Only By Grace

Bong Arjonillo of the CFC International Council is well known for his “Only By Grace” videos, which feature his reflections on the daily gospel readings. He traced back the origin of this “devotion” to the time that he was asked to give a pastoral message of hope to the community two days before the March 2020 lockdown brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since there was no one left at the office to tape the video, he had to learn to do it himself.

A few weeks later, fellow IC members Shok Ariola and George Campos urged him to come up with reflection videos on the daily gospel readings. This Arjonillo did, knowing full well the kind of commitment it would entail. He released the first episode on April 5, 2020, initially calling it “Comments from the Chair”, a play on the acronym CFC and in reference to a “chair” as a place to sit and ponder. Two hundred videos later, as his term as CFC chairman ended, he changed the title to “Only By Grace”. On June 15, 2022, the day of the CFC Digital Summit, the series was on its 799th episode.

The video reflections, he said, were a product of three Rs: research, reflection, and reliance on the Holy Spirit, with the goal of three Is: to inform, inspire, and interpret. Over the months, Arjonillo was able to cut the video preparation time from 10 hours during the initial episodes to just 4 to 5 hours, from the research to the writing to the distribution. He admits he is less stressed doing the video reflections now and more reliant on the Holy Spirit, as the new title implies. He added that he is looking forward to sharing the video space with other people and is eager to provide training on how to develop and prepare content for social media distribution. (Richie Panganiban-Tolentino)

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