CFC Bangkok celebrates the birth of Christ
Over 250 members of CFC Bangkok community gathered at the AIT Centre Auditorium to celebrate the birth of Jesus on 9 December 2017. The celebration activities were centered around the theme taken from John 1:14 "The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth". On behalf of the Council. Sim Caluyong gave the opening prayer and welcome remarks. This was followed by an inspiration Christmas video to set the tone of the celebration and presentations from the various chapters and ministries. Also featured in the event was a special event from the "Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam - Our Lady Mother of God Church choir led by Pats and Carla Gonzales. The family ministries organized group dynamic and games to add further excitement and the chapter from South and West Bangkok facilitated a Christmas sharing of gifts.
CFC Kids for Christ Christmas Gift Giving
On 17 December 2017, members of the CFC Family Ministry handed over the donations and proceeds from the Fun Run event as well as gave special Christmas gifts to children ages 4 to 17 years old at St. Joachim Catholic Center for Migrants in Samut Sakhon. Kids for Christ and the Family Ministry shared their talents by giving special dance numbers to the children. The children enjoyed exciting games and prizes led by CFC KFC. The children expressed their joys and happiness by offering their talents in dancing their native dances. Snacks, lunch packs and ice cream were served to all of them. The Gift-Giving event was followed by a Eucharistic Mass Celebration given by Reverent Father Albert. For the organizing team, the experience demonstrated that “giving becomes a blessing for the giver and receiver.”
Year-end leaders retreat and planning workshop
About 100 CFC leaders in Bangkok and upcountry areas gathered at the AIT Centre on 25 November 2017 to reflect on the mission of CFC and plan for next year's activities. The reflection part was facilitated by the Manila team led by Bombee and Beth Tiongson, Country Coordinators for CFC Thailand. It focused on the structure of a CFC chapter, the roles and responsibilities of CFC leaders and the challenges faced by them in carrying out the mission. A time was spent by each chapter and ministry to identify activities and practices that need to be stopped and those that need to be further strengthened. The second part comprised a series of presentations from the national coordinator, mission worker, chapter heads and family ministry highlighting the key events of the year and the plan for next year.
Christian Life Programme in Chiangmai
Sonny & Tess Montalbo with CFC/SFC/HOLD/SOLD Chiang Mai, Rowena, May, Angel and Lawrence, Lulu, and Bill conducted a strategic Christian Life Programme (CLP) at the farm orchard of Sis. Linda in Huisom, Sanpatong on 18 and 19 November 2017. The CLP started in the morning with the orientation with some dynamics between the talks, and ended late with Talk 9 and praying over. For the following day the remaining talks were continued after the Eucharistic celebration as everyone was serving the Sacred Heart Church as a choir. The CLP produced 6 graduates (4 SFCs and 2 HOLDs). Everyone was inspired and looking forward to join next year's activities.
CFC Board of Elders Chair Jun Uriarte exhorts CFC Bangkok to raise a holy family
Jun and Jean Uriarte met with members of CFC Bangkok at the Holy Redeemer Church on Sunday, 5 November 2017 and gave a teaching on Raising a Holy Family. They emphasized the core mission of Couples for Christ to be true images of Christ in the world, servant to one another, servant to their children and servant to others. They shared the example of the New testament couple characters Aquila and Priscilla as a model CFC serving God as a pastoral team. They pointed to the CFC Family Ministries, especially the Kids for Christ, Youth for Christ and Singles for Christ, as God's gift for CFC to bring about conversion and renewal among the young generation. These Ministries are founded on four basic principles of Fun, Friendship, Faith and Freedom. Finally, they exhorted members to rededicated themselves to raising families in Christ and become true witnesses to the ends of the earth.
