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CFC at the 4th PCNE
Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Couples for Christ was asked by the Roman Archdiocese of Manila not only to send participants but more importantly, to spearhead the tracks on the Family for the three concurrent sessions of the 4th Philippine Conference on New Evangelization (PCNE), held at the University of Sto.Tomas Quadricentennial Pavilion last July 28-30,2017.

The conference, which had a total of 6,150 participants, had as theme "Of One Heart and Soul", anchored on Acts 4:32. The conference primarily aimed to allow the participants to play their roles as bearers of Jesus and proclaimers of the Gospel—to come together as one, and to celebrate the Year of the Parish as Communion of Communities.

The sessions on the family—“The Ties That Bind (Family Spirituality)”, “Me, Myself, and I (Workshop on Single Parents)”, and “Amoris Laetita: Looking To Jesus The Vocation of the Family”, were facilitated by CFC Chairman Ermelo Villaroman Jr. and his wife Nini, Lydia Quismorio-Villacrusis, and Jose T. Tale, respectively.

“The Ties That Bind (Family Spirituality)” focused on family life formation that encourages every Catholic family to build a shared spiritual lifeat home. The Villaromans shared how parents and children can grow together, learn from each other, and support one another in living out shared mission and goals, all of which have to do with spirituality.

“Me, Myself, and I (Workshop on Single Parents)” tackled single parenting in the context of OFWs, the divorced, widowed, separated, never married, or those who are functioning as single parents. A widow herself who raised six children, Villacrucis shared her experience in carrying out the gift of solo parenting. However, she emphasized that although technology has created a variety of options in handling such situation, one cannot replace the presence of the community to raise a family.

Tale conveyed, in his session “Amoris Laetitia Chapter 3 — Looking to Jesus the Vocation of the Family”, the value of the family as a domestic church as stated by Pope Francis: “The joy of love experienced by families is also the joy of the Church.” He mentioned that this message “has to occupy the center of all evangelizing activity.” It is the first and most important proclamation which every member of the family must hear again and again in different ways,and which we must always announce in one form or another.

Other concurrent sessions focused on Interreligious/Intercultural/Ecumenical, New Media and Evangelization, New Movements, Parish & Basic Ecclesial Community, School, Social Justice and Youth.

During the plenary, Rodito Mahinay of CFC Zamboanga, YFC missionary Ernie Abringe and CFC GMC fulltime workers Ruel and Mary Anne Aguirre, shared their conversion and faith walk stories.

Missionary Journey

Among the 66 delegates from the CFC Global Mission Center were 16 mission volunteers from Youth for Christ, Singles for Christ and Kids for Christ who are training to become mission workers.

The training heads, Gerald Manapsal and Tine Villan of YFC, expressed their thoughts on how the PCNE has created an impact on the missionary aspirants.“I was able to value the word, ‘communion’, and that as a missionary, my purpose is to be in communion—to always communicate with people, to fulfill my role as a missionary, especially in sharing Jesus to others,” Manapsal expressed.

He also shared that he was able to better understand the meaning of mission, and the importance of the conference for the trainees, as he believed it has widened their perspective about their own personal mission.

“The very sense of communion is the love of Jesus. We are children of God, He loves us, and so we are able to share His love as well. Communion with God allows us to commune with other people,” Manapsal added.

Villan, on the other hand, is grateful for the privilege to attend the conference, adding that communion is openness towards opportunities to love.

Rona Patenio, a YFC Trainee, likewise shared, “The PCNE made me appreciate communion even more, that it is about sharing yourself just as Christ shared His wholeself to us.”

In his homily for the closing Mass, His Excellency Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, Archibishop of Manila, reminded the delegates to open their roofs, so that the communion with God will be opened (Mark 2:1-5); to stop wandering and choose to journey where there is direction and to make room for others so they can journey together (Deuteronomy 26); and to close doors but open wounds— where the spirit of Jesus and the Father will be our spirit with Jesus and the mis-sion (Isaiah 38).

“May every parish not become ‘parochial’ so it will be in communion,” the prelate exhorted.Cardinal Tagle announced that the 5th Philippine Conference on New Evangelization is scheduled on July 20 to 22, 2018. (Andrelene Veloso & Niñaliz Donaire)



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