Vol. 16 No. 13
June 18 - July 1, 2012
The News Supplement of Couples for Christ
By Joe Yamamoto
Couples For Christ in Rome: A Blessed Day to Remember
CFC Leaders Meet with Cardinal Rylko
ALTHOUGH it was not quite summer time, Rome was bright and sunny on the morning of May 23. The sun rose early and shone brightly that morning, as though celebrating with CFC leaders and other Catholic lay groups who patiently waited to see the Holy Father during the regular Wednesday Papal audience. When the presence of CFC leaders was called out and acknowledged by the Vatican official, there was loud and passionate singing of the Couples for Christ theme song and verbal expressions of love for Pope Benedict XVI- " CFC is ON FIRE! We love you Pope Benedict!!!" When CFC was acknowledged, the beloved Pope Benedict paused, and shook his clasped hands joyfully towards the area where CFC stood. As is practiced during general papal audiences, two representatives from each group were allowed to approach the Pope and to kiss the papal ring. When it was the turn of CFC, and after Chairman Ricky Cuenca had kissed the ring, the Pope greeted him with CFC, you are doing good. You are doing good. These were words that
By Joe Yamamoto
The Christian Family in Focus
the community received with joy, since this was affirmation of CFCs standing as the only organization from Asia among 123 Vatican-recognized lay private international associations of the faithful of pontifical right.
The 37 CFC leaders at the Vatican audience came from the Philippines, US, Canada, Australia and Europe. IC members who led the delegation were CFC Chairman Ricky Cuenca and wife Irma, and CFC AN-
COP Chairman and CFC Europe Overseer Joe Yamamoto and wife Mila. Making up the delegation from the US mainland were CFC USA National Council members and their spouses -National Director Eric/Pat Villanueva, Glen/Beth Santayana, Cris/Marissa Cagahastian, and Roger/Josie Santos. The CFC Canada delegation included Noli/Beth Arzadon, concurrently serving as CFC Europe Northwest Regional Coordinator, Carlito/Luisa Hael, Butch/ Lourdes Butalid, Rogerio/Nerissa Ajero, and Manuel/Purita Fausto. Joining the group were CFC Australia leaders Dom/ Josie Pangilinan, Rodel/Pacita Leano, Lourdes Zaballa, and SFC Kristone Paulo Capistrano. Leaders from CFC Europe were Chris/Chipo Mautsi, Country Head of CFC UK, Junfer/ Christianne de la Cruz, Country Head for CFC Netherlands and daughter Charly. Not to be left behind were representatives from the Philippines -- Boie/ Angging Sescon, Country Coordinator for CFC Netherlands and Regional Head for Northcentral Mindanao, Clarke Nebrao of Clergy Integration Office and mother Merlinda Nebrao, and Nolet Ladrido, Regional Coordinator for the Central Region of CFC Europe.
By Joe YamamotoHIS Eminence, Stanyslaw Cardinal Rylko, President of the Pontifical Council of the Laity, warmly received CFC Chairman Ricky Cuenca and CFC ANCOP Chairman/CFC Europe Overseer Joe Yamamoto on Wednesday May 30, 2012. His opening greeting when the two leaders were ushered into his office in Trastevere was a wide smile and the exclamation "Couples for Christ!" The warmth was palpable as he offered his hand for the traditional kiss on his Cardinals ring. The visit is part of a commitment that the International Council has made to visit His Eminence at least annually and to report to him the many exciting events, progress and milestones in the life of the global CFC family. The May visit was marked by the Cardinals warmth and enthusiasm as he listened to the progress report of Ricky Cuenca and Joe Yamamoto. He also accepted the gift of the communitys Pearl Book, which was published on the occasion of CFCs 30th anniversary in 2011, and the CFC pamphlet, The Origins of Couples for Christ. Cardinal Rylko encouraged CFC to "continue its great and important work, especially that on the family," as he bestowed on the two leaders, and on the entire global community, the Apostolic Blessing.
