Read the news from events, activities and other updates on the different communities here in the Philippines
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.
This year, in celebration of Valentine's Day, Verbum Dei Cebu Singles reality organized a road trip/recollection/team building activity on Feb. 15-16, 2020 in a beach resort in Boljoon, about 100 kms south of Cebu City.
The aim of the road trip was for the participants to realize that they can find a lifetime companion in God, as his beloved children. It was participated in by 27 singles/ working people with different profession. Along the way the group made stop-overs in Theotokos Shrine, in Carcar Cebu, prayed the Rosary of the Word, then proceeded to Bishop Camomot's Shrine still in Carcar. The group was able to enter Domus Teofilos, containing a small museum showing the life of Bishop Camomot, who is now in the process of becoming a saint. After reaching the final destination in Boljoon, the group had animation, games, and listened to the first talk on the truth of faith "Your life is for Love".
After dinner, there was a formation given on the topic "The Hierarchy of Needs" and a group sharing was held in front of a bonfire. The next morning, the activity started with a morning exercise in front of the beach, watching the sunrise and listening to the sound of the waves. The next talk given was with the theme "Your Life is for Loving" followed by team building activities. The event ended by attending mass in Dalaguete Catholic Church. The participants enjoyed the different activities and had a wonderful weekend experience with Someone who wants to give them their "forever" and be with them forever.
Below is the experience of one of the participants.
Road to forever: A Valentines Special Getaway for single realities gave me an opportunity to open up and to become the best version of myself. I remember a few years ago what a timid and shy type of a person I was, but with God's grace I was able to step out of that world of my comfort zone. The said event encouraged me to step up further towards my goals in life and to know myself better as a person. It allowed me to give back and to share how to embrace and value life with God as the center of everything. Despite of all the “baggage” I and the other participants had prior to going to the said event, we were meant to meet each other in order to fill in the gap we had in our hearts for the missing puzzle in our life. Thus, I felt blessed and grateful for the activity because I was able to open up about my gloomy days and share how I was able to reach my "bloomy" days which I am living at the moment. Don't ever compare your Chapter 1 to someone else’s Chapter 10 version of success in life. Each one of us has his/her own time frame of success in our own pace in life. Just trust the process and spread random act of kindness and happiness to everybody. (From Loren Tesado, one of the participants)
Here are some photos of the event:
"Love them as I have loved you"
Teens' Valentine's song forum
As part of Verbum Dei’s monthly visitation in the Olango Island, particularly at Nemesio-Epifania Taneo Memorial High School, the whole campus ministry together with the 12 students who are in their process of discipleship and the youth of Barangay Tingo, came together for the song forum in celebration for Valentine's Day. It had a theme, “Love them as I have loved you,” and was held at Tingo’s seaside.
The forum started at 3pm in the afternoon, where the Verbum Dei Family, led by Sister Adree and Ate Jay Anne, welcomed the participants with timely songs about friendship; in this way it reminded us that our savior Jesus can be our friend, and even our best friend. The activity was great fun for it also had a treasure hunt game where the participants were grouped and given the chance to solve a riddle. The treasure had something inside--a message from Jesus encouraging us to talk to him as our best friend. We had a moment of silence as well so that everyone can talk to him in prayer.
And when the forum was about to end, the campus ministry members had surprise gifts for the Verbum Dei. It has been a year since they came to the school and encouraged everyone to listen and follow the Word of God, and this was a way of thanking them for bringing each member closer to Jesus. This Valentine's Day was made more special, for it made each one realize that Valentine's Day is not only for romantic relationships but it is all about our love for each other just like how Jesus loved each one of us.
Here are some photos of the event:
Do everything in Love
Verbum Dei Youth Reality Valentine’s Day Special
Love has different meanings. It can mean something more than that typical relationship of a man and a woman, and we often see this month of love as a celebration only for those who have partners in life. However, we believe in a love that is everlasting. A love that never ages or grows old.
This lead the group of young people from Verbum Dei Cebu to organize a special way of celebrating Valentine’s Day last February 15, 2020. Spearheaded by our youth adviser, Sr. Charisma Sulbise, we went to the houses of our dear grandmothers, and widowed and single mothers, to serenade them with love songs from their time, and even some modern love songs. We also made a short program wherein we gave them roses with the word of God attached, a heart shaped balloon, a small gift, sweet lovely cards and had a moment of prayer with them and for them. To spice up the serenade, we had a surprise game where they were asked to pick a rolled paper, and do or answer whatever is written on it. Some of them danced the Tala Challenge, shared their love story, sang with us, shared their first crush and many more.
It was indeed a special moment among us of sharing the love that Christ has given us first. Personally, I am in awe of how God has planned out everything. Sometimes, when we really are challenged, that is when God makes you see His works. Love is alive. Love will live. Love prevails among fear. Love is more than we thought it would be. It was a memorable and priceless experience for me. Everything was worth the time and effort spent in the preparations. This experience made this passage from 1 Corinthians 16:14 came alive for me: “Do everything in love.”
