On 9 June 2018, CFC Thailand hosted the first CFC Greater Mekong Area (GMA) Echo Conference with the theme "Solemn Charge". The Conference was held at the AIT Centre Auditorium, Pathumthani, Bangkok and brought together 250 participants from Thailand, Myanmar, Laos PDR, Viet Nam and the Philippines. The conference theme was based on St. Paul's 2nd letter of Timothy exhorting steadfastness and firmness in faith and mission despite adverse circumstances from those who are serving God and the rekindling of the gifts of God received during our first encounter with him. Bishop Joseph Prathan, CBCT vice-president and Bishop of Surat Thani Diocese and Father John Tamayo, Spiritual Director of CFC Thailand celebrated the Sacrament of the Eucharist to open the conference. The conference comprised five sessions as follows:
Pastoral visit to Tharae
On 11 June 2018, Jimmy Lozare, Fulltime Pastoral Worker, brought the new couple Country Coordinator for CFC Thailand Raffy and Aimee Ballesteros to visit a CFC community in the village of Chanpen in the Northeast of Thailand under Archdiocese of Thaare Nongsaeng. Chanphen was one of the first villages in the Archdiocese to have CFC 21 years ago led by Acharn Arom, Bro. Prakal and the late Boni Manikham from CFC-Bangkok Thai.
About 30 members, mostly Handmaids, were joined by members from
CFC-Tharae and CFC-Nong Bua Thong for a total of 43 members
participating in the Genera Assembly. After a brief Praise and Worship Bro. Raffy presented a Teaching on “Growing in the Faith” with Sis. Aimee sharing the “Before and After” experiences of community life in CFC. FTPW Jimmy had introduced them before the Session and the people were very happy that leaders from as far as Manila, not only from Bangkok, are interested and concerned about their community life. A lot of sharing from the villagers followed.
The pastoral visit edified the participants in a Spirit-filled day and
the people expressed their gratitude for the event. There was a brief discussion with the leaders and members to celebrate the 21st anniversary of CFC in the archdiocese sometime in September,
to coincide with a CLP “Baptism in the Spirit” from CFC-Ubon
Ratchathani as a combined weekend celebration. The GA ended with lunch and fellowship.
Update from the South (Nakhon and Tungyai)
On 5-6 May 2018, Bobet and Cris Pelias, CFC SEB mission team visited CFC south for 2 days. Together with our local leader, Oliver and Jasmin Ople, they facilitated two households prayer meetings, the first was on the 5 May in Thungyai with CFC Krabi led by sis Ruby Agno and the following day was in Muang Nakhon Srithammarat. All were inspired by the zeal and enthusiasm manifested by our brother and sister for their missionary work which is to evangelize and bring the good news to others amidst trials and challenges.
Sharing Christ with Thai students in Chiang Rai
CFC-Singles for Christ conducted Christian Life Programme (CLP) in Chiang Rai on 18 and 25 March 2018. Nine (9) members of the community from Central Bangkok volunteered as service team. The service team were warmly welcomed by Fr. Matthew Ekachai of the Camillian fathers, pastor of St. Camillus parish and villagers.
The CLP started in the morning with the orientation at the Church after the Eucharistic celebration with some dynamics in between the talks. For the second day, the remaining talks were continued with the same approach. Brother Jimmy Lozare formally closed the CLP with a blessing and pray-over of all participants. The CLP produced 20 Thai nationals, English speaking campus- based from Mae Fah Luang University.
Both service team and newly graduate participants were enthusiastic with the talks and dynamics. All were very much excited to join the upcoming activities not only in Chiang Rai but also in Bangkok especially the Regional Conference in September 2018. Lastly, in addition to the CLP, the service team spent time with kids and youth for some educational activities.
The fire of the Holy Spirit is once again set ablaze in SFC Thailand!
Some 86 SFCs from different areas and provinces in Thailand gathered to celebrate 25 years of God's faithfulness to and through the CFC Singles for Christ Ministry during the International Conference (ICON) Echo held last 11 March 2018 at The Connecion Seminar Centre, Ladphrao, Bangkok, Thailand. The conference theme was 'Relentless', inspired by 2 Timothy 1:6, “For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands.”
The echo conference was officially opened by Sonny Montalbo, CFC Family Ministries Coordinator who drew inspiration from the story of Timothy. JM Junio led the group in a vibrant Opening Worship to start the event. Rev. Gerry Gamaliel S. Delos Reyes, OMI Thai-Lao Delegation Superior, was also present as the Mass presider.
The talks were given under four topics: Rekindle (by Andy Co), Regoice (by Inah Bancoro), Relentless (by Challette Canete) and Fulfill Your Ministry (by Rowena Elemento). The conference ended with a powerful praisefest, led by Bro. Philip Talantor, bringing the conviction of every SFC delegate to an even higher level. The message resounds that all are called to follow the Lord through ministry and mission each and everyday.
The event was prepared and coordinated by a team of 12 SFC leaders and members who attended the 25th Singles for Christ International Conference (ICON) held last 16-18 February 2018 at the Globe Circuit Event Grounds, Makati City, Philippines. The event was also supported by the SFC Couple Coordinators of Central Bangkok Chapter, Jason and Binay Domingo, as well as Louie and Pinky Lepiten of North Bangkok Chapter.
