Read the news from events, activities and other updates on the different communities here in the Philippines
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:
Verbum Dei Cebu Singles Reality organized an overnight recotreat (recollection/retreat) last September 28~29 in St. Francis Seraph Retreat House in Talisay City, Cebu with the theme "Born for Love".
The recotreat aimed to make the participants realize and experience that Christ's love is the only Love that can fully satisfy the human search for true love and happiness.
Although the recotreat was meant for single people, the whole VD Family collaborated in giving the talks/guidelines, testimonies and dynamics. Adriana from the misioneras, Ate Mau and Kuya Jess from the couples and Jay Anne and Jane from the singles reality inspired and make the participants question what they are searching for in life through the talks and testimonies they have given.
Through the activities which consisted of talks, guidelines, testimonies, dynamics and a film showing, the participants were able to discover that it is only God who can truly satisfy the longings and void one feels inside. Material wealth, fame and success, human relationships can bring happiness in one's life but nothing compares to the happiness and fulfillment one can have when they have Christ in his/her life.
"My first recotreat experience. It was a wonderful and an unforgettable experience. The VD members were kind and approachable. The talks were inspiring and it helped me examine myself and life." - said one of the participants afterwards.
“I had an amazing encounter with Jesus during our Recotreat last week and this is my remarkable experience this 2019. I had peace of mind and was able to receive the grace of Jesus and I am so grateful about it. I realized in the recotreat that I have to put Jesus in everything that I do every day and be a living well to others.” - from Anna, another participant.
See some photos of the event:
Last August 18, 2019, 23 participants gathered for “Connect” - a Singles Recollection at Verbum Dei Apostolic Center in Pansol, Quezon City. It was a whole day event which consist of talks, animation, testimony, Holy Rosary, confession and Holy Eucharist. The event aimed to remind the single participants that amidst the busy world of today, it is still important to connect to the real source of life and energy who is God.
Jonnalyn Estrada, gave the Welcome talk. She gave an introduction about the Verbum Dei Community and encouraged the participants to give the whole day to the Lord by participating well. Belen Desilos gave a talk about Life and Love which showed the relation of the two to each other, that love is the motor of life and it is seen in the example of the life of Christ. Helen Desilos gave a testimony about identity and how she found herself coming out from her shell when she got to know more about Jesus, and joining the Verbum Dei missions. Francis Santos gave the talk about God the Father. He shared that he is always there with us, ever since we were born and will always remain in us because his love is limitless. Francis encouraged the people to connect to God because he is more than the Wifi or the internet but the source of everything.
The recollection ended with a Holy Eucharist celebrated by Fr. Iwao Ikegami. He reminded everyone the importance of being connected to God in every season of our lives and to be able to share the light that the participants receive from him for the benefit of others.
With thanks to Francis Santos and the WordNews team
Reaching Out Beyond Comfort Zones
Verbum Dei Singles Outreach Program in Tingo, Olango – May 19, 2019
Every year, VD Singles Reality in Cebu goes to the nearby island of Olango to give school supplies to the poor children who attended the Flores de Mayo. It is a real community activity, possible with the collaboration of many members of our Singles Reality, some of whom help in the fundraising, others in the buying and packing and finally some others join the distribution of the school supplies to 120 children. Of course, as Verbum Dei disciples, we could not give only the material supplies, but we also gave some short faith input, reflection and dynamic to the kids. This year, 16 of us volunteered to go to Olango to distribute the school supplies and give some merienda snack.
Below is the experience of Elvie de Guzman who joined the VD Outreach program for the first time.
" Verbum Dei got out of their comfortable, safe Sunday and reached out to the Tingo Flores De Mayo kids. I am embarrassed to say I did not do much except to tag along, carry some bags of bread and join in with the team. To see the VD disciples carry such big and heavy boxes, witness Arman and Bethel reach out to and be responded in equal and sometimes more enthusiastic measure by the children, to see the rest of the VD disciples joining in, working hand in hand, then to be welcomed by our VD disciple originally from Tingo - Olango, be invited along with her to a fiesta lunch (yummy), all in 36 degrees centigrade, sweltering humid weather (heavens bless Ann for her umbrella!).
