Read the news from events, activities and other updates on the different communities here in the Philippines
Spiritual exercises of the Verbum Dei missionary married couples
The Verbum Dei Married Couples Branch (MCB) in the Philippines did a 3 day on line retreat recently from May 28-30, 2020.
The topic was the Holy Spirit and various themes were addressed including the Spirit helps us to pray, the Spirit battles for our consecration, and the Spirit gives fire in the mission. Guidelines were given via Zoom by Poncho and Adriana Martinez, the General responsibles of the MCB worldwide, Marisol and Antonio (Spanish members of the MCB with perpetual bonds) and by James McTavish.
The couples were invited to “Seize the fire, missionaries of the Word of God!” (Fr Jaime Bonet, FMVD). The retreat was also a time for the couples to pause, reflect and breath in the Holy Spirit knowing as Pope Francis stated that families and “the Church urgently needs the deep breath of prayer” (Evangelii Gaudium, n. 262). The missionary married couples are also guided by our Verbum Dei directory: “We will strive to make real a contemplative-active life from our various personal, marital and family situations” (Directory, Married couples, n. 22).
The couples experienced various fruits from the retreat such as joy, perseverance and boldness - “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). How great is the Holy Spirit - he is never in lockdown!
We continue to pray for the growth and spread of the Verbum Dei married couples branch.
During this time of extended lock down the Verbum Dei mission to form ourselves as apostles continues.
It is precisely in challenging moments when the world needs to hear good news, but as St Paul noted: ““Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? (Romans 10:13-15).
The Holy Spirit has gifted us with modern technology and we can use the apps like Zoom to contact friends, catch up with people, run our business and … have a school of apostles! Thousands of on line inputs are now available to listen to: masses, rosaries, inspirational talks – and all of them are great. But let’s not forget the thrust of our work, not to form more listeners alone, but to capacitate persons to become apostles!
In this way we, as Verbum Dei, remain faithful to what the Church asks of us: “to form apostles of Christ from among people of every state of life, race, culture and social condition for the propagation of the Kingdom of God.” Amen!
During the period of quarantine, many of the families of our feeding program were in need of extra food. With the help of generous sponsors, we were able to continue to nourish the families and children of our feeding program in Pansol, as well as extending help to persons in Kaingin 1 and 2 nearby.
Over the course of the last 2 months, we were able to help over 100 families on a regular basis. We distributed various goods: bread, vegetables, yoghurt, pumpkin, tuna, eggs, and more than 5000 kilos (5 tons) of rice! It is true that “the Lord hears the cry of the poor” (Psalm 34).
We are happy that the people can witness the integration of faith and charity, and find much needed support in our Verbum Dei community during these challenging times.
Verbum Dei Family-Cebu Fund Drive for Covid-19
God has a purpose, and a reason for everything. With this pandemic, many good and positive things have occurred, like our solidarity with our brothers and sisters. This was felt and lived by the people here in Cebu when almost a whole barangay got infected with Covid-19 and was pronounced totally locked down. Many responded with material help, among them the Verbum Dei Family, which we channeled through Caritas Cebu. With the help of disciples and friends we were able to raise funds in a short period of time! Through this we could really see the sensitivity we have towards others in time of need. Indeed, in everything God works for good (Cf. Romans 8:28), so we continue to hope for the best amidst this crisis.
During this quarantine period, the singles reality in Cebu did a fundraising in response to the need of our brothers and sisters. With the generosity of each one, we were able to raise an amount to give disinfectants to one of the facilities in Cebu for patients with Covid. Disinfectants and masks were also donated to Vicente Sotto Memorial Hospital. Along with it we gave some messages containing the Word of God.
In barangay Zapatera, we provided drinking water to some families since the barangay was on lockdown for a time. Financial assistance was also extended to one of the single-disciples who happened to be in critical condition during this time. Sadly, she passed away.
An initiative of giving e-cards with a message and a Word of God to our frontliners was also done to encourage them in their work, as an expression also of our gratitude to all their self-giving during this time.
Our fundraising would not be possible without the cooperation of each one. We are happy doing this, through which we can show the love of God by giving our humble support to our brothers and sisters in need.
It is true that “love is kind” (1 Cor 13:4) and “there is more joy in giving than in receiving” (Acts 20:35).
With thanks to the WordNews team
On May 10, 2020 we had our first on-line youth recollection. It was a new experience for all the youth of Verbum Dei Philippines: involving CDO, Luzon, Cebu, and Olango. All perceived how Jesus continues to give us his words of hope in this time of lockdown. He also uses the social media to stay near us and in contact with us.
Included in this recollection were talks, prayers, workshops and sharing of the fruits of our prayer. Doing this online was not the same as being physically present but we could still perceive a connection among us and with God.
I want to share with you one of my experiences. During a workshop activity we had to choose a bible character to identify with. I chose Mary Magdalene because just like her I want to serve and love Jesus. Her life before meeting Christ was unfortunate and messy. Despite this, Jesus accepted and loved her. He didn't look only with his eyes but also with his heart. Similarly, Jesus accepts me and loves me even though I am full of flaws and imperfections, a sinner I myself sometimes am not able to love. I am grateful and thankful for this recollection. It reconfirms that God loves each of us just the way we are.
Guys and girls, even when you are in a crisis, in the midst of a pandemic, God takes care of you and gives you hope. Remember that He loves you and he cares for you 24/7.
Thanks Verbum Dei Family.
With thanks to Dave Raymundo and the WordNews team
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