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CFC Senior Couple Coordinators Hold First Summit
Thursday, May 10, 2018

As far back as 2014, when the first CFC Seniors Fair was conducted to formally begin the Senior Couples Program, the older generation of CFC has been conducting the SCR (Senior Couples Retreat), not only in Metro Manila and the provinces in the Philippines, but elsewhere in the world. Aside from SCRs, CFC Senior Couples also go on mission and boogie once in a while for fellowship.

 

This just goes to show that CFC leaders under the program are still very much actively serving the Lord in community.On April 7, 2018, coordinators of the Seniors Program from all over the Philippines converged at the Lay Formation Center in San Carlos Seminary, Guadalupe, Makati for the first CFC Senior Couple Coordinators Summit.

 

Pedy Arela, CFC Seniors Coordinator for the Visayas region, led the opening worship. In his welcome remarks, IC member Lito Tayag affirmed the CFC leaders that although they are now seniors, they still have so much to offer to the community and the Church. 

 

He encouraged everyone to attend the workshop in the afternoon, since the workshop involves planning for activities and programs that will ensure that the senior citizens in the community will have so much to look forward to and be taken care of, not only pastorally but also in the areas of health, their basic rights as senior citizens and in terms of leaving their legacy to their respective families.

 

The first talk was given by Jun Uriarte, a member of the CFC Board of Elders. Uriarte spoke about “The Role of Seniors in CFC.” Uriarte said, "As people age, they are more aware of their mortality, become more reflective of their lives, and have a different focus than the younger folk.” 

 

He added: “Spiritual people live longer, according to studies. Therefore, seniors like us are able to do anything. Yet, we do not want to monopolize these services and deprive the 'Timothys' the experience of the same joy and the same grace and blessings we receive.” 

 

So what then is expected of seniors in community? Uriarte proceeded to enumerate the roles that senior CFCs can perform as they continue to serve in the community: 1.  Participate actively in implementing the programs of the CFC Institute, considering that these leaders hold in their belt a vast experience in leading and pastoral care; 2.  Provide training and organize a pool of speakers for CFC teachings; and3.  Plan and conduct regular corporal works of mercy.

 

The bottom line, according to Uriarte, is that seniors desire to live longer so that they can serve more, be it in community or the family. The next speaker, Fr. Larry Faraon, OP, spoke about how seniors can serve the parishes. Citing several “senior citizens” from Scripture, Fr. Faraon challenged the CFC seniors, “When the Lord calls, are we ready? The Holy Father calls us wisdom sharers, guardians of the wealth of memories, are disposed to charitable work, and possess a deeper commitment. Let us live up to that.”


He went on to enumerate some challenges and obstacles to seniors serving the Church, such as health issues, family situations, retirement, and attitude (sense of uselessness, isolation, fear, irrelevance, emptiness).“Just embark on the work of the Lord, despite health issues. God will make it possible for us to serve,” Fr. Faraon concluded.

 

In the afternoon, the delegates were divided into groups according to geography, with each group planning future activities for the seniors in their respective areas.After reporting their plans to the plenary, the congregation came together for the celebration of the Eucharist, with Fr. Rico Ayo presiding. (Alma Alvarez)





 

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