Although I am new to Verbum Dei, I felt privileged to have witnessed Jesus in action through this Outreach Program. It was Jesus in each one who painstakingly sorted out all those school supplies, donated, bought and distributed the food. It was Jesus who lifted and carried those big heavy boxes across the boat’s narrow gangplank; Jesus who made time to sing, dance, play and show the Father’s love... Jesus who patiently found a way to include a baby VD member (me!), who upon seeing all the plastic garbage floating in the sea between Mactan island and Olango asked herself, “is mankind even worth saving?” and found the answer in a smiling child’s eyes while singing the faith song and shaking this little boy’s hand – I witnessed and enjoyed seeing Jesus in action!”
Here are some more photos of the event:
With thanks to the WordNews team
PANSOL, Quezon City - A pre-Valentine’s festivity entitled #LetLoveSpeak was held last February 9, 2019 at the misioneros’ house. This event, attended by young professionals, happy singles and working people, aimed to celebrate the day of hearts in a more meaningful and fruitful way.
It kicked off with an icebreaker followed by a sumptuous dinner. The night was made even more romantic with serenades by guest performers Girl Valencia, Bryan Calzado, Drew Capones and Jo-anne Mendoza. The highlight of the said activity was a formation on the Five Love Languages by Mr. Dan Caballes, a full time seminar and workshop facilitator, along with his wife Nabelle.
The Pansol misioneros and Pasig misioneras along with lay disciples from Pansol, Ortigas and Makati Schools of the Word organized the activity.
With thanks to Christel Mendoza and the WordNews team
The singles/ young adults Verbum Dei group also organised a Verbum Dei Special event, held in another venue, in AA restaurant, Banilad on February 16, 2019. Starting with dinner and music, there followed a formation talk on “Building Healthy and Mature Relationships”. This was an opportunity not only to invite friends but also to reflect and share on how healthy and mature relationships, which we all long for, need to be worked on; it is a life journey starting from now: ‘May your inner self be planted and built on love…’ (Ephesians 3:16-20) and heading towards Christ, ‘Let’s grow towards Christ, mature in love.’ (Eph 4: 14-16).
The formation input explored the journey of building our relationships in love, looking at Christ, the One mature in love. It also deepened in the elements that the following authors stated: ‘Maturity is collaboration and commitment, whilst immaturity is escape, evasion, accommodation and competition’ (Thomas Kelman); and in the characteristics of mature and healthy relationships according to the psychologist Abraham Maslow: ‘capacity to relate with reality; self-acceptance; spontaneity; to be centred in external problems rather than in oneself; the need of intimacy and loneliness; enjoyment for life; mystical experiences; desire for community; tolerance; strong interpersonal relationships; ethical; humour; creativity; integrity; and the capacity to integrate opposite qualities.’
In short, to build ourselves and our relationships in love is a journey which implies a constant learning and growth in: self-awareness, managing our emotions, learning effective communication, becoming free from past hurting experiences that may colour our present, learning from each other, assertivity, self-control, boundaries, chastity, and off course, in all, looking at Christ as our model.
Here is some feedback from the attendees:
‘I can now understand better the difficulties I have in some relationships… and felt encouraged to grow in self-knowledge, acceptance, reconciliation and love…’ (Jun)
‘Our Singles Valentine’s Special was an intimate and fruitful evening, well spent in our dialogues between us during the meal and enriched by a formation talk given by Sr Margarida; it gave us some insights on how to build better relationships in love, and the participation of many of us in the Q&A.’ (Joanna)
‘I particularly found the interaction activities within the talk very helpful… they allowed us not only to interact with one another but also to examine our own relationships bringing into awareness what is happening also in the way we relate with and deal with other people around us.’ (SueAnn)
From the WordNews team
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