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CFC Lay-Clergy Congress: Encouraging Vocations Among Today’s Young
Tuesday, July 7, 2015

THIS year’s Lay-Clergy Congress is a tad different from the past congresses. Why? Because this year’s Congress brought together CFC leaders and men of the cloth to be not just partners in pastoral care, but partners in preparing the young to embrace the religious vocation.


To date, there are more than a hundred individuals, from either Youth for Christ or Singles for Christ, who have either entered the priesthood or became nuns. A good number are still in the seminary.


And some of them came to the congress to testify how being part of the community has opened them to the religious life.


In his talk titled “Families of Faith and Vocations,” Church Integration Office Head Rouquel Ponte highlighted four elements that promote the home as a cradle of vocation and the consecrated life, as illustrated by this section from Familiaris Consortio: “The family that is open to transcendent values, that serves its brothers and sisters with joy, that fulfills its duties with generous fidelity, and is aware of its daily sharing in the mystery of the glorious Cross of Christ, becomes the primary and most excellent seedbed of vocations to a life of consecration to the Kingdom of God.”


Testimonies from YFS and SFC members who have embraced the call to priesthood gave life to Ponte’s discourse. The first one, Noel Custodio, a seminarian from Australia, shared how his family helped him discover his vocation.


The second, Fr. Ruper, who is a regular Mass celebrant at the CFC Global Mission Center in Manila, also came from Youth for Christ. He brought with him several of his seminarians, all from YFC and SFC themselves, to thank the Lord for planting the seed of vocations in their hearts.


The main speaker, Fr. Neo Saicon, SJ, was also a YFC leader when the desire to discern for priesthood came. (Read his story here.)


As a response, Isaac Santos of CFC, father of Fr. Abner Santos, a former SFC member, likewise testified how he and his wife supported their son’s call to become a priest.


It is truly a blessing that Catholic families, including those in CFC, are being blessed to be co-formators of young men and women who consider the religious vocation. (A.M. Alvarez)




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