THE Vatican- sponsored 7th World Congress on Families, held in Milan, Italy from May 30- June 3 was a crowning event that highlighted and honored God's plan and design for Christian families. The successful biannual meeting, entitled " The Family: Work and Celebration" underscored the pivotal role of the Christian families in society and in the world, a world that is constantly in need of good news. Mother Church responds with love and affection to its children by providing the venue to express their concerns and challenges. Through conferences such as this, She also offers maternal help by sharing the solutions to a world grown seriously disordered. The challenges to the family are formidable, coming as it were from all around it and all over. The threats and dangers are up close and very real, and constantly interfere with and disrupt the design of the Creator for the family, the basic unit of our society. The family, particularly the Christian family, is continuously besieged by hostile forces and by the realities of contemporary life. For it to survive, the family must not only be kept strong under the guidance and protection of the Holy Spirit but it must assume a proactive role in society. Christian parents, with the help of the Church Magisterium and equipped with the practical and natural
means to accomplish its mission of giving birth to and protecting life, and nurturing the children, must rise to the challenge. The words of Blessed John Paul II echo across time about the role of the Christian family. He said: "The family finds in the plan of God the Creator and Redeemer not only its identity, what it is, but also its mission, what it can and what it should do. The role that God calls the family to perform in history derives from what the family is; its role represents the dynamic and existential development of what it is. Each family finds within itself a summons that cannot be ignored, and that specifies both its dignity and its responsibility: family, become what you are." Because of the importance of this World Congress, the CFC International Council delegated CFC Chairman Ricky Cuenca and wife Irma and CFC ANCOP Chairman and CFC Europe Overseer Joe Yamamoto and wife Mila to represent our global community.
CFC Italy, particularly our Milan leaders and members, fielded a very strong team, participating actively in the pre-conference planning. During the conference proper, Couples for Christ was tapped to serve as one of the pillars of the Milan Diocesan conference logistics and service teams. It was a great honor and privilege for CFC when Milan Unit leader Fernando (Dong) Gomez and wife Bernadette were assigned to share their lives as family during the forum on Migrant Families. Fr. Emil Santos, the CFC Milan Chaplain and Fr. Giancarlo Quadri of Milan, Chaplain for the Migrants, expressed their appreciation and gratitude to CFC leaders and members, especially those from Milan, for their hard work in evangelization and family life renewal. In one of the Masses celebrated by His Eminence Angelo Cardinal Scola of Milan, he acknowledged the presence and active participation of the Filipinos, particularly CFC, in the life of the diocese.
DZMM interviews ANCOP scholars
Of Men and Women of GodBy Aiza GarnicaON June 9-10, fifty young men and women from North and Central Bangkok and Chiang Mai gathered at the Pine Resort in Pathum Thani for the very first Singles for Christ Knights Tale and Princess Diaries activity in Thailand. The first day started with worship led by Andrew Balgoa of SFC Central Bangkok. The men and women then went to separate venues for their respective weekend retreat. For the sisters, it was a day of laughter, sharing and reflection as they listened to the talks and testimonies of the service team from Manila. As for the brothers, they learned how to be a true man of God through the sessions given by Art Roa, CFC North Bangkok chapter head and Lance Fernandez, SFC Metro Manila mission volunteer. After the third session, the participants gathered together for the penitential rite
By Ethel BalentonFOUR ANCOP scholars guested recently in Julius Babao and Kaye Dacers tele-radyo program DZMM Aksyon Ngayon. Featured were Mylene David, an Aeta child, who recently graduated as valedictorian in elementary; Jordan Ablong, another Aeta child from Angeles, Pampanga, a consistent first honor student from Grade 1 to 5; Sophia Henson, child of a healed Hansenite, who is in grade 4 and belongs to the top 10% of her grade level of 13 sections; and Gilbert Lagueta, himself a healed Hansenite and lives with his widowed mother, who is also in the top 10% of the freshman high school class. The scholars were chaperoned by their parents and Ethelyn
officiated by Fr. Doroteo Reyes, who also celebrated the Eucharistic Mass afterward. Fr. Dorot, as he is fondly referred to, discussed the parable of the Prodigal Son during his homily, relating it to the three elements of the sacrament of Reconciliation, namely: confession, conversion and celebration. The Eucharist became a very personal encounter with the Lord as Fr. Dorot, giving
the Body and Blood of Christ in each hand, reminded them of what St. Augustine said about the Eucharist becoming a font of forgiveness for sins, no matter how grave. The night ended with a healing session for the women and the fourth and final session for the gentlemen. On Sunday morning, the sisters began the day with worship as the brothers preparedMen /C4
Balenton, Program Director for the ANCOP Child Sponsorship Program (CSP). Both Mylene and Jordan come from big families, having 12 and 8 siblings, respectively. Both their fathers are farmers while their mothers stay at home to take care of the brood. When asked what she wants to be when she finishes school, Mylene