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CFC at 34: I Choose to Love More
Tuesday, July 7, 2015

IT WAS a full week of activities, fellowship, symposia, recreation, introspection. Despite its busyness, however, the 34th anniversary celebration of Couples for Christ was a perfect synergy of teaching and deepening of relationships.

The week started with the Liveloud Concert on Friday, June 12 at the World Trade Center in Pasay. It was a celebration of youth, featuring band music, testimonies, and exuberant worship.

Then it was time for sports as the CFC Bowling Tournament kicked off on Sunday, June 14 at the Commonwealth Lanes in Ever Gotesco Mall. Two days after that, the avid golfers in CFC gathered at the Ayala Southlinks Golf Club in Southvale Drive, Almanza Dos, Las Pinas City, for the CFC Golf Classic Tournament. The golfers had fun as they not only showed off their golfing skills, but had fellowship after, capped by a raffle.

CFC leaders, many of them coming from all the Philippine provinces and even from abroad, settled down for the more serious task of listening to enriching talks, testimonies and spiritual direction beginning on Wednesday, June 17 for the ANCOP Global Summit. It was a full day aptly begun with the Holy Mass officiated by CFC’s Spiritual Adviser Msgr. Allen Aganon. The talks were riveting: Mission with the Poor (An Encounter with Jesus) given by CFC Chairman Joe Tale; All Aboard in ANCOP given by BCOP Chairman Joe Yamamoto and Understanding Corporate Social Responsibility delivered by CFC Institute Chairman Jun Uriarte. The workshop that followed was facilitated by Bong Garrucho who came all the way from Canada for this purpose.

In the evening of the same day, all the leaders gathered at the SMX Function Room 5 for the International Mission Core Gathering. The leaders had fun as the night, themed as “Homecoming” welcomed members from the different decades in the history of CFC. Those who joined CFC in the decade of 1981, when CFC started, to 1990 came to the gathering in blue while those who joined in 1991 to 2000 wore green. Members who trace their roots in CFC to the decade covering 2001 to 2010 were in yellow. The more recent joiners, from 2011 to the present, were resplendent in their red outfits.

Although the leaders were up till late in the night, this did not deter them from attending the Mission Symposium held at the SMX MOA the following morning or the Lay- Clergy Congress held at the same venue in the afternoon. The highlight of the day was the celebration of the Eucharist by Bishop Elenito Galido.

The day was far from over. That same night, everyone remained at the venue for the Fellowship Night, a dress-up occasion and time for simply enjoying each other’s company.

Friday, June 19, was an important day for the CFC community. On this day, the members of the Elders Assembly, a 274-strong group of leaders – the International Council, the Board of Elders, the Regional Coordinators of the various continents, Philippine Mission leaders including Regional Heads and Provincial Area Heads, Metro Manila Sector Heads, heads of Family Ministries and some social development programs, as well as their wives - trooped to the chapel of the Lay Formation Center of San Carlos Seminary in Guadalupe, Makati, for the election of the International Council or the Board of Trustees. (see related story here)

Saturday, June 20, dawned bright and sunny, auguring well for the grand anniversary celebration slated that day at the Rizal Park. As early as 8 AM, CFC members and their families began gathering at the park, colorful in their CFC t-shirts. This year, the venue was moved from the Quirino Grandstand to the park right in front of it. A gigantic stage was set up at the center of the park, with four huge monitors set up to ensure that everyone would get a good view of the proceedings at the stage.

Food tents were set up all over the park, adding to the festive atmosphere. Tents were also set up for all the provinces and countries represented, in anticipation of the expected rains that had been earlier been announced.

The stage was the venue for continuous entertainment, from dances presented by Kids for Christ, Youth for Christ, Singles for Christ and Handmaids of the Lord, to songs by the 29 AD Musicionaries.

The much awaited parade of floats began at 3 PM and ended at almost 5 PM, a long line of people walking and showing solidarity with their respective countries, areas, sectors and provinces.

The end of the parade signaled the start of the culminating activity of the day—the celebration of the Holy Eucharist officiated by Bishop Romulo de la Cruz and three other bishops. Prior to the Mass, CFC Chairman Joe Tale delivered his anniversary message, congratulating CFC for reaching 34 and exhorting them to continue, with greater vigor, with the mission. George Campos, Executive Director, honored those who go on mission, especially to difficult areas and exhorted everyone to contribute to the community effort.

By the time the Mass started, the rain threatened to fall, with strong gusty winds blowing away the bishops’ caps, leading Bishop de la Cruz to joke that he was in the exact same situation as Pope Francis whose cap blew off amid the strong winds that came as he was saying Mass at the Tacloban, Leyte airport. But the rains did not fall, much to the delight of the huge crowd.

As dusk fell, after the Mass, the crowd was led to full celebratory mode by the Kids Praisefest led by Ablaze President Rommel Ancheta. Fireworks lit up the sky after the praisefest, a fitting and colorful ending to a tiring but truly enjoyable day. (CFC Docu Team)



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