YFC and KFC Camps in Chiang Rai
Family Ministry couple coordinators for YFC and KFC and SFC and HOLD
volunteers from Central, North and West (Nonthaburi) Bangkok chapters conducted their first-ever Youth and Kids' Camps in Thai language for hill tribe children in Srivichien Village, Amphur Muang, Chiang Rai province, Diocese of Chiangmai, last Friday-Saturday, Oct. 13th-14th. Led by Sonny and Tess Montalbo, Family Ministries national couple coordinator and members of the Thai national governance team (national council) the Service Teams were warmly welcomed by Fr. Matthew Ekachai of the Camillian fathers, pastor of St. Camillus parish, and villagers, mainly from Akha and Tai Yai tribes from Myanmar, south China and Laos. Twenty children (8 boys and 12 girls) completed the YFC Camp with twelve children for the KFC Camp.
Christian Life Programme in Chiang Rai
17 couples and more than 20 Handmaids, mainly from Akha tribe, attended the first Thai CLP in Srivichien Village, Amphur Muang, Chiang Rai province, Diocese of Chiangmai, last weekend, Oct. 14th-15th. The Bangkok Service Team was led by national council elders Amb. Precha and Khun Sirikul Pitisant, and assisted by Acharn Arom Poolpokpol, Bro. Prakal Oudougsorn and FTPW Jimmy Lozare.
They completed Module I of Thai CLP, with Module II scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 22nd, and Module II for Dec. 10th. Fr. Ekachai requested that the CLP be given gradually for the teachings to "sink in". Most understand the Thai language, especially the Tai Yai tribe participants.
Nonthaburi chapter welcomes 18 new members
Nonthaburi chapter completed a strategic CLP held in St. Christina Retreat House on 23-24 September and welcomed 18 new members (2 CFC, 1 SOLD, 6 HOLD and 7 SFC) at the dedication ceremony held a week after on 1 October 2017. Six more new members (1 CFC, 2 HOLD and 2 SFC) were expected to join later. The programme was facilitated by the chapter leaders Jojoy and Emelyn Mission together with Tony and Emily Dalisay (North Bangkok household leaders) and the rest of the members of the Nonthaburi chapter. North Bangkok chapter provided full support by sending speakers, music ministry and discussion leaders. The CLP also received generous support from the Our Lady of Mercy church through PIME priests Fr. Daniel, Fr Paolo and Fr Raju as well as from OFM priest Fr. Francis.
Youth camp at Don Bosco school
CFC Family Ministry successfully concluded a youth camp held at the Don Bosco school in Pakkred on 30 September to 1 October 2017. Some 15 youths participated in the event. It was organized and facilitated by youth members led by Miguel Marqueses with support from YFC North Bangkok Couple Coordinators Vince and Karen Marqueses.
Women's conference in Phuket
The Women’s Conference “My Heart in Your Hands” was brought to the sisters and brothers in South Thailand and held at Dusit Thani Hotel, Laguna, Phuket on 27 August 2017. Some 30 participants from Phuket Laguna, Phuket Town and Krabi attended. Participants were mostly CFC wives, HOLD and SFC members. Two speakers from Manila, Sis Edythe Avendano, HOLD International Coordinator and Sis Nina Caunga, HOLD Sector Coordinator together with Sis Tess Montalbo facilitated the conference leading the participants to reflect on their coming and journey of faith, standing firm in the faith, resolving to be courageous and strong, and how to express acts of love. Sis Donna Campos, CFC-Phuket Coordinator with Sis Jhozine Damaso, CFC-HOLD Coordinator, led the organization of the conference with support from Bro Sonny and Sis Tess Montalbo. Other CFC Phuket members also provided active support in organizing and facilitating the successful event.
