CFC holiness conference echoes in Tharae
Archbishop Anthony Weradet Chaiseri and Father Suwarat hosted the CFC holiness conference in Thai held at the pastoral centre in St Michael Catholic Church compound in Tharae on 28 November 2020. Over 250 CFC members from Tharae and 10 other villages gathered in one of the largest CFC conference in the Northeast in recent years. It was the first CFC gathering following the appointment of Archbishop Weradet and also the first big event after the CFC 30th anniversary celebration held in Songkhon last year. Many members were excited to meet each other for a long time. A 10-member service team from Bangkok led by Ajarn Arom and his wife Supatra gave the talks and sharing and supported the music ministry. Ajarm Arom delivered the first talk on personal holiness, followed with personal sharing from Sis Sirikul and Supatra. Patrick and Anne Lozare gave the second talk on couple holiness with Anne delivering her sharing in Thai language, which was well appreciated by Thai members. Edgar delivered the final talk on future direction of CFC emphasizing the need to renew members to the basic elements of CFC life, including individual prayer, household meeting, Eucharist and empowerment from the Holy Spirit to serve and evangelize. Members expressed their desire to evangelize by bringing one new participant per member by next year. Following the conference, the Bangkok team visited 6 CFC members at their respective homes to comfort and pray over them. It was truly a powerful and inspiring mission. May God be praised and may His Glory endure forever!
CFC Laguna Phuket concludes a CLP
Phuket is one of the badly hit areas of the COVID 19 pandemic. Economic wise they suffered a lot, businesses closed down and many lost their jobs. Many of our Filipino brothers and sisters went back to the Philippines for good. Despite of that CFC Phuket answered the call of the Holy Spirit to conduct a Christian Life Program (CLP). The CLP ran for 5 weekends that culminated on 29 November 2020 and back to back with a Kid’s Camp in St. Joseph Church, Laguna Phuket. They were strongly supported by the parish priest, Father John. He even gave participants who had perfect attendance souvenirs from the Holy Land. On the 4th week, Bro. John and Sis. Princess Balgoa, Bro. Oliver and Sis. Jasmine Ople and a household from Krabi all came to support the service team for the pray over. There were a total of 13 CLP graduates: 1 pair of CFC, 7 HOLD, 1 SOLD and 3 SFC and 7 children from the Kids for Christ camp. It was a sight to behold the parents praying over their children and the children praying over their parents. CFC Phuket was truly blessed. It was truly a spirit filled journey for both the participants and the service team. God has turned their mourning into dancing, their sorrow into joy as they welcomed their new found brothers and sisters in Christ. Praise be to God!
Ubon Thai leaders gathers for annual retreat
CFC leaders from Thai communities in Ubon Ratchathani gathered for their year-end recollection at the Pastoral Centre in Ubon on 16 November 2020. Jimmy Lozare and Jojoy Mission joined the retreat Jimmy gave an inspirational talk exhorting the leaders to Love, Faith, and Hope which was reinforced by the sharing of Jojoy during the morning session. It was then followed by a Holy Mass officiated by Father Pichet (Secretary to the Bishop and Spiritual Director of CFC Ubon Chapter) and lunch thereafter. The afternoon session was dedicated to the discussion of CFC Ubon Structure which Jimmy explained to the leaders as the critical factor for the future of CFC Ubon Chapter, and Samnieng reiterated it to the leaders. Jojoy provided the music ministry during the whole sessions.
Mission continues in the South
At the time of the pandemic, CFC South showed its missionary spirit by completing a 3-day Christian Life Program (CLP) for expats held at the St Agnes Church compound in Ao Nang, Krabi from 23 to 25 October 2020. Twenty-seven participants (20 SFCs, 6 CFCs and 1 HOLD) were welcome to the CFC community at the dedication ceremony held on the last day. The participants came from various areas in the South, including Nakhon Si Thammarat, Surat Thani, Krabi, Thungyai, Boribon and Rongphiboon. Most of them are teachers in various Thai schools in the South. The CLP service team led by John/Princess Balgoa and Oliver/Jasmine Ople and comprised leaders and members in the South who delivered most of the talks. Two priests, Father Dominic and Father Reby, supported the program by celebrating a mass and giving a CLP talk. A Kids for Christ (KFC) camp was also held back-to-back for the children. 12 active children completed the program. KFC coordinators from North Bangkok Alvin/Kristine Perez and Sam/Doreen joined the long trip from Bangkok to Krabi to organize the KFC activities. It was a successful and spirit-filled event that brought joy and happiness to all who joined.
