diocesan Family Congresses, the Family and Life Apostolate of the Diocese of Borongan took the lead in organizing, inviting and hosting the events. Couple for Christ Eastern Samar and some members from CFC Cebu and Manila were there to support them and provide the speakers for the 3 events. The talks “Family is a Gift: Bringing back God’s design of the Family” and “Christian Parenting” were given as plenary sessions. “His Worth” and “Her Worth” were sessions aimed at the young men and women, respectively. The workshop “Building a Healthy Family Culture” addressed the young couples. In the second Family Congress, a separate session for the seniors titled “Sizzling in the Sixties” proved to be a hit. Bishop Crispin was present during each Family Congress. He talked and laughed with the participants and gave short sharings and teachings during each of the sessions. 

All in all, the Family Congress of the Diocese of Borongan was victorious because of the beautiful partnership of the Diocese’s Family and Life Apostolate and Family is a Gift through CFC Eastern Samar. Everyone is looking forward to more partnerships as the Church and the CFC community continue to advocate the beauty and dignity of the family. (Abi Mungcal)

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