Gift From God To The Church

I learned of CFC (Couples For Christ) through Jun and Mavic Simon, and former Congressman Tony Aquino. Mavic asked me to write Tony for CFC to be established in San Bartolome, which I did. So in 1988, we had our first CLP. I saw how our parishioners matured spiritually, and so I encouraged the other villages in our parish to hold their CLPs as well. That way, it would be convenient for all.

When I came here in San Bartolome as its first parish priest, I noticed that only 5% of the whole population of San Bartolome would attend the Sunday Holy Mass. When CFC entered the picture, the regular church goers increased from 5% to 35%. Yes, with the help of CFC, more people are coming to church. I am really dreaming that all our parishioners will be taken care of, because we have so many Catholics who were left untended. With the community's great help in evangelization and renewal, I am hoping that this number will grow more, especially now that our church edifice can fit in 2,500 parishioners. Indeed, CFC has a pastoral leadership here in San Bartolome and I am hoping that they will transmit the same fullness of joy to the other church servants like our lay ministers. I pray that they continue influencing others with the joy they have. In the same manner, I am hoping that when joining CFC, they won't lose sight of the focus, who is Christ, and share that gift to others. Truly, CFC is God's gift to the Church. We just have to work hand in hand to attain our goal of communion and renewal.

The growth of CFC here in San Bartolome is really tremendous! One thing I noticed in our parish when CFC began its work here was that the people became holy. I mean, the liturgy started having life! They already have appreciation of the liturgy. I am expecting that they will transmit the same positive energy to the rest. I have also seen how our youth have been transformed with the help of CFC's family ministries, the CFC Youth for Christ and the CFC Singles for Christ.

CFC as a renewal movement is very important in the community, since it is a renewal in union with the parish. This is a renewal which unites, and not separates so that the gifts we receive will also be shared. Though I observe that CFC members really find support in one another, there are also times when the priest feels so alone. I therefore suggest that they make the priest feel closer to them, and let them participate in their activities. You see, they have grown tremendously in number, and we all know that number is power. So, working closely with the parish priest will strengthen that power. We just have to work together and help one another. Besides, we only hear one voice, and that is Christ's.

The name of CFC is truly a declaration. “For Christ” holds a lot of meaning. It means that they are for God's Kingdom. It is Christ who is our real leader. We get people not through our own efforts, but by God's power. The realization of this parish, San Bartolome de Novaliches, came forth because just like the Blessed Trinity, we can be a communion of persons. The Parish Pastoral Council is our umbrella organization in cooperation with other groups or communities. Together we form one body. Couples for Christ has a great contribution to this dream and I will continue to let CFC be appreciated by others. I really love Couples for Christ! Msgr. Anselmo Pamintuan, Parish Priest, San Bartolome de Novaliches

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