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Historic Groundbreaking Rites of 1st North America CFC Mission Center Highlights CFC Calgary Family Day
Wednesday, August 2, 2017

July 22, 2017 was a momentous day for CFC Calgary and its Family Ministries as they gathered together to witness the historic groundbreaking ceremony of CFC Canada's first ever Mission Center and Community Garden. The occasion coincided with the  celebratation of the annual Family Day event which they aptly called Fiesta Carnival.   This mission center, through the generosity of Deacon Dante Muzzo and his family, will serve as future place of worship, conferences, retreats and other activities.


A lease agreement between CFC Canada and Aspen Ranch Outdoor Education Center (AROEC) was formally signed last March 22, 2017 by Lanny Zacarias, President of CFC Canada; German Roldan, CFC Calgary Area Director; and Ernie del Pinto, AROEC representative.  The said agreement states that CFC Canada will rent the eleven-acre property for a fee of C$1.00 per year for a period of twenty years with an option to renew every twenty years. In addition, one main structure can be built on the agreed location of the leased property. 


CFC Canada came to know Deacon Dante in 2010 when Carlos Perez, church integration coordinator met with him and Fr. Ugo Sturabotti at Our Lady of Grace Parish to offer to sing regularly in the 4:30 p.m. Saturday Mass.  A few weeks before the said meeting, Fr. Sturabotti attended the clergy appreciation night hosted by CFC Calgary. Since then, the group continued to sing every week and in fact, were  able to conduct a Christian Life Program. 


As they got to know Deacon Dante and vice versa, the latter supported Couples for Christ by offering the Aspen Ranch to celebrate the annual family picnic event.  


How It Started

In  spring of 2013, Lily Rivera, a member of the Handmaids of the Lord, who at that time was conducting a CLP in the  parish hall of Ascension Parish was approached by Deacon Dante, who was recently  transferred to the said church  to ask about her activities for summer.  Rivera shared  her passion for gardening. This prompted deacon Dante to ask her to visit Aspen Ranch and  paved the way for Rivera to  start a flower garden project there upon deacon's request. 


In February 11, 2017, Rivera and fellow HOLD member Norie Juarez, together with CFC Padi and Lilian Seva, while on their way home after attending ANCOP activity decided to have supper at a nearby fast-food. While they were enjoying their meal, Padi kept on talking about his wish of having a land where CFC can build a structure that our community can  use for the different activities we have. Suddenly, Rivera blurted, “I have land”. 

As soon as she got home at exactly 11:00 p.m., Rivera called Deacon Dante right away, not even sure whether the latter will answer the phone. But when she heard Deacon’s voice, Rivera exclaimed, “I need land!”. 


The conversation did not take long as Deacon Dante knew in his heart that CFC is doing the work of God. He willingly committed to lease the eleven-acre property and told Rivera to convey this to the leaders.

 

Looking back, Rivera can only surmise that it was the Holy Spirit that prompted her to blurt those words: “I have land!” and “I need land!”.  The eleven acres of land at the heart of Aspen Ranch in Caroline, Alberta which is an hour and a half drive northwest of Calgary, will be the future site of the CFC - MCCG.  


There was no other greater way to set off the groundbreaking ceremony and blessing of the land but with the Thanksgiving Mass presided by Fr. Vincent Ha, CFC Calgary Spiritual Adviser. In his homily, Fr. Ha suggested to make St. Mary Magdalene the patron saint since the celebration falls on the feast day of St. Mary Magdalene. He explained that Mary Magdalene, though a sinner, was the first one who saw the risen Christ. Upon seeing the resurrection of the Lord, she immediately set forth to joyfully share the good news to the apostles.  He added, "We are all sinners like Mary Magdalene but just like her, we have been forgiven because Jesus loves us so much and therefore, we in CFC, should do the same thing of proclaiming the Gospel to the world." 


It was a surreal feeling for all those in attendance to witness the laying of the time capsule at the cornerstone of the future Mission Center.


The celebrations continued with its carnival flare where each chapter fetched their booths with perya or carnvial games, fundraising campaigns and sumptuous lunch. The Singles for Christ Ministry captivated the afternoon with their parlor games. Campers from Friday night stayed until Sunday to enjoy Mother Nature at its best at the peaceful and well-manicured campground. (Joain Magallanes & Carlos Perez, CFC CALGARY)




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