Here are some photos of the event:
With thanks to KP Artajo and the WordNews team
There was a post Valentine gathering for 55 couples in our Verbum Dei Apostolate Center, Cebu. Going the extra mile, the Matrimonios Missionaries spear headed the affair and it was well supported by the Verbum Dei couples reality. COVID-19 wasn’t able to prevent us from pursuing the event as an outbreak of contagious Love syndrome was also in the air.
We started with a formation about “The Joy of Marriage” which we freshly delivered to the lovers, who were very enthusiastic as they listened, contemplated and walked through their respective most romantic and worst conjugal experiences. John 2:5 “Do whatever He tells you” propelled us to keep on announcing how love matters even though it is not easy in our cruel world. Our missionary couple in charge in Cebu, Regner & Mae Paguia, launched the upcoming future series of formations for couples.
During the celebration of the Eucharist, we were joyful to have Fr. Ely Siuco, overall chairman of the Family Life Ministry of the Diocese who celebrated the mass and administered the renewal of marriage vows to those couples married in church, reaffirming our commitments to each other.
As married couples, let our goals in life be: to share, to inspire and to spread the love through the Word of God! May the struggles and challenges in marriage not quarantine us from truly sharing what Love can do to many more couples. May we also remain firm in faith and strong in values in upholding the indissolubility and sanctity of marriage, and the value of the gift of family.
Here are some photos of the event:
With thanks to Ponie & Joan and the WordNews team
This has been a busy start of the year for the teens reality in Cebu. After a very successful fundraising activity during the Sinulog season, we ventured to the mountain side of Cebu in an all-boys morning hike… well, almost all boys because sister Adri and ate Jay-anne facilitated this activity for us!
During our uphill trail in Buhisan-Toog we had some dynamics together with much laughter. A sense of brotherhood and faces filled with smiles culminated our morning.
On February 1 we had the opportunity to share our gifts and time with 70 children of Abtanan sa Kaluoy, the Cebu Archdiocesan ministry for street Children, in partnership with Verbum Dei "Discovery" SoW. Focusing on the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, we facilitated games, an arts and crafts activity, and a living Rosary. The morning finished with the celebration of the Eucharist with the kids, who showed their gratitude and friendship to us. What a wonderful and well spent morning for us all!
Continue to pray for us teens, and that we continue to have fruitful and inspiring Activi-teens in the year ahead …
Here are some photos:
With thanks from the WordNews team
Pushing our boat further in Olango!
Last November 9 and 10, members of the Verbum Dei Family of Cebu facilitated a silent retreat with the students of Nemesio-Epifania Taneo Memorial High School in Tingo, Olango Island, Cebu. This was the first retreat in the island, in partnership with their Campus Ministry, which we have been working with since February of this year.
Tweny-seven young retreatants from Olango, and three from Cebu City joined us for the two days, where we had four guidelines, longer times of silent prayer with the Word of God, creative/working prayer, shared meals and snacks, and afternoon icebreakers. It was beautiful seeing these young people discover Jesus so alive in the Word of God, and writing their prayers. At the end of the two days, where we deepened on Luke 5:1-11, we gave the retreatants a necklace with the cross, as a symbol of their newfound friendship with Jesus who is our greatest friend.
One of the young retreatants, Rgeane, shares her experience of the retreat:
"Sometimes in life, we feel an emptiness within us. We feel that we are alone in the four corners of the room engulfed by total darkness, but the truth is we're not. Our boat is full that is why God can't enter. Our life is more focused on earthly things that is why we can't entertain Him. ‘He allows us to feel our downs so that we can have a space for Him.’ He allows every obstacle for us to learn that he is just on our side, even if we don't notice his existence, and even if we are not willing to be his minister.
Have you gone in front of the mirror and asked yourself, "Who am I?" No one can tell us who we are. Our circle of friends, teachers, family, social media accounts, and even ourselves can't. There is only one person who knows us beyond what we know of ourselves. It is God, only God. We can talk to him without any hesitation. We can talk to him without any doubt that he might judge us. Talking to him is just like having a long, heart-to-heart conversation with an old yet unforgettable friend. ‘The more you know God, the more you know yourself.’ With him we are more than real and more capable to do things.
We think that every day is a normal day. We wake up, go to school or work, eat and sleep. ‘We don't recognize that the small things are miracles or a blessings in disguise. Being able to see the beauty of the world, to breathe, to talk and listen is a miracle.’ It's a chance that is given to us. We should appreciate the value of small things because not all of us have the opportunity to always recognize that value.
I am not an expert singer but I will sing about his greatness. I am not a good dancer but I will dance just to show to the world that he is flexible enough to cater to a lot of people, good or bad. I am not a talented person but I can shine because I have my light - God! I made and will make mistakes but now I am with God. I'm not so fully equipped with wisdom, knowledge, and experience to defend him, but I can be a living testament that he is not dead; he is surely alive and he is writing my story. I am a stone in the shore, not that important and precious, but God offers his hand to lift me. I am a solitary bird on a flight to nowhere but now I am home because I am with him. I was once lost but now I am found."
Here are some photos of the event:
"You are a mission, always. I am a mission always"
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