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CFC USA… Rekindled!
Monday, July 30, 2018

A BEAUTIFUL clear blue sky ushered in the first day of the CFC USA Solemn Charge Conference held at the National Conference Center in Leesburg, Virginia last July 6-8 2018. The venue was a sprawling complex with an intricate maze of building clusters, amidst trees and greenery; a fresh change from the usual hotels of past years. Walking along the labyrinth of tunnel-like walkways allowed for conversations between and among 1,400 CFC brethren and family members who were present in this year's conference. What a great way to greet and meet brothers and sisters from all over the USA!

The 2018 CFC Solemn Charge Conference host, CFC North Virginia, set the tone of the weekend with a creative and spirited opening dance number from the hit musical, The Greatest Showman with the song lyrics (as revised):

     'Cause everything you want is right inside of you
     And you see the impossible is coming true
     And the walls can't stop us (now) now, yeah
     This is the GREATEST SHOW!


The conference kicked off Friday afternoon with the recitation of the Holy Rosary followed by the celebration of the Holy Mass. CFC-USA National Director Toffee Jeturian welcomed the participants who came from all CFC-USA regions.

This was followed by the Banner Competition, which was won by the North East-B Region.

It was an early start on Saturday with a 5K Fun Run and a “Rise ‘n Shine” Zumba within the conference center grounds. This is the first time such events were included in a CFC Conference. The main event for Saturday night was the Dance Competition, where the North East - A group emerged as Dance Champions, followed by the much-awaited Inaugural Ball held at a separate ballroom.

The conference featured a powerhouse of speakers led by Jeturian (Talk 1 - The Gifts Within). He expounded on the Gifts of CFC’s Catholic Identity, Family and CFC, detailing how these are special graces from God meant for sanctification and for the upbuilding of others. The beautiful story of the Coronel family (Chito, Beth and John) was an affirmation that indeed these gifts are provided for a single purpose: to build up the body of Christ. John is now on his way to becoming a priest.

CFC President Michael “Shok” Ariola gave Talk 2 ? Called and Chosen. His message was thoughtprovoking as he shared his “Damascus” moments and challenged everyone to work responsively in God’s vineyard for the purpose of bringing people to God.

Former CFC Chairman Joe Tale gave a moving narrative on how God called Him to serve during the crucial years of the community. He encouraged everyone to constantly bear in mind that everyone in CFC is chosen as bearers of the Good News whether one is in a leadership position or not.

The morning session was capped by eight breakout sessions covering several topics, a first in the history of CFC conferences in the USA.

The first afternoon session featured CFC National Council Member Jojo Reandelar who passionately elucidated on the role of an evangelist (Talk 3: Proclaim the Word). Jun and Ching Lagarde personified the true meaning of being God’s evangelists in their journey as Parejas Para Cristo servant-leaders in the East coast.

The afternoon session was given by CFC USA Country Coordinator Cholo Labog. In his talk (Talk 4: Putting up with Hardships), Labog reminded everyone that God is always in control of every hardship we encounter. This was affirmed by the testimony of Alvin and Tintin of New Mexico who professed that as they faced daunting trials, God sent many angels along the way.

The Sunday morning speaker was CFC Chairman Melo Villaroman Jr. who powerfully exhorted everyone to “Fulfill Your Ministry.”

Mark Harang gave a touching sharing on how God blessed him in his journey as a former SFC to West Maryland Chapter Head.

There was a spirit of revival which enveloped the assembly. Participants left the hall with hearts on fire, ready to carry out the mission as “families in the Holy Spirit” charged to “renew the face of the earth.”

When asked about the experience of the weekend, one participant shared, “This is the most memorable conference of our CFC community. Most memorable because Jesus reminded us to honor the gifts that are important in our lives—our faith, family and community.”

His Excellency Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States; His Excellency Archbishop Bernardito C. Auza, Apostolic Nuncio, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations; and Fr. Francis Peffley, Parochial Vicar of St. Mary of Sorrows Catholic Church , Fairfax VA celebrated the Masses during the weekend conference. (Toffee Jeturian)



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