CEBU City, July 18, 2015 – The National Convention on Family and Life, which ended today, helped 383 delegates representing 48 organizations and 63 dioceses forge a common direction for the Family and Life Ministries in the country.
Organized by the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Family and Life (CBCP – ECFL), headed by Daet Bishop Gilbert Garcera, the event’s concrete output included the setting of regional conventions and the forming of national partnerships and local secretariats.
The national theme for family and life efforts in 2016 was also finalized: “The Filipino Family, Missionary Disciples of the Eucharist”.
How renewal will happen
CBCP president Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan set the tone in his message where he noted the CBCP’s declaration of 2016 as the Year of the Eucharist and the Family, and Pope Francis’ call for a Jubilee of Mercy. Calling attention to the significance of 2016, the prelate said it will also be 25th anniversary of the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (PCP-II).
Villegas stressed how renewal will happen “if we, as missionaries, will learn to kneel again: in repentance, in adoration, and to ‘wash one another’s feet’ (Jn 13:14).”
Meanwhile, Fr. Miguel Garcia, SSS gave updates on the 51st International Eucharistic Congress which will be held in Cebu in January. George Campos of the Couples for Christ Global Mission Foundation and Frank Padilla of the Couples for Christ – Foundation for Family and Life shared their experiences and reflections as participants of the third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops last October 2014.
Dr. Antonio Torralba of the University of Asia and the Pacific highlighted the results of their research on the Philippine Response to the Synod on the Family. Fr. Ronald Quijano of the John Paul II National Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family (Bacolod) expounded on a pastoral response to the Synod.
Bishops’ dialogue with families
The highlights of the convention included the bishops’ dialogue with families, the regional workshops, and the national meeting.
Tandag Bishop Nereo Odchimar, Kabankalan Bishop Patricio Buzon, Boac Bishop Marcelino Antonio Maralit, Parañaque Bishop Jesse Mercado, Laoag Bishop Renato Mayugba, Maasin Bishop Precioso Cantillas, and Digos Bishop Guillermo Afable attended the said conference. (CBCPNews)