Hawaii Couples for Christ Welcome New Members

Hawaii Couples for Christ Welcome New Members

Couples for Christ (CFC) welcomed six couple members on Sunday, October 2, 2016. The new members consisted of one Singles for Christ transition couple and five couples who completed a 7-week long Christian Life Program (CLP) held Saturdays, from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon at Immaculate Conception Church, Ewa.

Every couple participant looked forward to the Christ-centered program and fun fellowship Saturdays with their brothers and sisters in Christ.

In this photo are: Rico & Vinya Manianglung, CFC Hawaii Area Leaders, James and Donna Lyn Baguio, Mark and Maricel Sebastian, Nolan and Ester Chang, Rev. Father Nick Brown (CFC Hawaii’s Spiritual Adviser), Orlando and Edna Ragudos, Joel and Cheryl Juan, and Jed & Jennibeth Seson.

In this photo are: Rico & Vinya Manianglung, CFC Hawaii Area Leaders, James and Donna Lyn Baguio, Mark and Maricel Sebastian, Nolan and Ester Chang, Rev. Father Nick Brown (CFC Hawaii’s Spiritual Adviser), Orlando and Edna Ragudos, Joel and Cheryl Juan, and Jed & Jennibeth Seson.

The Christian Life Program is an integrated course intended to lead program participants into a renewed understanding of and response to God’s call to them as Christian couples. The CLP is intended to achieve the following:

  • Bring the participant to repentance and a renewed faith in Jesus.
  • Empower the participant in the Christian life through baptism in the Holy Spirit.
  • Integrate the participant into a strong environment of support and ongoing formation.

CFC would like to thank Rev. Father Nick Brown and the Immaculate Conception Church, Ewa community for all their prayers, help and support with the CLP as well as the whole CFC community.

What is Couples for Christ?
Couples for Christ (CFC) is a movement intended for the renewal and strengthening of Christian family life. It is an association of Christian couples who have committed themselves to the Lord and to one another, so that they may grow into maturity as men and women of God and fulfill their primary vocation of raising up their families under the lordship of Jesus Christ and for the service of the Kingdom of God. Couples for Christ is a work of Christ which raises up Christian couples and establishes Christian families committed to the work of evangelization and winning the world for Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Why is such a ministry necessary?
It is God’s plan that the family is the basic unit of society, such that the families determine the condition of society. However, there are many forces in the world today that would, wittingly or unwittingly, destroy the very foundations of the family. CFC wants to rise up in defense of the family which is God’s work. CFC wants to bring God’s strength and light to those who are struggling to be truly Christian families in the modern world.

If you would like to know more about Couples for Christ, send an e-mail to Rico & Vinya Manianglung at
ricvin.cfchi@gmail.com or visit couplesforchristusa.org. (http://catholichawaii.org)

Couples for Christ drawing families closer to Christ

Couples for Christ drawing families closer to Christ

Couples for Christ and its associated ministries are dedicated to strengthening families through a personal spiritual renewal. The international lay apostolate brought its message to the Diocese of Nashville Aug. 26-28 at the Couples for Christ Handmaids of the Lord National Conference.

“We’re trying to bring the family back together,” said Tat Reyes, a member of Couples For Christ USA National Council and responsible for overseeing the six conventions the organization sponsors each year.

In modern society “there are a lot of things distracting them being close to God, especially our children,” Reyes said. “It is the parents’ role to ensure that our children know God. Strong families help create good Christians.”

Couples of Christ held its Handmaids of the Lord national conference Aug. 26-28 in Franklin, Tenn. Marilex Luna of Cleveland, Ohio, sings during a leadership forum at the start of the convention. Photos by Andy Telli

Couples of Christ held its Handmaids of the Lord national conference Aug. 26-28 in Franklin, Tenn. Marilex Luna of Cleveland, Ohio, sings during a leadership forum at the start of the convention. Photos by Andy Telli

While schools can help our children become lawyers, engineers and doctors, Reyes said. “The parents’ role is to make them Christian lawyers, Christian engineers, Christian doctors.”

Couples For Christ started as a prayer group for 16 couples in 1981 in the Philippines. Since then, it has spread to more than 100 countries and is organized into six communities: Couples for Christ for married couples; Kids for Christ for children ages four to 12; Youth for Christ for children ages 13-21; Singles for Christ for unmarried young adults; Handmaids of the Lord for adult women; and Servants of the Lord for adult men.

“It’s a ministry from womb to tomb,” Reyes said.

The core values of Couples for Christ are “Pro-God, Pro-Family, Pro-Life and Pro-Poor.”

When a person joins they first complete a 12-week seminar called the Christian Life Program. They then become a member of a “household,” which consists of eight to 14 individuals or four to seven couples who meet once a week for prayer, Scripture study and reflection.

Multiple households form a unit, multiple units form a chapter, multiple chapters form a cluster, and a sector can be formed depending on the amount of clusters in the area.

“We always encourage our members to participate in the parish where they belong and help the Church wherever they can,” Reyes said.