Return of missions to Phitsanulok
Following the easing of lockdown and returning close to normalcy, CFC missions to upcountry areas have resumed since August. In Phitsanulok, two missions were completed on 23 August and on 4 October to gather members for the monthly general assemblies. Edgar, Moonyeen, Louie and Pinky conducted the mission and led the assemblies, including delivering formation talks for the members. The group comprised mainly of singles (SFCs) and only three couples, one of them was based in Sukhothai, about 50 km away. The Lord has blessed the small group with active members and regular prayer meetings.
Abundant harvest from North Bangkok CLP
A total of 21 participants completed a CLP delivered over a period of 7 weeks from 23 August to 4 October 2020 at the multi-purpose hall of the Our Lady Mother of God Rangsit Church. The event is an annual evangelization programme of North Bangkok chapter and was led by Bro. Mark Dale Catalan, the CLP Team Leader. The graduates included 2 SFCs from Angthong province (90 kms away) who had to commute about 2 hours to attend the programme without absences. Another participant was from Suphanburi province (92 kms away) who managed to complete the CLP. Praise God for the abundant harvest.
Nonthaburi chapter victorious harvest
CFC-Nonthaburi Chapter concluded a four-Sunday Christian Life Programme (CLP) conducted September 2020 at the St. Christina Retreat House, adjacent to the Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church (Wat Phramae Maha Karun) in Pakkret, Nonthaburi. A total of 14 individuals (3 couples, 4 HOLD’s, and 4 SFC’s) successfully completed the CLP. This was an annual evangelization program of the chapter organized taking into account the constraints caused by COVIDd-19 pandemic. The CLP was led by Jojoy Mission and assisted by Juan Magpantay. Thanks to God for the victorious harvest in the midst of the pandemic.
Mission to Nakhonsrithammarat
Nakhonsrithammarat is located in the South of Thailand towards the border with Malaysia. It is the farthest area in the South that a CFC group exists. On 26-27 September, the CFC group in Nakhon hosted a gathering of CFC members from nearby towns, including Phuket, Krabi, Surat Thani and Tungyai. About 50 members joined the speakers' training workshop organized in preparations for an upcoming CLP to be held in Krabi. John and Princess joined by Edgar and Moonyeen facilitated the workshop and gave two talks. On Saturday night, the group celebrated the Lord's day prayer and fellowship. It was a great evening to get to know the members and enjoy their presence. The following day on Sunday, the main workshop was held and preceded by the Sunday mass.
Mission to Sisaket Province
Jimmy Lozare and Jojoy Mission joined the assembly of CFC Ubon Leaders in St, Joseph church, Sisaket Province on 17 August 2020. Father Pichet (Secretary to the Bishop) received them at Ubon Ratchathani International Airport and drove them to the venue. Father Pichet officiated the Holy Mass before lunch time. The assembly also completed the CLP that was temporarily stopped due to COVID-19 pandemic. The resumption of CLP started with Talk-11 delivered by Jimmy and followed by Talk-12 delivered by Samnieng. Jojoy provided the music ministry. There were 6 new graduates of the CLP. They concluded the assembly with a traditional washing of each other's feet to express gratitude and service.
Jun and Jean Uriarte at CFC Thailand's monthly teaching night (7 July 2020)
Virtual community-wide prayer teaching night
The largest virtual gathering of CFC Thailand brought a message of comfort and hope to the entire community in the midst of the pandemic. Held on 5 May 2020, the Country Governance Team (CGT) welcomed members of the community in Bangkok and upcountry mission areas to join with them in their regular prayer meeting through Zoom. The number of virtual connections to the Zoom meeting that evening reached 100, the maximum limit, with many connections having several members in attendance. Together, they also received an inspiring teaching about our attitude towards the pandemic given by James/Pety Dio, Greater Mekong Area Regional Leaders. The teaching exhorted members to maintain the following four attitudes: 1) Be still; 2) Be trustful; 3) Be prayerful and 4) Be thankful. Also in attendance were the CFC Thailand Country Coordinators, Raffy/Amie Ballesteros. The testimonies of members following the teaching reflected the struggles of members during this crisis but also the blessings and protection received. As of that date, there was no report of any member infected with corona virus - thanks be to God.
