THE SERVANT GENERAL
A TIME OF TRANSITION
Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary
October 7, 2019
I am doing something new!
Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?”
It has been 38 years of our life and mission. In that time,
the vision that God gave us has continued to evolve. In 1981
we saw the establishment of Couples for Christ (CFC). In 1993
we saw its re-founding. In 2007 we saw its restoration, now
as CFC-FFL. In 2011 God gifted us with the Live Christ, Share
Christ (LCSC) mission, as our participation in the Church’s
work of New Evangelization.
this has always been in accordance with God’s plan and
design. God does not reveal everything at once, but journeys
with us as He unfolds the totality of His plan. Today, with
the world in darkness and rampant evil, with growing paganism
and apostasy, with great challenges even within our Catholic
Church, God is revealing the fullness of His design for us.
evil abounds, grace abounds even more. In this third millennium,
God has called for the New Evangelization, intended to bring
renewal and revival to His Church. We are at the forefront
of this call. God provides the new wine of the ever-creative
Holy Spirit, but there must be a new wineskin to contain it.
In response to the Spirit’s prophetic call for our community,
in accordance with the evolution of God’s design, in
preparation for the more massive work in this third millennium,
we are changing our name. Our new name, effective today, will
be: Missionary Families of Christ.
Our true identity
started in 1981 as Couples for Christ. It was basically an
outreach to couples. Only in 1993 did we offer a place for
every other member of the family. Further, since 1981, God
has revealed more and more of His plan for us, and has moved
us closer to the heart of our Church, the body of Christ on
1981, under the aegis of the Ang Ligaya ng Panginoon
(LNP), we were a transparochial community, not integrated
in the life of the Church.
1993, after separating from LNP, we moved closer to the
Church, but functioned as a parallel community, running
side-by-side with the Church but not intersecting, like
2007, with the split in CFC and the restoration of our authentic
charism, we moved to become a servant to the Church.
2011, with the introduction of LCSC, we moved to become
a servant of the Church, committed not just to our own evangelization
work, but striving to mainstream Catholic lay evangelization.
The name “Couples for Christ” is not longer reflective
of our call. Now it is clear who we are and what we are called
to do. The two most important aspects of Christian life, especially
considering the deepening evil in the world today, are the
renewal of families and the work of evangelization. The family
is God’s basic unit for society and the Church, and
its stability and strength will determine the future of humanity.
But there is also the call to do mission. Our Church, of which
we are a part, is a missionary Church. This is her most important
is what our call is about. This is what it has always been,
but revealed to us by God in stages. This is what God has
prepared us for through all these 38 years. This is our identity,
our charism and our work. We are Missionary Families of Christ.
Unity and uniformity
reality is that worldwide, we have more than 10 different
names of our community, due to local circumstances (including
the disapproval of some bishops of our using the name CFC,
due to the existence of another CFC).
Australia and the United Arab Emirates, we are “Catholics
for Family and Life.” In Canada and Papua New Guinea,
we are “Community for Christ Foundation for Family and
Life.” In Singapore, we are “Christ for Family
and Life.” In Thailand, we are “Christ Foundation
so our change of name is an opportunity to have the same name
throughout the world. One community, one mission, one identity.
For the sake of mission
are some places in the world where we are not allowed by bishops
to be established. This is because of the existence of the
other CFC, with the bishops not wanting to have confusion
or so-called “competition.” These are in places
like Africa, the West Indies and Indonesia. (Note: there are
also places where the other CFC is not allowed by bishops
because we are already present).
we have another name, then all these places open up to us.
And indeed, being missionary, we intend to bring our work
to the ends of the earth. There is much that can be done,
but this obstacle of the name needs to be overcome.
To avoid further conflict and scandal
we have moved on from the time of restoration in 2007, the
other CFC has at various times and in various places disputed
our using the name CFC. This has caused confusion, conflict
and scandal. This of course is not good for the overall situation
of the Church and her work in the world.
taking another name can stop the negativity and hopefully
bring peace, so that all parties can focus on doing their
A matter of branding
reality is that “CFC,” much as we love our name,
is a damaged brand. The scandal of the split of 2007 affected
many people negatively. Even up to today, we have people whom
we invite to our CLS who say they are not positively inclined
because of what they know about CFC.
Further, as many of you have probably experienced, a number
of priests and prelates simply refer to us as CFC, during
homilies, conference messages, Church fora and the like. For
us we know what they mean. But if there are non-CFC-FFL in
the crowd, they may end up thinking of the other CFC. Whatever
good is said of us and whatever good we do does not then enhance
For the sake of the future generations
of us of course would naturally have an attachment to the
name we have carried for 38 years. But this is about looking
to the future, until the Lord returns once again. This is
about our legacy for our children and our children’s
children, including those not even born yet. It is best if
they have a name that matches their identity. And it is best
if they be spared from the confusion and conflict that have
arisen due to the name CFC.
Looking to Vatican recognition
further our missionary thrust, we are seeking recognition
from the Holy See, through its dicastery, the Dicastery for
Laity, Family and Life (DLFL). In this regard, the DLFL has
asked us to change our name, so that the scandal of division
will not be highlighted by the official recognition of two
The Biblical perspective
the Bible, we see that oftentimes a person’s name reflects
his identity or mission. Adam named his wife Eve, as she would
be the mother of all the living (Gn 3:20). St Joseph was instructed
by the angel to name his son Jesus, meaning “the Lord
saves,” as he would save his people from their sins
a person would be given a new name, to reflect a new identity
or a new mission.For example:
God renamed Abram Abraham, as he would be the father of
many nations (Gn 17:5).
renamed Sarai Sarah, as she would give rise to nations (Gn
God renamed Jacob Israel, as he contended with divine beings
and prevailed (Gn 32:29).
Moses renamed Hoshea Joshua (Nm 13:16). In Hebrew, Jehoshua
or Jeshua is the Hebrew name for Jesus. He would lead God’s
people into the promised land (as Jesus would in bringing
us to heaven).
Jesus renamed Simon Cephas (translated Peter), as he would
be the rock upon which Jesus would build his Church (Jn
1:42; Mt 16:18).
Now we are transitioning to a new name, Missionary Families
of Christ. The name "Couples for Christ” was right
for the beginning, as we indeed reached out to couples, for
12 years before starting the Family Ministries. But we have
outgrown this name, which is no longer fully reflective of
our identity and mission.
some years now, who we are and what we are called to do has
been clear. Our charism is evangelization founded on family
renewal. We focus on the two most important aspects of the
life of Christians in this world, and that is family and mission.
We are families on mission.
is time for our name to accurately reflect our identity and
we are changing our name, we are not setting aside the history
of our community from 1981, which history is an integral part
of who we are. Thus we will continue to reckon our anniversary
while we are changing our name effective today, the formal
roll-out will be starting January 1, 2020.
will inform you later about our new logo and what we will
call the different sections of the community (the current
Family Ministries). We will be providing updated manuals and
If you have any questions, please email me directly at email@example.com.
I will be happy to address all your concerns.
Pope Francis said in October 2013, “Christian families
are missionary families.” That is what we hope to be.
Our new name will be a great challenge for us to live out.
It will be our privilege, and our responsibility.
have been with me all this time, through the many ups and
downs in our life and mission. I have borne you in my heart
and have striven to provide you an environment of support
for your personal and family life, even as I continued to
exhort you to holiness and authentic discipleship.
is much more that the Lord has for us. I need you with me.
In accordance with God’s plan, we continue to be destined
for greatness in Him. Let us now move on, as Missionary Families
God bless you all.
Your brother and co-worker,