CFC Laguna Phuket concludes home-based CLP
CFC Laguna Phuket welcomed three new SFC members and one additional participant at the culmination of its home-based Christian Life Programme held at the residence of Ariel and Dhonna Campos in Cheong Thale on Sunday, 24 September. Edgar joined the session to welcome the new members and gave the final talk on Transformation in Christ. Members of CFC Laguna and CFC Phuket Town came to join the activity, which culminated with testimonies from both new and old members. New members testified that the sacrifices and love shared by members as well as the various CLP talks inspired and transform them. It was also a good opportunity to recall the first CLP in Phuket Laguna that was held in 2009 since some of the pioneers were present at the session. Old members encouraged newly graduates to be actively involved and support the activities of the community.
CFC Central Bangkok welcomes 32 new members
CFC Central Bangkok chapter conducted a Christian Life Program at the Holy Redeemer Church in Bangkok for six Sundays starting from 6 August to 10 September 2017. A total of 32 new members graduated and welcomed (5 CFC couples, 12 SFCs, 8 HOLD, 2 SOLD) to the community at our Lord’s Day General Assembly on Sunday, 17 September 2017. The service team members were from the households of Patrick and Anne Lozare, Joseph and Christina Gonzales and Gary and Ana Hufana. During the CLP graduation, the graduates witnessed how their lives were changed and how God used the speakers, sharers and their discussion groups to the renewal of the Christian life. This was indeed another successful harvest and opportunity for spiritual growth for the service team members as well.
CFC North Bangkok welcomes 23 new members
The entire CFC North Bangkok chapter assembled at the Church of Our Lady Mother of God in Rangsit on Sunday, 3 September 2017 to welcome 23 new members (1 CFC couple, 16 SFCs, 2 HOLD, 3 SOLD) to the community at the Christian Life Programme (CLP) dedication ceremony. The service team composed members of the households of Francis/Espie, Vic/Em and Alvin/Kristine and conducted the CLP for 8 Sundays since 16 July. Jimmy Lozare, Fulltime Worker, gave the concluding talk on Transformation in Christ and prayed over the new graduates. Representatives from the graduating group gave powerful testimonies about their personal experiences leading to their attendance to the CLP and how the Lord has touched and called them to renew their faith and life Christians through the programme. CFC North Bangkok conducts annual CLP at the Church in Rangsit.
Women's Conference - My Heart in Your Hands
Some 100 women members from the Handmaid of the Lord (HOLD), Couples for Christ (CFC) and Singles for Christ (SFC) in Bangkok gathered at the Aimphan Education Center, Nonthaburi on 20 August 2017 to rediscover and grow in faith through the annual CFC Women Conference. Sis. Edythe Avendano, HOLD International Coordinator and Sis. Nina Caunga HOLD Sector Coordination from Manila facilitated five sessions leading participants to reflect on their coming to and journey of faith, their struggles and challenges, standing firm in the firm, resolve to be courageous and strong and acts of love. Some local members enriched the reflection with the sharing of real life experiences. As in any other CFC events, the conference opened with the celebration of the Eurachist by Father Mauro from the Franciscan retreat center in Lamlukha. Sis Jhozine Damaso, CFC-HOLD Coordination, CFC Thailand led the organization with support from the Family Ministry Coordinators Sonny and Marites Montalbo. Other HOLD and CFC members also provided active support in organizing and facilitating the successful event.
CFC Chiang Mai Outreach Activity in Mae Win, Chiang Mai
On 8 July 2017, the CFC/SFC/HOLD Chiang Mai organized an outreach activity in a Karen village in Mae Wang district with 40 Karen families under the Diocese of Chiang Mai and pastored by Fr. Vinai. The 13-member group traveled 2 hours from Chiang Mai in 3 vehicles through very rough and narrow forest road. The 3rd vehicle was not able to reach the village and got stuck along the road, needing some 10 people to dislodge it and return back to lowland. The group arrived at around 11.00am and met 20-30 children waiting. The SFCs organized fun games and then activities moved to a classroom because of rain. The rain dragged on to damp the place and made the return to Chiangmai difficult. Some village Karen mothers came and observed the activities. The group had lunch together with the some children’s mom. After lunch, they continued the activities in the classroom with games and dance presentation. They distributed goodies for children and gave donated things to the teachers. A used computer was donated and installed in the school. After taking group pictures with the children and villagers, the group started to return back to Chiangmai through another longer route but was immediately got stuck. The villagers came to help pull the vehicles out. With prayers and travel for 2 ½hours, they arrived Chiang Mai at 5:30pm.