CFC Thailand fulfills its life and mission during the pandemic
CFC Thailand continues to conduct its regular household activities and formation programs during the current pandemic through remote modality, using internet tools, such as Zoom, Google Hangouts and Skype. This is a new way of doing our regular work in CFC that is effective in a lock-down situation. Good internet connectivity and accessibility in Thailand makes it possible for all English-speaking members from Bangkok and upcountry areas to participate in online activities. CFC Thailand has registered a licensed account in Zoom to allow non-interrupted meetings. Members can contact Tess Montalbo to obtain an access to the CFC Thailand Zoom account.
Updated COVID-19 Guidance for CFC Thailand members (18 March 2020)
While we keep on praying for safety and protection in the midst of the current pandemic, we are mindful of the continuing threat of COVID-19 and the increasing restrictions imposed by government authorities against movement and gathering. In this regard, the Country Governance Team (CGT) wishes to provide the following updated COVID-19 Guidelines for conducting CFC activities in the current crisis situation: [Read more]
Mission to Nakhon Si Thammarat
John and Princess Balgoa, together with their kids Austin and David, went to Nakhon Si Thammarat on 1 March 2020 to co-lead CFC South general assembly with Oliver and Jasmin Ople. They were joined by almost 50 members coming from nearby provinces – Krabi, Surathani and Rongpiboon districts. Oliver led the praise and worship, and John gave the 1st module of the Household Leader’s Training series to empower household heads and members in leading and participating during household meetings and to address the challenges the leader’s face in pastoring their members. The group also met up with the parish priest Father Joseph and expressed CFC’s intent to support the local church’s activities and promote the community to the parishioners.
Renewing CFC evangelization in the North-East
Ajarn Arom led a mission team comprising his wife Supatra, Jimmy and Edgar to Tharae, Sakon Nakon on 22-23 February 2020. They met with local priests Father Wiradet and Father Surasak to present CFC's evangelization plan for 2020 and beyond. This plan included the establishment of a new CFC community in Songkon, Mukdahan Province and renewal and formation of existing members in Tharae diocese. Both priests expressed their strong support and gave their blessing for the plan. They agreed to confirm the dates of the first Christian Life Programme in Songkhon over the next few weeks. These dates would serve as the basis for scheduling other activities in the North-east.
During the mission, the mission team attended a feast celebration at the St Catherine Church located in one of the villages in Tharae and met with Bishop Louies Chamnien. They also joined the household prayer meeting held at the residence of Khun Napasat and Somkit in Tharae village. At that meeting, Ajarn Arom gave a short teaching on the Word of God in line with the theme for 2020 declared by the Catholic Church. They met a Filipina Augustinian sister who has been based on Tharae over the past five years. The sister joined the prayer meeting and was grateful for the opportunity to meet with CFC members. She asked CFC to provide youth formation programmes in Tharae.
CFC North Bangkok prepares new household leaders
On 16 February 2020, CFC North Bangkok conducted a household leaders training to its 7 new household leaders at the Chapel of the Holy Spirit, AIT. Art/Laarni Roa, chapter leaders, with the support of the newly appointed unit leaders, Tony/Emy Dalisay and Francis/Espie Derla, facilitated the training. By the grace of the Holy Spirit, the following couples agreed to serve as new HH Leaders in CFC North Bangkok beginning March 2020.
Apart from the standard teaching, the HH leaders training also included an open forum where previous HH leaders, who are also moving up in service, shared their experiences and gave practical advices to the new HH leaders. The new CFC-NB leadership and new HH groupings, as a result of the major chapter reorganization, will commence on 1 March 2020. We praise God for the gift of new leaders in our community.
Mission to Chiangmai
Sonny and Tess Montalbo, mission area coordinators for Chiangmai, visited the CFC community there on Sunday, 16 February 2020. Sonny delivered the theme talk on "Called to Holiness" and Tess introduced and facilitated the consecration of CFC members following the "First Fruits" tradition of CFC. About 25 joined the assembly, including two guest couples. This was the first mission for Chiangmai for this year.
Mission to the South
John Balgoa and Edgar went to Krabi and Phuket for their first mission to the South this year during 8-9 February in the midst of the corona virus crisis. John and his wife Princess were newly assigned mission area coordinators for the South. They received heartwarming welcome and hospitality from the brothers and sisters from various areas in the South and shared with them an inspiring message taken from the CFC theme for 2020 "Called to Holiness". As the first meeting of the year, they also led the consecration of CFC members to God through the tradition called "First Fruits". In Krabi, they organized two meetings, one a general prayer assembly with members from outside Krabi and another one a household prayer meeting with members from Krabi, mostly SFCs. In Phuket, they attended the Sunday mass at the St Joseph Catholic Church in Laguna and continued at the same venue for the assembly with members. KyleDante joined them to lead the household for the YFCs. It was a well spent weekend for the mission team.
