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Last October 13, 2019 at Sacred Heart church, Cebu City; four couples from Cebu professed their first temporal bonds as Missionary Married Couple of the Verbum Dei Missionary Fraternity with the theme “I chose you…to bear fruit that will last” cf. John 15:16. The Fraternity is composed of 3 branches; consecrated men, women and couples. This is the 2nd batch of the Missionary Married Couples here in Philippines, after the 1st batch professed their bonds five years ago.
The church was filled with the family and friends of the four couples, members of the Verbum Dei family in Cebu, Cagayan De Oro and Quezon City, members of the Verbum Dei Fraternity, and some consecrated persons from other communities. People started arriving in the church at 1pm and were welcomed warmly. Lots of chatting, hugging, picture taking; it is like a mini reunion of the members of the Verbum Dei community in the Philippines.
Josefina and Ponciano Catacutan (one of the four couples) gave their warm welcome address and introduction to the mass. The Holy Mass was celebrated by Fr. James McTavish, FMVD (Principal Celebrant) and co-celebrated by four other priests. The readings and psalms were read by the selected children of the four couples. They were seated among the people and were called one by one by Sr. Maricor Radan, FMVD. Each couple (Kristofferson Ty & Elena Mae Ty, Ponciano Catacutan & Josefina Catacutan, Eryle Payos & Mary Ann Payos, Leo Marquez & Maria Ginabeth Marquez) standing together, answered the calling: “We are here, Lord, You have called us” and walked together towards the altar.
After the homily, the four couples were called by the General Responsible of the Married Couples Branch (Poncho and Adriana Martinez) in front of the altar. They were interrogated as to their intention to make the bonds. In this way they express before the people of God that they are aware of the meaning of the commitment they profess and that they do it freely and voluntarily. They knelt down and read the formula of consecration of the missionary married couples. After, each received the Crucifix and the Constitutions of the Verbum Dei Missionary Fraternity, symbols that they are a missionary married couple of the Verbum Dei Missionary Fraternity.
The celebration was gracefully ended through the testimony of Eryle and Mary Ann Payos, with the final blessing from the principal celebrant and co-celebrants of the mass. Picture taking at the altar followed, then snacks were served outside the church - another moment of chatting and picture taking with the family, friends and members of the Verbum Dei community.
The common fruit of the new missionary married couples is:Gratefulness to God for His unfathomable faithfulness and love for each one of us, He made everything possible for us, possible for a married person to live a consecrated life and like our mother Mary we only said Yes and allowed His grace to fulfill His plans through our lives. And each one receives authentic Joy and Peace, a happiness and great consolation in our hearts that God alone can give. But this is just the beginning of our mission in living out the evangelical counsels of poverty, conjugal chastity and obedience, according to the norms of the Catholic Church for matrimonial holiness and the family, following the Constitutions and other norms of the Verbum Dei Missionary Fraternity. In everything we trust in God, with the accompaniment of our Mother Mary. So be it.
Here are some photos of the event:
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