As part of the main objectives of the Verbum Dei Missionary Family in Cebu which is to form apostles, the members of the family conducted Part 1 of their theological formations about Sacraments and the Theology of the Body last November 14 and 15, 2015 in their Apostolate Center in Good Shepherd hills, Banawa, Cebu City. The lecture on Sacraments was given by Rev. Fr. Micheal Cheong, FMVD while the Theology of the Body was given by Mr. Alfonso Martinez Luna, FMVD (one of the missionary couples).
In part one of the formation, the Sacraments focused more on the rationale of the sacraments basing from the aspects of faith and its effects to the faithful. It also dealt with some of the questions of the general public touching on some sensitive issues that shed light on the questions that are commonly asked to Catholics. Meanwhile, the Theology of the Body is a lecture based from the consolidated catechesis of St. John Paul II which is compiled to a single book. In this part, the formation talked about the Introduction and the first two chapters of the book which is more on the original plan of God from the beginning before the original sin and one of its many effects after the original sin.
Both lectures ended with an assignment to the attendees that will be due next year before the part two of the formation on February 27 and 28, 2016.
Following part one of the theological formations on Sacraments and Theology of the Body last November 14 and 15, 2015, the second part was conducted last February 27 and 28, 2016 in the Verbum Dei Apostolate Center, Banawa, Cebu City, Philippines. It was delivered by the same speakers, Rev. Fr. Michael Cheong, FMVD for the Sacraments and Dr. Alfonso Martinez Luna, FMVD (one of the missionary couples) for the Theology of the Body. The attendees were very eager to listen to the two topics due to their experience on part 1. Many questions were answered and there was much deeper understanding now on the theological aspects guided by the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.
Fr. Michael began his class on the summary of the Sacred Scriptures and the Sacred Traditions which constitute the Word of God. This laid theological foundations in understanding the Sacraments in general. He explained all the seven sacraments but placed much emphasis on the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist) and the Sacrament of Reconciliation using the bible and four church documents – Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), Sacrosanctum Concilium (SC), Gaudium et Spes (GS), and Lumen Gentium (LG).
The second class of Alfonso focused more on the effects after the original sin (lust and shame) and how the sacraments bring us closer to unity with God (original solitude and original nakedness). This provided theological explanations on the resurrection of the body, continence of religious and lay consecrated men and women, abstinence for couples (married or soon to be married), and the value of conjugal union for married couples. This class was able to complement the discussions on the Sacrament of Matrimony and Holy Orders in a much deeper level. It served as an eye opener for those who attended the formation regarding the spiritual implications of the creation of man and woman on human sexuality and vocation.
After all the lectures, Sr. Gabriela Rocha, FMVD, the ecclesial coordinator of Verbum Dei Cebu, personally thanked the speakers on behalf of the Verbum Dei Family for their time and self-giving. As a way of thanksgiving, the Ways and Means Committee gave them a token of appreciation and gratitude from the family.