The Verbum Dei community in Luzon recently celebrated the Christmas season together as a family. With the theme "Get Up, Verbum Dei Family, See God is Coming," the disciples along with friends and family spent a day of activities together at the Verbum Dei Center of Evangelization at Tagaytay, Cavite on December 9.
The morning started with a Eucharistic Celebration presided by Fr. Bong, reminding everyone of the true spirit that we celebrate this season. This was followed by fellowship and mingling over lunch, giving participants from the communities of Quezon City, Manila-Pasig, and Tagaytay the opportunity to mingle with each other.
Celebrations continued with lots of games and performances enjoyed by everyone. The highlight of the afternoon was a surprise carolling session where the missionaries serenaded participants with their music. The Christmas party was capped off by participants exchanging gifts with one another in the spirit of giving. What a wonderful way to celebrate Christmas spending time together as one Verbum Dei family.
Here are some photos of the event:
By Abel Paune and the WordNews team
The Verbum Dei community in Cebu had a 2 day Advent retreat, in preparation for Christmas, led by Br Darwin, Aida (LCM) and Fr James. The retreat was held in our Apostolate Center in Banawa, a beautiful and quiet space, not far from the city center. Going up Good Shepherd road, not a smooth road, reminds us of our life journey, sometimes rocky and with holes, in need of Christ’s coming to fill us and direct us with His Life.
With the Theme, "The Word becomes flesh...in us" (cf. Jn 1:14), we were invited to prepare ourselves for this Christmas season, with the light of some biblical people: Mary, Joseph, John the Baptist and the Shepherds in Bethlehem, as they also expected the coming of Christ.
The retreat gave me the space to listen to God’s Word and enlightened me on how to live it out in my every day journey. I found particularly helpful the prayer with Mary and Joseph: the invitation to spend time to Listen to God, to obey and totally abandon myself to Him, learning from them to have a pure and humble heart, an open and selflessness trust that God fulfils His Promise. Knowing that all good things come from God, I can share His Word to others, not because I hold a degree, but because He calls me to be at His service. What God requires of me is my YES, my total commitment in the certainty that God will do the rest!! (Cynthia)
“A Child is Born unto Us”—this is the theme of the Advent Recollection for the staff and employees of Tekton Multi-Purpose Cooperative last December 10. It was a timely moment to stop and prepare our hearts for the Little One who is coming to our lives as the fulfillment of God’s promise and dreams.
Although it was only an afternoon recollection, the twenty-five participants had a full meal composed of games, songs, watching a meaning-filled video clip, listening to the preaching, moment of silent reflection, receiving a short formation on the oneness of faith and work, and listening to the sharing of each other.
For a company that equally prioritizes the spiritual growth of their employees, this recollection has been a new experience of community and prayer for them. Indeed, ‘a Child born for us’ is a gift of meaning and purpose upon which we can surely anchor our lives.
With thanks to Jay Anne and the WordNews team
“And the Word becomes flesh… in us” (cf. Jn 1:14)
On the 12th of December, the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, there was a big turnout of attendees for the Verbum Dei Advent recollection. Held at Christ the King Parish it was entitled “And the Word becomes flesh... in us.” A total of 88 attendees (with 50 newcomers) participated in this one-day recollection.
The first talk was given by Fr. James on “Listening like Joseph.” He reminded us that if Joseph did not listen and act on what he was commanded by the Lord, we would not have Christmas as we know it. Joseph was a just man who adjusted his life to the word of God. Likewise, if we don’t listen to the Lord and take time off our busy schedules for Him, then there is no Christmas to celebrate at all.
The second talk entitled “Don’t forget to chew like Mary” was given by one of our SOWers, Michelle Dayrit-Soliven. She taught us how to assimilate and ponder like Mary with her 3 P’s of fruitful pondering with Prayer, Patience and Perseverance. Mary listened with her heart and so should we. “Be still and know that you are not God!”
Lastly, Stella Deriquito’s talk was on “Living the Word”. .Jesus became human out of love just to show us how to truly live with joy, love and peace. Let us give room for the Savior and welcome Him in our hearts and not to let Him be “away in a manger.”
The talks were all thought-provoking and inspiring in preparation of the Lord’s coming. We were reminded, though, that the reflection and prayer after each talk were of utmost importance. Only in doing so will we be able listen like Joseph, ponder like Mary and live like Jesus.
To cap off the day, we celebrated the Holy Eucharist after confession and rosary prayer. Fr. Bong Guinoo officiated the mass and emphasized that equally important is announcing the Word of God just as the shepherds did. The essence of Christmas is not an event that merely happened more than 2000 years ago. The mystery of Christmas is ongoing and should be lived and announced every day of our lives. Only in doing so do we make the Word become flesh ... in us.
With thanks to Emy Abaya and the WordNews team
Advent is here! And what better way to prepare for the season than to be in prayer with the community and the Church. Last December 2, Verbum Dei Manila-Pasig held a one-day retreat at the Pandacan Caritas Hall in Manila. Entitled “The Miracle of Waiting,” participants were immersed in prayer and reflection about the season of Advent.
In the morning, Sister Amy invited the participants to ponder on the kind of waiting and preparations we do during Advent. With Mary as the model, she challenged participants to a more meaningful form of waiting - to ready their hearts to be a womb for God’s love.
In the afternoon, Sister Pearl invited participants in her talk to reflect on their focus and priority especially during this season of preparation. Taking St John the Baptist as an example, she explored the best values one can have in preparing during Advent. She continued the challenge of the morning talk, inviting participants to reflect on making room in their hearts for the coming of Jesus at Christmas.
An atmosphere of silence was maintained throughout the retreat to encourage the participants to ponder more deeply the Word of God they had received through the talks presented.
The retreat was concluded with a Eucharistic celebration presided by Fr. Bong, further reminding the participants of the spirit of thanksgiving that they are invited to carry throughout their preparations during Advent. Truly a recharging and inspiring way to start the season of active and expectant waiting!
With thanks to Abel and the WordNews team
The Verbum Dei Missionary Family in Manila-Pasig held its Local Assembly over the weekend of November 24 and 25, 2018 at the Pasig Apostolate Center. Disciples gathered to have a time of prayer in thanksgiving for the past year as well in preparation for the year to come.
The weekend started with guidelines given by Sister Cecilia Teo on Saturday morning. She invited the gathered disciples to reflect on the past year of activities with a thankful heart. In the afternoon, the Disciples grouped up in their respective ministries and committees to review the activities of the previous year as well as to concretely plan for the year ahead.
After the activities of the day were done, the Family had time to let their hair down. In Verbum Dei Fiesta fashion, the Disciples took to celebration in the spirit of thanksgiving for the year. The evening was filled with fun games, music and dance, and of course good food and fellowship.
The Local Assembly resumed the following morning with guidelines from Sister Marla. She invited the Disciples to reflect on the heart of the mission, to continue to offer our five loaves and two fish as Verbum Dei Family. The Disciples then had a chance for a more in-depth look at the activities in store for the Verbum Dei Family in 2019 in their respective realities.
After all the excitement of the weekend, the assembly was capped off perfectly with the apostolic commitment ceremony during the Eucharistic celebration presided by Fr. Iwao. We give thanks to God for the life of one who committed for the first time, of those who renewed their commitment, as well as of those who has stable commitment. We pray for the perseverance of each one to continue to be the light and salt of the world!
With thanks to Abel and the WordNews team