God’s Providence led us to give a recollection to the staff of Human Nature store of Banilad, in Cebu. About a month ago, Sr Adriana went to buy an ant repellent in the Human Nature store, and surprisingly, she was asked if we, Verbum Dei, could lead a recollection to their staff. With joy, we scheduled to give this recollection on Sunday, October 14. The topic was Holiness in the Workplace. It was a lovely day, with time for personal and group reflection, laughter and team building, being inspired to make work an opportunity to grow in holiness.
Here is some of their feedback:
‘My main realization is that we are called to be holy every day, especially in the workplace. The topics were very relevant, with a variety of activities suited to the group.’
‘Holiness is beyond physical beauty. I found the day helpful, especially to the team work communication and communion; with interesting and adequate topics, excellent materials; fun, entertaining and spells teamwork.’
‘It was an interesting and touching day… realising how the call to be holy can be applied in my real life, to my work and family relationships. The activities were fun and the style of the facilitators was understandable and friendly. Hope we can have another recollection next year.’
‘I realise that to be a better team, we need activities like this recollection. It improves my relationship with others…. I have lots to do to become holy… Sr Adriana and Sr Margarida are very good, capable, simple and inspiring. Thank you so much. God bless you more.’
From the WordNews team
Read an article written by Fr. Michael (Mike) Cheong, a Singaporean missionary priest once assigned here in Cebu, Philippines as he shares his experiences in Rome in his studies and missionary life.
During the weekend of October 6-7, we held a Women’s Encounter Retreat, in our Verbum Dei Apostolic Center in Banawa. There were about 25 participants, with ages between 20 and 65; a combination of Verbum Dei disciples and new participants in Verbum Dei.
It was a very inspiring weekend, with talks, workshops, time for prayer and sharing of different experiences. We reflected about how we, women, are wonderfully made, created by God in our uniqueness and called to reflect God’s beauty. We also explored the call to complementarity and some challenging betrayal experiences when God is not at the center. One of the highlights of the weekend were the workshops at the end of Sunday morning. They helped us to deepen in the self-awareness and reconciliation with our bodies.
Many of us felt this weekend was an ‘appetiser’ for further exploration; some expressed the desire to continue to pray and share about the gift and potential of being a woman in today’s world.
Monina Torregosa, one of the first time participants in a retreat organised by Verbum Dei, shares here what she took from this retreat:
‘I am wonderfully made… Genesis 2 tells us how God created women to be men’s partner, calling both to rule over the entire earth. And so this means that we, women, are not born as a ‘lower class’; we are called to bring forth love and care, to nurture, share & complement men and each other. Before we were born, God had a plan for each one of us, as Jeremiah 29:11 points out. But we need to continue seeking and praying about what our purpose is and about what God wants for us to do. We may be called to be like Queen Esther who saved the Jewish people from the hands of Haman or as Ruth, loyal to her mother in law, Naomi, or like Susanna, to give witness of being firm in faith. Either we are a daughter, sister, mother, wife; a working or consecrated woman, we are here to enrich the world’s understanding, to unite reasons and feelings with true determination and confidence, and to help make human relationships more honest and authentic.’
Here are some of the photos from the event:
From the WordNews team
Last Sunday was a full and enriching day, which started with the celebration of the Holy Mass. Then, two events took place, one for the couples and another one for the youth.
The Art of Marriage was a Formation for couples given by Jess&Mau and Rey&Tina. These two couples came from CDO to give this wonderful formation, enriched by the Word of God, Church teaching and their own life experiences; real witness of God’s power in their relationship.
‘It rekindled the love and faith in each one of our marriages, reminding us of the importance for our relationships to be grounded in Christ’s love (1Cor 13). Jesus accompanies us and Mother Mary helps us to keep His light ablaze in each of our homes.’ (Randy and July)
At the same time, in the grounds outside our center, about 30 young people gathered to play sports (mainly basketball and board games) and enjoy the fellowship with one another. Many of our Verbum Dei youth took this as an opportunity to invite their own friends and introduce them to Verbum Dei. Here is the feedback given by some of them about the day:
‘It was fun.’ (Angela)
‘It was great for bonding and meeting new Catholic friends.’ (Joshua)
‘It was a time for remembering our childhood memories… in spite of all stresses in life, we had time an enjoyable time.’ (KP)
‘I met new friends and I feel blessed for having been here today.’ (John Rey)
‘It was fun and tiring. I feel blessed to meet new friends.’ (J Boy)
In thanksgiving for the 5 years of Fr Lucio in Cebu, he said a mass for our FaMVD, giving his ‘last words’ to us in the homily:
‘I leave Cebu in peace as I can see there are many apostles here to continue to proclaim the Good News. Today, the St Matthew, Apostles and Evangelist Feast Day, God reminds us all of our call to be apostles. As Matthew left behind his table where he worked as tax collector, we too need to leave behind something if we want to follow Jesus… and go beyond ourselves to reach out new places waiting for the Good News to be proclaimed. Following this call, I go to Rome… I ask the Holy Spirit to guide you too, to know your next step in life. Let’s ask Him to renew our following of Jesus so each one of us, here, can be truly apostles of Christ.