CFC Theme Conference "Strong and Faithful", Grand Lord Hotel, Bangkok, 27 May 2017
CFC Thailand was exhorted to mature in the work of evangelization and become powerful witness of God's love by standing firm in the faith, being courageous and strong and acting everything out of love. This was the key message of this year's CFC theme conference held at Grand Lord Hotel in Srinakarin Road (http://www.grandlordhotel.com) on Saturday, 27 May 2017. Over 200 members of CFC Thailand listened and reflected on the five talks of the conference given by a mission team from CFC Manila comprising: Bombee/Beth Tiongson, Jun/Marla Rances, Junel/Cecile Ama, Farley/Ariola, Raymond/Arlene Azul and Norman/Gemma Robles. The conference was well attended by members from all chapters in Bangkok (North Bangkok, Central Bangkok, South and East Bangkok and Nonthaburi). A good number of participants came from communities in Phuket, Krabi and Korat. The event culminated with the Sacrament of the Eucharist celebrated by H.E. Bishop Silvio Siripong Charatsri, Prelate of Chantaburi Diocese and CBCT chairman for the Apostolate Commission for the Laity, Family and Youth. H.E. Bishop stayed on to join a special dinner hosted by the CFC Council together with the mission team from CFC Manila. The owner of Grand Lord Hotel, an active parishioner of Mary Help of Christian Church, Ms. Panadda Nilkumhaeng, participated in the mass and dinner.
Youth for Christ International Conference 2017
Yet again, another Conference for YFC was conducted in the Philippines. This time, it was held from 7 to 8 April 2017 in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte. The event was joined by more than 7,000-strong YFC members from all over the Philippines and around the world. In addition, the event was a momentous occasion as it was the first time that more than 200 foreign delegates joined the event. It was considered the largest, so far.
Thailand was blessed to have the opportunity to join the said event this year. The YFC Thailand delegation consisted of 8 YFC members from North, Central, and South-East Bangkok chapters - escorted by their 4 couple-coordinators.
The Mariano Marcos Stadium overflowed as the event filled the air with music and praising songs lead by the powerful worship leaders, Music Ministries (graced by the appearance of the LiveLoud band), and from the uplifting and inspiring testimonials from our fellow brothers and sisters from YFC, SFC, HOLD, SOLD, and CFC couples as they share their lives in the service for God.
Day 2 sent the delegations to the different parishes where they immersed in the culture and historic edifices of the city. The visits also gave them the opportunity form house holds and fellowships to they learn more about each other. The 3 day event ended with Palm-Sunday mass lead by the Bishops of Ilocos and a series of talks and closing presentations from the service teams. It is truly a energy and spirit filled event and the Thailand delegations is looking forward to the next YFC ICon that is planned to be held in Manila, Philippines. God Bless and Stand Firm on Solid Ground! (Contributed by Vince Marqueses)
Medical mission for refugees in Ratchaburi
SFC members conducted its second medical mission of the year at the Thailand-Myanmar border in Ratchaburi on Saturday, 20 May 2017, together with Dr. Chat/Mary Anne from the Thai household and Edgar/Moonyeen from the Council. The mission team brought goodies for about 50 children and offered medical services to the sick. Children were also given ice cream whom they cherished with gusto. An SFC singing dou entertained the children with modern and Christian songs and led them to sing along with actions. The team from Bangkok arrived in the village at about 10:30 am and provided medical services until 1:30 pm to over 30 patients. Medicines and vitamins were also given free of charge. CFC has provided financial support to the mission to purchase the goodies and medical supplies. The SFC team has been conducting this mission in the border regularly once every three months for several years. There are over 20 villages occupied by Karen refugees who have benefited from this mission. Father Prasit, a Thai priest from Ratchaburi, has facilitated these missions and provided assistants to the team for translation and logistical support in travelling to the remote villages. He encouraged CFC to do more mission work as long as they are done with sincerity and love. Click to view more photos of the mission.
