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Love Conquers All: The CFC International Men’s Conference
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Love conquered about 400 true men of God during the recent CFC Catholic Men’s Conference.

Touted as the best Servants of the Lord (SOLD) conference ever, the conference was held on the weekend of March 27 to 29 in Iloilo, appropriately referred to as the “City of Love” and also the “Queen City of the South”. Iloilo is noted for its fresh oysters, biscocho, pinasugbo,and of course, the world-renowned La Paz batchoy, a fact that was not wasted on the participants. The sweltering heat did not matter at all for the participants, nor did the nautical miles they had to travel to get to Iloilo. They came, they saw, they heard, they felt and they were conquered by the amazing love of God.

Friday night was a good omen of the things to come—from the homily of the afternoon Mass to the spirited opening worship and the fantastic welcome “Dinagyang” dance of the host province.

All these were capped by the impromptu group a cappella singing competition that drew surprisingly excellent performances from various areas.

After the Saturday morning Mass, punctuated by a much-applauded homily relating to the true meaning of Christ’s passion, the participants were welcomed to Iloilo by Western Visayas Regional Head Tony Gimenez.

Then it was on to the first session titled “He Loved Us First” which was delivered by Manny Garcia, Regional Head of Eastern Visayas. His session brought renewed realization that men can only love others more only if they acknowledge that they first have to experience the love of God in its real sense.

After the sumptuous lunch break, Robert Ardiente, Provincial Area Head of Quezon, delivered the second talk titled Be Who You Are. The message of his talk revolved around the various levels of men’s true personalities which they allow themselves, others and God to see. His message resonated in the conference hall and gave all the participants the opportunity to ponder and evaluate how and where they are now in their personal relationship with the Lord.

The last session for the afternoon, Tough Love, was given by Charly Laiz, Regional Coordinator for Borneo. Charly coined the acronym B.O.S.S.—“Brothers Offering Something Special”—to explain that everyone truly has something to offer to others but we all have to learn to share it. He expounded further on the desirable ability to share true love even in the direst of situations.

Saturday evening’s fellowship was another revelation as different areas showed their impeccable talents, competing in true brotherly fashion in a raucous stomp praise challenge.

Intermingled in the program was a joyful community dance revolution led by bold leaders of the ministry.

Notwithstanding the escalating temperature on Sunday morning at the seaside venue, the final session titled “Love Conquers All” echoed in the hall, with Ben Babilonia, member of the SOLD Core Group, punctuating the whole message of the weekend—that of being in and using Christ’s love to reach out to all so that Christ will ultimately rule the hearts and homes of everyone who experience Him through men.

Afterwards, Joemar Salumbides, International Coordinator of SOLD, led the congregation in a jubilant send-off praise fest. Prior to the praise fest, all the men, including some women in attendance, were empowered with the imposition of the Shepherd’s Cross, symbolic of their mission to go and to conquer everyone with God’s love.

Fittingly, the 14th CFC SOLD Men’s Conference was capped by the celebration of the Palm Sunday Mass with the homily centered on the message of the unconditional love of God as manifested in the sacrificial love of Christ, the kind of unconditional love that Christ now asks us to share with everyone we meet. (Bobbee Mella)



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