I leave Cebu full of gratitude for these years here, for giving me a joyful experience of being misionero, priest and responsible of the community. My time in Cebu has contributed to be who I am and you are part of who I am too. In community, sometimes there are ‘fights’, disappointments… but we grow together and through it all, God works within us, to be His apostles.’
The Verbum Dei family in Cebu held their 9th local family assembly last Sept. 30, 2018. This was held in the apostolate center in Banawa Hills. We listened to the reports from the different realities, and shared as one family about the current state and where we are.
For those in our family in Cebu, in case you missed it, here are some of the video recordings of the event. Scroll below to see the videos.
(recorded via Facebook live in the main Verbum Dei Philippines Facebook page.)
It was amazing to see a gathering of more than 200 young people at our recent Verbum Dei youth event. They had come together for a Song forum entitled “Catalyst, an Agent of Change” organized by the Verbum Dei Missionary Family.
It was a day of songs, dance, a skit and a Japanese origami lesson. In each performance there was a short introduction related to the realities that the young people face today.
The event aimed to instill in the young people that they have a place in the world - that they can each contribute in their own little way to make this world a better place. And that in their journey of life, God will always be there guiding them every step of the way.
There was also time for Eucharistic exposition, to help introduce the participants into prayer.
Let us also pray for all these young people that they can really be catalysts, agents of change, in the
world of today!
With thanks to Francis Jerome and the WordNews team
The Life is an international panel of sisters who write short reflections on a question posed every month regarding the unique, challenging and very specific lives of women religious around the world.
After receiving applications from 80 sisters, our VD missionary Adriana Haro was selected to be part of the 25 panelists.
She shares with us her answer to the following question: "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19). In what ways have you and/or your congregation followed this command of Jesus?
To read the article including Adriana's contribution, click the link below:
The Art of Marriage formation was held in Cebu City (the Queen City of the Philippines) on September 23, 2018. It was attended by a diverse audience of couples ranging from young/starting couples to “old timers”. The activity began with a mass celebrated by Fr. Lucio. Following the Eucharistic celebration, the ten couples were treated by Jess & Mau Baja to a session that revealed the six reasons why God created marriage. During the group sharing, everyone expressed appreciation for what they felt was a revelation for them: a discovery of the real purpose of marriage, which is not exclusively focused on procreation alone.
The afternoon session started with an ice breaker that displayed the dancing prowess of most of the participants, but which was definitely a struggle for some (who have two left feet), myself included.
The topic in the afternoon centered on the characteristics & definitions of love with particular reference to the encyclical of Pope Francis, “Amoris Laetitia” (The Joy of Loving). In chapter four of Amoris Laetitia, the Pope cites some practical guidelines on how love should be lived out in the marriage and in the family in the middle of its various challenges.
Rey & Tina Bagares also opened up some aspects of their married life – the struggles, the challenges and also the victories, which helped add a realistic tone to the afternoon reflection.
To wrap up, we asked each couple to express the fruits of the day in an artwork that they each shared. We ended the day with a simple get-together snack of fried banana.
The final stop in this series of formations is on October 13 at Verbum Dei Apostolate Center in Pasig City, Philippines!
Hope to see you there!
With thanks to Rey Bagares and the WordNews team
Last Sept. 24-26, we gave a recollection "Dream Big" to Grade 12 students of Pateros Catholic School. It was a beautiful and fruitful recollection for both students and the working team.
Thanks to all the missionaries of Pasig, Tagaytay, Pansol and Pandacan and to the disciples' help especially to some Sowers from Christ the King who generously shared their time and creativity to bring these students to a personal encounter with God who dreams big with their lives.