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It’s all about FAMILY at the first International Family Conference!
Monday, June 11, 2018

Pope Francis said during the World Meeting of Families in 2015: Love is shown by the little things, by attention to small daily signs which make us feel at home. 


Faith grows when it is lived and shaped by love. That is why our families, our homes, are true domestic churches. They are the right place to become life, and life to grow in faith.This may be a mouthful, but what the Holy Father is saying basically is that the family, the home, is where faith is learned and grows.


As CFC Kids for Christ celebrated its 25th anniversary as a ministry, it also celebrated the FAMILY via the first International Family Conference, from May 26 to 28, 2018, 2018 at the IEC Convention Center, Cebu City. 


The Praise Parade was held on Friday night, where delegates from all over the world shared their talents via creative festival numbers unique to their areas. Since it was CFC KFC’s 25th birthday, International Coordinator Adrian Enaje honored the past leaders of Kids for Christ. The activity ended with the parade of 25 birthday cakes and 25 Cebu lechons. Everyone helped themselves to the birthday food as they enjoyed watching the colorful praise parade.


On Day 2, the Tolentino and Mungcal families handled the first two sessions of the iFamCon. In the first session, the Tolentinos talked about spending time to pray as a family. They emphasized that prayer makes the family’s relationship with God stronger, teaches members of the family humility, and prepares the children for the future.


Since the family is the first Church where children learn about God and Jesus, Mama Mary and the saints, families must have specific goals how to help them pray together daily:

•  Families should create an altar at home.

•  Families must fill their homes with God’s word.

•  Pray the Family Rosary daily.

•  Practice family prayer time.

The Mungcals, on the other hand, shared about spending time as a family at play. Daddy PJ presented three major reasons why families fail to spend time together: work time, study time, and screen time. Hence, the need for play time, as it fosters healthy and loving relationships in the home, and help create memories for the family.


“Playing teaches love and discipline,” Mommy Abi said. The Mungcals enjoined all the families to spend time playing, not on electronic gadgets, but games which require physical activity, or board games that encourage critical thinking and decision-making.


In between the sessions, both kids and parents went to separate workshops. The kids mainly had creative and fun workshops, while the parents sat through the parenting workshop given by Bobby Quitain, lay evangelizer from the Ang Ligaya ng Panginoon Community, and his wife Jeng. The workshop, titled The Heart of Parenting, talked about myths and truths about parenting, with breakout sessions for the moms and dads on motherhood and fatherhood.


On the last day of the iFamCon, the Sotto family from Singapore talked about the delegates being charged to be families for other families. They enjoined the 1,000 families present to go out and proclaim the love of God to other families.


They also talked about becoming families for God, where lasting friendship, acceptance, joy, a father’s initia-tive to bring the family closer to God, love, and the desire to spend time with the family are all present. This way, it would be easier for these families to witness to their neighbors, relatives, friends, and the community.


And as in any CFC Kids for Christ event, there are staples like the Mass to begin each day, the traditional fire hose bath, and the ROCK assembly, which was the first international ROCK assembly ever. Msgr. Rommel Kintanar, Spiritual Director of C FC Cebu, reminded the parents of the missionary nature of every family. Fr. Bernard Holzer, a self-confessed first-timer in any CFC international event, had words of affirmation and gratitude for his experience during the iFamCon.


On Day 3, His Excellency Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu exhorted the families in his homily, “Celebrate God’s gift! You don’t need to look far, just look beside you. Your family is a gift.” 


The weekend was indeed a celebration, not only of the ministry’s 25th year, but of the gift of family. It was also a celebration of the generosity of CFC Cebu for opening their homes to the 4,500 delegates by hosting the 1,000 families from Metro Manila, the Philippine provinces and from overseas, making them feel that the CFC community is truly one big family. (Alma Alvarez)


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