Francen Ong of New York City makes a presentation during a leadership forum at the start of the conference

Francen Ong of New York City makes a presentation during a leadership forum at the start of the conference

Buddy and Khryss Campos, parishioners at St. Philip Church in Franklin, joined Couples for Christ in 1993 in the Philippines. After they moved to Tennessee in 2005, they realized they were missing their prayer meetings, Khryss Campos said.

They started meeting with two other couples who also were in Couples for Christ, and then organized a Christian Life Program in 2006.

For the Campos, Couples for Christ is a ministry for the whole family. “The kids grew up in the CFC culture,” Khryss said of their children. “They’re active in the Church.

“We’re a missionary family,” she added. “We’re going to go to great lengths to do service, whatever that may be because it binds us as a family.”

Those family binds are evident in Couples for Christ families, said Zaldi Zapanta, area leader for Tennessee. “When you see them go to church all together, even the grown up children, it’s inspiring.”

Besides St. Philip, Couples for Christ households have been organized at St. Luke Church in Smyrna and Holy Family Church in Lafayette.

“Couples for Christ is a ministry that creates the love in the couple and the families, love for Christ and love for the family,” said Maru Hernandez, a member of the Hispanic Community at St. Philip. “It’s very important to stay together to the fountain of life. This is Jesus Christ.”

Most of the members are Filipino but the ministry to growing among Caucasian and Hispanic members, said Zapanta, a parishioner at St. Luke Church in Smyrna.

The Tennessee organization also is trying to introduce it to the Vietnamese and Kenyan communities in the Nashville area, Zapanta said. “We hope we can reach out and share it.”

Couples for Christ has been granted Vatican recognition as an International Association of the Faithful of the Pontifical Right through the Pontifical Council for the Laity. While celebrating Mass during the Handmaids of the Lord Conference, Bishop David Choby presented a letter of recognition for the organization in the Diocese of Nashville.

More than 400 women from around the country attended the Handmaids of the Lord Conference, which was held at the Marriott Cool Springs in Franklin. (Andy Telli, Tennessee Register)

Mercy, Mercy, Mercy! God is rich in mercy, Ephesians 2:4!

HOMILY BY MOST REV. ROBERT RIVAS O.P.,
ARCHBISHOP OF CASTRIES, SAINT LUCIA

COUPLES FOR CHRIST: CARIBBEAN CONFERENCE
GROS ISLET SECONDARY SCHOOL, AUGUST 31, 2016

“Watch, and be on your guard against avarice of any kind, for a man’s life is not made secure by what he owns, even when he has more than he needs”

Luke 12:15

My dear sisters and brothers in Christ,

Mercy, Mercy, Mercy! God is rich in mercy, Ephesians 2:4!

‘Vanity of vanities. All is vanity.’ That’s what the Preacher in the Book of Ecclesiastes preaches to us this weekend. What is the use of possessions? Are they our security and life insurance? Couples for Christ is a Family and Life Movement in the Church. As members of this Movement what is the best thing you want to give to your children? Eternal life? The Scripture this weekend asks the question: What is life all about? Please take time to answer that question for yourselves this coming week, review your values and priorities and see how you are leading your children. Is Christ at the centre of your family?

Your weekend is coming to a close. You have had an opportunity this weekend to spend time with each other and to fine-tune your commitment to the Couples for Christ Movement in the region. You have had the opportunity to re-ignite the fire for a Family and Life Ministry that is essential to the living of the Gospel of the Family and the life of the Church.

“Couples for Christ!” What a vision for Christian Marriage and the Family! “Couples for Christ” is a powerful witness of faith. It provides, as a Movement of the Spirit, formation for enriching and enhancing family life and couple relationships. This is the mission of the Church: to provide good pastoral care for the family and to evangelize the family. Indeed, this is a pastoral priority of the Church today. Couples for Christ as a Movement shares in this Mission of the Church.

In two consecutive years 2014 and 2015, Pope Francis called an Extraordinary and an Ordinary Synod on the family. In this way he emphasized not only the importance of the family but also the great need to care for the family today. There is so much that needs to be done that family life ministry cannot afford to become dull and tired or cease to be a dynamic force for empowerment, renewal and inspiration in the Church. As members of Couple for Christ you have a dynamic mission in the Church and must be spirited, alive and dynamic in fulfilling your mission.

Every parish and every Arch/Diocese should want to have a movement like Couples for Christ at the centre of its ministry to the family. I would like to see Couples for Christ become more inculturated in our region. If Couples for Christ is to be implanted in our local Churches it must be true to its charism

while making the necessary adaptations in order to relate to the faith, social and cultural context in which it finds itself. This will help to foster growth and make it attractive and relevant. What does Couples for Christ have to say to families in the Caribbean? What does Couples for Christ bring to families in the Caribbean? How does its vision for the family meet the needs of families in the Caribbean?

I would like to see Couples for Christ setting Saint Lucia on fire. I would like to see Couples for Christ setting our Caribbean region on FIRE! Now is the time for recruiting new members and forming a new crop of leaders. Don’t allow yourselves to become an ageing Movement. Be a vibrant Movement. Don’t just be inward looking but be outward looking. Pope Francis is constantly calling the Church to be outward looking. As a Movement of families in the Spirit renewing the face of the earth do not exclude anyone in your outreach and evangelization.