CFC Bangkok dedicates new leaders
At a joint prayer assembly, over 200 members gathered at the Korea House in the AIT campus on Sunday, 2 February 2020 and dedicated members who accepted a higher level of service. These include:
The assembly also heard a talk on the CFC theme for 2020 "Called to Holiness" delivered by Edgar and an introduction to the CFC tradition of "First Fruits" by Art. All members in attendance consecrated themselves to God in accordance with the First Fruits tradition. It was an inspiring and solemn event that kick starts the work of CFC Thailand for 2020.
Schedule of activities
What is Couples for Christ?
Couples for Christ (CFC) is a Catholic-based community intended for the renewal and strengthening of Christian family life. It brings families together to pray and grow in their marriage vocation, enhance their family relationships and raise their children in accordance with Christian faith, values and teaching. CFC welcomes other family groups through its Family Ministries comprising Singles for Christ (SFC), Handmaids of the Lord (HOLD), Servants of the Lord (SOLD), Youth for Christ (YFC) and Kids for Christ (KFC). For further information about CFC Thailand and if you wish to join its programmes, please contact the CFC office via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call Ms. Tess Montalbo +66853421243.
CFC Thailand participates in the CFC International Leaders Conference January 2020 (Manila)
Edgar and Moonyeen represented CFC Thailand at the CFC International Leaders Conference (ILC) and Global Leaders Summit held in Manila on 11-12 January 2020. An important annual event of CFC, the ILC gathered over 15,000 members from the Philippines and the rest of the world to begin a year-long reflection on the theme for the year "Called to Holiness". The event inspired and enlightened many dedicated couples who have been serving in the CFC community for many years about the universal call for holiness in spite of one's own sinfulness. The truth is that a sinner can turn into a saint by God's grace. The theme talk was delivered by Brod Reggie Ragojos, CFC President, and followed by a directional talk by Bong Arjonillio. They appreciated the support and hospitality of the country coordinators, Raffy and Amie, for facilitating their participation and introducing them to many brothers and sisters in the community.
CFC Thailand Light in the Lord Theme Conference and 30th Anniversary Celebration
The much anticipated annual event lived up to all expectations with inspiring and enriching talks and testimonies. The CFC Thailand Theme Conference and 30th anniversary celebration held at the AIT Conference Centre on 8 June 2019 brought together about 300 committed members of the CFC Thailand family.
The central theme of the Conference presents Jesus as the one true source of light in our lives and we are all instruments to bring the Lord's light to illuminate the world beginning with our own home. It reinforced the important truth that the home is a domestic church but also is a battlefield in spiritual life. Families seeking for light also experience darkness that needs to be overcome. As Pope Francis said that perfect families do not exist but this must not discourage us.
The Conference was structured in four sessions: Darkness in the Home; Live as Children of Light; Radiate Christ's Fragrance and Aroma and Be the Light. The speakers and sharers from Manila were James and Petty Dio; Raffy and Amie Ballesteros; James Solano and Nelson Corneja and Reggie and Janet Ragojos.
Following the Conference, the community gathered in an evening ball to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of CFC Thailand. Edgar, CFC Thailand, opening the event with a recall of the foundation of CFC Thailand. Rowena and Philip facilitated a lively show of talents and gifts from the various chapters and areas and ended the evening with a community dance. (Click for more photos of the conference).
ANCOP walk at AIT
The first ANCOP-Thailand Global Walk 2019 was held at the AIT campus ground on 5 December 2019 starting at 6:30 AM. ANCOP (Answering the Cry of the Poor) walk is a fund raising activity of CFC to support education of poor students and was launched in CFC Thailand in 2019 during the visit of Ricky Cuenca to Bangkok. All Bangkok chapters were well represented by 87 individuals joining the fun walk of about 3 kms. It started with a morning prayer, body stretching, and dancing through the AGW 2019 official theme song "Light Up Lives". It ended with a fellowship breakfast and closing prayer, thanking God for its success and looking forward for a more enjoyable ANCOP activities in 2020.