CFC Ubon Ratchatani 23th Anniversary Celebration
Some 120 Thai members of CFC Ubon Ratchatani gathered at the Fatima Church in Ubon on 13 May 2017 to celebrate 23 years of the local community. The event started with a community worship and a mini-talk from Ajarm Arom followed by the celebration of the Eucharist presided by Bishop Banchong together with 8 local priests. A 6-course Chinese laureat lunch and fellowship was organized in a nearby resort hotel for fund-raising to support CFC-Ubon activities. Six members from CFC Bangkok joined the celebration: Ajarm Arom, Prakan and Prasri Oudomugsorn, Jimmy Lozare, Sim Caluyong and EDante. After the celebration, the group visited the cemetery where late Fr. Bernard Guilleman was laid to rest. Fr. Guilleman, MEP, was the former spiritual director of CFC Ubon for ten years (1995-2004). They also visited the newly built Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Ubon before heading back to the airport to return to Bangkok. Click to view more photos of the celebration.
2018 Calendar of Activities
14 Jan SFC Regional Conference Echo, Bangkok
19-21 Jan Solemn Charge Weekend Retreat Baguio City
Jan-Feb First Fruits by chapter
Jan SFC/YFC/KFC coordinators training Central Bangkok
16-18 Feb 25th SFC International Conference Manila
18-19 Feb Youth Camp Central Bangkok
Feb-Mar CLP South-East Bangkok
Feb-Mar CLP Our Lady of Mother Church Nonthaburi
1 Mar KFC concert fundraising
17 Mar Family culture (YFC)
17-18 Mar MER (I and 2) Camillian
17-18 Mar SFC (SWR) C.O.W. Retreat
Mar-Apr CLP at St John (SFC sponsored) St John
Apr CLP in Pitsanulok (Father Ronnie) TBC
13-15 Apr 25th YFC International Conference Manila
27-29 Apr HOLD International Conference Laguna
26 May CFC Thailand Annual Theme Conference AIT Center
2-4 June SFC SWR North Bangkok AIT
23 June CFC Global Anniversary Manila
24 June CLP at St John (SFC sponsored) St John
1 July YFC Power Camp
July CLP Rangsit-AIT Rangsit
July CLP South-East Bangkok
28 July KFC Family Conference Echo
Aug-Sep CLP at Holy Redeemer (CFC sponsored) Holy Redeemer
19 Aug Women’s Conference Bangkok
28 Aug Women’s Conference Echo Phuket
Sept CLP Our Lady of Mother Church Nonthaburi
30 Sep KFC GDS
7 Oct YFC Discovery Camp
13-14 Oct CLP in Korat
14 Oct KFC Power Camp
24-25 Nov Annual leaders’ retreat and 2018 planning workshop
8 Dec CFC Christmas Celebration
Letter of Certification of the Catholic Commission for Laity under the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Thailand concerning the work of Couples for Christ in the Catholic church of Thailand
This is to certify that the Private Association of Lay Faithful by the name of "Couples for Christ" is now present and working in the Catholic Church in Thailand. The movement is staffed by men and women committed to the Catholic Church's apostate of promoting spiritual life within families. With this official document I assure that the very existence and works of this movement are genuinely beneficial to Christian Family Life in the Catholic Church in Thailand.
Given on May 24, 2016 by Bishop Silvio Siripong Charatsri, Chairman of the Catholic Commission for Laity, Catholic Bishops' Conference of Thailand
CBCT declares Oct. 22nd of every year as the