Do not isolate yourselves from other Movements in the Church but take your place among the other Movements of the Church and learn from them. Don’t be merely a ‘talk show.’ Lead by example: ‘By their fruits you shall know them’. ‘Couples for Christ’ rise up, don’t grow drowsy and fall asleep. At the Vigil for World Youth Day in Poland the Holy Father challenged the youth from around the world to be bold, brave and committed to their faith. He challenged them to come out of their comfort zones and not to be sofa youth or ‘couch potatoes!’ He told them to trade the sofa for a pair of running shoes. We all need a sense of urgency in living the Gospel of joy and answering our missionary call.

The Church needs you. Re-examine how you do things and seek to understand, with a deeper sense of purpose, the context in which you are called to evangelize the family. If you are families in the Spirit renewing the face of the earth, then renew Saint Lucia! Renew the Caribbean! The Spirit wants you to be praying families, generous families, humble families, compassionate and merciful families, dynamic and committed families. Be joyful in living the Gospel of the family. I would like, indeed, I would strongly recommend, that each delegation represented here as well as those who are missing would invest in purchasing and studying Amoris Laetitia, Our Holy Father’s Apostolic Exhortation on Love in the Family. Read, especially, Chapters 4 and 8. As a family Movement in the Church, our Holy Father, Pope Francis, is counting on you to address the challenges of the family today especially as they are identified and outlined in the Apostolic Exhortation.

Your Movement will always be as strong as its leaders. The commitment of members depends on the ability of the Movement to keep its vision alive, the formation of members and the grace to persevere. Your mission is to reach out to the family, therefore, you are not in a sprint race but a marathon. In other words, you are in for the long haul. Don’t lose heart. Don’t give up. I am available to you. Bishop Galt is available to you. God has blessed you abundantly. Make yourselves rich in the sight of God (Luke 21:21).

COME ON, SET THE PLACE ON FIRE! COUPLES FOR CHRIST IGNITE! CHRIST IS COUNTING ON YOU! FIRE, FIRE, FIRE…FIRE FALL ON US!

CFC Songwriting Competition:  see who made it to the Top 10!

CFC Songwriting Competition: see who made it to the Top 10!

MANILA, June 2, 2016 – Not one but two of CFC USA’s original compositions made it to the Top 10 of the Couples For Christ’s annual songwriting competition.

Mike Serapio who composed ‘Give back to you’ is a pastoral worker of CFC USA and Eric Villanueva who composed John 21:15 (Love you more) is the National Director of CFC USA National Council and the President of ANCOP, USA.

“It was through  an inspiration after Pope Francis gave a homily before the clergy when he visited Manila,” Villanueva explained on what inspired him to write the song.

“When Pope Francis read the Gospel which confirmed CFC’s theme of Love More, I was moved to write the song ‘Love you more,'” he added.

Villanueva said that he was at first hesitant to submit the song as he does not want to bring much attention to himself but through the urging of brothers and sisters and loved ones who find the song very inspiring, he decided to submit the piece.
Couples for Christ will be celebrating its 35th Anniversary in Manila this June 2016. (Sky Ortigas)

 

“HOME AGAIN” with Stephanie Reese

“HOME AGAIN” with Stephanie Reese

May 28, 2016, Seattle, WA – Surging with passion and bringing God’s miracle alive, Stephanie Reese’s Home Again ANCOP (Answering the Cry of the Poor) Concert was a standing-ovation performance, and the jam-packed Benaroya Hall was electrified!

The audience was blessed to have witnessed a showcase of great talents and, more so, to see such beautiful individuals who have given so much of themselves for a humanitarian cause. It was truly a sight to behold.

Opening the show were lively dance steps from ArtRise Dance Group and a piano piece masterfully played by Francis Noah Martinez. Stephanie Reese, an internationally acclaimed singer and actress, entertained the crowd with a wide range of musical genres including her self-composed songs, theater, religious pieces, and popular Filipino songs.

She showed great confidence and versatility in her own craft. On stage was pianist Joshua Kartes who also sang the duet “The Prayer” with Stephanie. Friends of hers like producer/composer/singer Jon Perez, theater performer Chad Kimball, and Melissa Reese of Guns N’ Roses (who all have made a name for themselves) joined Stephanie in a 2-hour breathtaking concert entitled “Home Again” in the Beranoya Hall in Seattle, WA.

“Home Again” was coined by Stephanie in honor of her return to her home town, Seattle, from numerous stints both for professional and humanitarian causes across the globe. Reese has been an advocate of helping the poor in the past, and “Home Again” was another opportunity for her to share her God-given talents through ANCOP.

The event garnered close to $20,000 through ticket sales and generous donors. These funds will go a long way in sending at least 10 children to school and will support priests in their further studies. Awe inspiring, star-studded, and world-class are a few words that describe the recently concluded concert. (Pat Villanueva and Rosanna Junge)