Youth for Christ - Covenant Orientation
A covenant orientation for Youth for Christ members graduated last year was delivered on 17 February 2018 at the Don Bosco Filipino School, Nonthaburi. Sixteen YFCs participated in the event, excluding the service team. There were 4 talks given by YFC and SFC leaders. The event was headed by JC Saga from Central Bangkok with members of the service team coming from Central Bangkok, North and Nonthaburi Chapters, namely Kent Dante assigned as opening prayer, Miguel Marqueses as our worship leader in the morning session, Jr Mission as the worship leader in the afternoon session. The music ministry was headed by Yves Magpantay. SFC household head Siegrid Tejeno and members also joined in to help in giving talks and assisting the activity. YFC couple coordinators from Central Bangkok and North Bangkok Chapter were present to oversee the event together with the Family Ministry Coordinator couple Sonny and Tess Montalbo.
Chiang Rai Mission
Jimmy Lozare together with SFCs Rowena and Inah visited Srivichien Village, Chiang Rai on 3-4 February 2018 to introduce SFC ministry among Catholic college students of Mae Fah Luang and Rajabhat Universities. The meeting with Thai students was held at the Seminary and conducted in English. After the introduction and teaching of SFC songs, the students expressed interest in SFC activities and agreed to invite other students to attend a Christian Life Programme to be organized on 18 and 25 March 2018. They aimed at inviting 20 to 25 students from each University. The mission was facilitated by Fr. Ekachai and Fr. Joachim, and was part of the follow up activities to a request made by Bishop Francis Xavier Vira of Chiangmai Diocese who earlier requested Jimmy to revive the CFC Thai group in Chiangmai province. Before meeting the students, the mission team met with Bishop Vira and attended a mass celebrated by the Bishop and 20 priests from northern provinces on the occasion of the St Camillus Parish feast. CFC was well recognized and received at the assembly.
Joint Prayer Assembly - First Fruits
On Sunday, 4 February 2018, CFC members from North Bangkok, Central Bangkok and Nonthaburi chapters gathered for the first prayer assembly of the year at the Korea House, Asian Institute of Technology. At the assembly, each member was consecrated to God following the tradition of First Fruits. It was a solemn and sacred occasion when each member presented to an altar, prayed for consecration and offered a symbolic amount of money. Edgar introduced the background of the tradition and reminded members of vision of CFC "Families in the Holy Spirit Renewing the Face of Earth". Through the Baptism of the Holy Spirit that each member receives during the CLP, the renewal of individuals and the community begins. Members were inspired to see full attendance and to meet members who have rejoined participation in community activities. Special thanks to the chapter leaders and family ministry coordinators for encouraging their members to participate in the assembly.
Joint GA of North and Central Bangkok SFCs
On 14 January 2018, Over 50 Singles for Christ from North and Central Bangkok participated in the organized Re-echo of Eimai Katolikos held at the Korea House AIT. The assembly was in reference to the SEA-BET Regional conference held in Kota Kinabalu, October 28-29, 2017. The 2-day conference, themed Eimai Katholikos (I am Catholic) consisted of three sessions about the Catholic faith and Live Catholic activities wherein 13 SFCs represented Thailand as listed below:
Lastly, Bro. Jason and Sis. Rubina Domingo were announced as the new SFC couple coordinator of Central Bangkok and the couple coordinator of North Bangkok Bro. Louie and Sis. Pinky Lepiten together with the Family Ministry head Bro. Sonny and Sis. Marites Montalbo.
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.
Medical Mission & Gift Giving at Ratchburi
On 18 November 2017, members of the CFC Singles for Christ together with the team of Fr. Prasit organized a medical mission at Ratchburi, Christmas gift-giving (sweater, toiletries, milk, chocolate, juices, ice cream, cookies, etc.) and games for fun. More than 100 children together with their parents received gifts and medical attention. People from Ratchaburi became a family of SFCs and expressed gratefulness and happiness whenever the group visit them. This activity is being organized on a quarterly basis. SFCs are inviting any member to join and experience this service by contacting Aliw and Rowena.
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.
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
Vatican establishes the new Diocese of Chiang Rai
CFC Thailand joins the Mission Core Weekend
Over 2,500 leaders of CFC climb to the mountain resort of Baguio each year for the mission core weekend retreat. On 19-21 January 2018, Edgar and Moonyeen attended the retreat for the first time representing CFC Thailand. Called Solemn Charge, the retreat reflected on the 2018 theme of CFC based on the second letter to Timothy by Paul. It expounded Paul's final exhortation to younger Timothy as Paul knew his ministry was coming to an end and emphasized on the importance of proclaiming the Gospel even in difficult circumstances with courage and sacrifices as exemplified by Paul's missionary life. Paul's story was depicted through talks, celebration of the Eucharist, testimonies from members and drama presentations. It was a great opportunity to meet with CFC elders, particularly those who supported CFC Thailand during its formative years, including Brod. Roquel and Sis Nina Ponte. The conference also offered a time to bond with the country coordinators Brod Bombee and Sis Beth Tiongsion who kindly facilitated the participation of Edgar and Moonyeen and allowed them to meet with other leaders who had previous engagements with CFC Thailand. The retreat will be echoed in Bangkok sometime in May or June 2018.
CBCT declares Oct. 22nd of every year as the