The Diocesan Commission on Family and Life (DCoFL) celebrates 15 years of evangelizing families to become living witnesses of God’s love and preserving the sanctity of life. This year’s celebration coincides with the Feast of San Lorenzo Ruiz on September 28, 2019. In his homily Fr. Darwin Calderon, Diocesan Family and Life Spiritual Director narrated the steadfastness of our first Filipino saint in his faith. He shared that St. Lorenzo refused to recant his faith despite the series of unbearable tortures he went through. And his last words were, “I am a Catholic and wholeheartedly do accept death for God. Had I a thousand lives, all these to Him I shall offer. Do with me as you please”.
Our dearly beloved Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara honored the Family & Life Ministry with his presence amidst his hectic schedule. Just after his video of anniversary greeting was shown, he stepped in briefly to personally give his message for the ministry which was encapsulated in the word FAMILY. FAMILY stands for Faith in God and in the Holy Trinity; Affirmation of the goodness of each one; Mercy of God, realize and accept that a drop of God’s mercy can heal the whole world; Immaculate Heart of Mary, be pure and remain faithful in discriminating legalized sins; Love in the family as unconditional and bountiful as God’s love; lastly take care of the Youth, the young in the family beloved, gifted and empowered.
The focal points of this year’s affair are two prevalent concerns in the family namely the “unhealthy” use of social media and misconceptions regarding gender orientation. The first resource speaker was Ms. April Francis “Sky” Ortigas, a social media evangelizer who blogs about life, faith, and beauty. Sky shared the Ethics on Social Media, the proper and productive use of it. She encouraged everyone to use one’s gift in social media via 3 Cs – Connection in sharing stories, Creativity in sharing art and Courage in sharing the truth.
President of Courage Philippines, Bro. Edwin Valles explained the Psycho-Genesis of Homosexuality. Courage Philippines is an apostolate of the Roman Catholic Church that provides spiritual support for men and women with same sex attractions who desire to develop lives of chastity in union with Christ. Studies showed causes of homosexuality were related to early years in one’s life when one experienced difficulty with relationships especially parent and child, inability to identify with the gender of same sex parent, gender insecurity, frustrations, abuse, trauma and others which resulted to lingering pain. Bro. Edwin’s involvement in Courage Philippines exposed him to varying stories of woundedness. Courage prescribed a pastoral cycle of SEE – listen to the stories, DISCERN, and ACCOMPANY by meeting people where they are.
The whole event is in collaboration with Family is a Gift (FIG), a program of Couples for Christ (CFC). CFC and DCoFL come together with a common advocacy – FAITH and FAMILY.
Contributor: Bro. Gerry & sis. Tess Ravida, Vicariate Couple Head, Vicariate of ICC