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Family of Families
Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Episcopal Commission on Family and Life of the CBCP held its National Conference on February 16-18, 2017 in Pagadian City with a theme in tune with the Year of the Parish––“Parish: Family of Families.”


The conference was attended by more than a hundred clergy, religious and lay representatives from various dioceses and vicariates from all over the country, and heads of National Family and Life Organizations (NFLOs), including Couples for Christ. 


Couples for Christ was represented by Jimmy Ilagan,  a member of the CFC’s Board of Trustees,  together with Ruel and Maan Aguirre from the Global Mission Center’s CFC Institute and Pastoral Formation Office, respectively.  Jimmy Ilagan is also part of the CBCP ECFL team in-charge of External Affairs.


It was a conference of collaboration, engagement and unity in diversity of charisms. Bishop Gilbert Garcera led, organized and inspired the whole commission towards integrated efforts in faith renewal through protection, promotion and propagation of the beauty and sanctity of marriage and family life. This will greatly contribute in firmly rooting our faith and as a nation of God’s faithful when we celebrate the 500th centenary of the Catholic faith in the Philippines in 2021.


The importance of family and life in our Philippine society was evident in the strong line-up of Family and Life representatives in the conference, many of whom are leaders of Couples for Christ. Among them were: Merle Ramores, the president of the Catholic Grandparent’s Association and her husband, Julio.  Pabling and  Cherry Trinidad  of the province of Nueva Ecija represented the Diocese of Cabanatuan together with their Family and Life director.  Other delegates were Alex and Helen David of the Metro Manila East sector representing the Diocese of Pasig, Susan Dela Calzada representing the Diocese of Iligan, and Demy Chavez of Metro Manila North B representing  the Diocese of Novaliches.


The conference commenced with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist at the Sto. Nino Cathedral by Bishop Emmanuel T. Cabajar, C.Ss.R on Thursday, Feb 16.  Two crucial meetings with Regional Secretaries and with heads of NFLOs were held earlier that day.  On Feb 17, Bp Garcera gave his report on 2016 Year of the Eucharist and Family followed by the report of Family and Life Formation and Training Center as facilitated by ECFL’s Executive Secretary, Fr. Rico Ayo.


The key-note address by Bp Gilbert created a clearer picture of what the church means by the theme: “Parish: Family of Families”.  A workshop followed on how to effectively bridge the gap of bringing Jesus to the families with the current realities we now face. The conference concluded with a celebration of the Holy Eucharist.


After the conference, COURAGE Philippines, a community that assists those with same-sex attraction and the Catholic Grandparents Association were requested by many dioceses and vicariates for engagements in their ministries.  (Maan Aguirre)




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