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FAITHFUL AT 36: The CFC Anniversary Celebration
Thursday, June 29, 2017

"Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast." Psalms 119:90



This expression of faithfulness of the Lord was evident and manifest in all the activities held to celebrate Couples for Christ's 36th anniversary as a community.


Members from all over the Philippines and the world trooped to the Quirino Grandstand at the Luneta in Manila last June 24, 2017, all eager to proclaim God’s faithfulness in various ways. For one, the areas outdid one another in dressing up their tents, which featured frontages with replicas of beautiful local pilgrimage churches, enticing “pilgrims” to visit.


The areas also brought food to share for the noontime family meal, prompting people to go, see and taste delicacies unique to each area or country. Everyone was encouraged to participate in the many games and fun activities held in the morning.


Those overseas and in the provinces who were not able to go to Manila to celebrate with the global community were treated to a live broadcast via Facebook, beginning with the fun activities in the morning up to the praisefest and closing fireworks display.


The parade, which is always an anniversary favorite, showcased the countries from the International Missions, provinces from the Philippine Missions and the Sectors of the Metro Manila Missions, each group proclaiming their faith statements—We stand for Life; We stand for Love; We stand for God; We Stand for Families; We Stand for Truth; and We Stand for the Poor.


Before the Mass, CFC Chairman Joe Tale delivered his anniversary message. He emphasized, "As we anchor our leadership on the shepherding of Christ, let us draw our loved ones to a deeper spirituality and commitment to the Lord and the CFC community."


He also led the entire CFC to a renewal of the covenant, encouraging those in Luneta and the online audience to recite and embrace what is written in the CFC Covenant Card in order to reignite the fire in each person’s heart.


His Eminence Wilfrid Fox Cardinal Napier was the main Mass celebrant, with the members of the international clergy and priests from the different parts of the Philippines concelebrating.


The rain poured in torrents, but despite the winds and the rains, CFC remained steadfast, creating a beautiful sea of colorful umbrellas that extended almost from end to end of the venue. In a wonderful show of God’s providence, the rains let up and a colorful rainbow appeared in the sky just at exactly the time when Communion was about to be distributed.


Before the final blessing, Cardinal Napier led the pray over for the newlyelected members of the International Council (see related story here). Joe Tale also read the congratulatory message sent by His Eminence Kevin Cardinal Farrell of the Dicastery of the Laity, Family and Life to CFC (click here to read the message).


Rouquel Ponte led the praisefest, joined on stage by the rest of the outgoing International Council and their spouses. In his exhortation, Ponte expressed, “We should be faithful because first and foremost, God is faithful to us, not only today but also in the generation that will come after us.” He added, “Being faithful is being grateful. To proclaim one's faith to God, one should be strong in heart, will, and mind.”


Thirty-six years may not be a milestone anniversary, but for Couples for Christ, every year is a year to express gratitude for God’s blessings and a year to look forward to God’s faithfulness. (CFC Global Comm)

 

(Photos: Psalma Santos, Emil Santos, May Luna, Kianne Padran, Mary Mhaika Cayat, Zyra Joy Parafina,Julius Bangayan, Jahre Palmero, Allen Robert Manimog, Clarisse Calalang, Kelvin Placino, Art del Rio, TJ Burgonio, Belle Nery)




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