THE SERVANT GENERAL
A TIME OF TRANSITION
OUR CHANGE OF NAME
We, CFC-FFL, have changed our name to Missionary Families
of Christ (MFC), effective October 7, 2019. For a full explanation
of this name change, please look to the announcement of the
Servant General entitled “A Time of Transition.”
But essentially there are 7 basic reasons:
The new name is reflective of our actual identity, of who
we are and what we do.
(2) For unity and uniformity throughout the world, considering
our community currently has over 10 different names in different
(3) For the sake of mission, since some places are closed
to us by bishops simply because of the name we carry, as
there is the presence of the other CFC.
(4) To avoid further conflict with the other CFC and the
scandal that accompanies such conflict.
(5) Because the CFC name is tainted, caused by the scandal
of the split of 2007. Some pastors are against CFC and consequently
(6) For the sake of future generations, giving them a clean
slate unburdened by challenges attached to the CFC name.
(7) In consideration of our application for recognition
from the Vatican, which would not want to have 2 CFCs, which
perpetuates and institutionalizes the scandal of the CFC
Q: Is there a change in our vision and mission?
A: No. Through the years, God has brought
us through different stages and made clear to us what is our
vision and mission. Our history is what has shaped us. Now
we have a full picture of who we are and what we are called
to do. Our charism is evangelization founded on family renewal.
We are families on mission.
Q: Is there a change in our pastoral-organizational
A: Basically, no. Our governance and support
structures remain the same. One change is in how we look at
our Family Ministries. Rather than looking on the main group
as the couples and the rest of the family members as adjuncts,
we now consider all as Sections of MFC. So in MFC there are
couples, handmaids, servants, singles, youth and kids.
Q: Will we still have couple coordinators for the
A: Yes, there will be coordinators, not necessarily
couples. These Section Coordinators are tasked with promoting
the interest of the particular sections, as part of the overall
work of MFC.
Q: Is there a change in our formation program?
A: The basic formation programs remain the
same, as these have to do with the basics of the Christian
life. Just as the Bible does not change, and all our teachings
are scripture-based, then what God has given us by way of
formation through the years is still valid and relevant.
Q: But should we not have new teachings and
A: Yes, we do provide new teachings every
year. These are (1) developments of the aspects of the theme
for the year (which is different each year), (2) From the
Servant General articles (if you are not receiving this as
directly sent to your email address, ask your leaders to include
you in the loop), and (3) new books of the Servant General.
Q: Will there be a change in our CLS?
A: The CLS as our basic evangelistic program
will remain the same, except for tweaks here and there to
reflect the reality of our new name.
Q: Does the name change have an impact on
our evangelization programs?
A: Yes, in the sense that there should from
now be greater zeal and commitment to our work of evangelization
and mission. We pray that our new name would carry special
grace from God for us to be able to live it out.
Q: Will we still use the terms “household
servant,” “unit servant,” and so on, for
A: Yes. Servant leadership is of crucial
importance, and remains as one of our Core Values. There is
only one Master and we are all servants. Authentic servant
leadership is not well lived out even among many Church leaders.
We are just unprofitable servants, doing what we are obliged
to do (Lk 17:10).
Q: Will every MFC member be expected to be
A: Our second Core Value is “Evangelistic
and Missionary.” Our basic charism is evangelization
founded on family renewal. Every MFC member is to be an evangelizer.
Everyone can share Christ in his/her day-to-day circumstances
of life. As to being a missionary, while that may imply going
off on foreign mission, one can be a missionary just in one’s
own local environment. Consider the Samaritan woman, who is
considered the first missionary. She shared Christ to the
people just in her own town.
Q: Why change the name now after 38 years?
A: The name "Couples for Christ”
was right for the beginning, as we indeed reached out to couples,
for 12 years before beginning the Family Ministries. But we
have outgrown this name, which is no longer fully reflective
of our identity and mission.For some years now, who we are
and what we are called to do has been made clear. Our charism
is evangelization founded on family renewal. We focus on the
2 most important aspects of the life of Christians in this
world, and that is family and mission. We are families on
mission.It is time for our name to accurately reflect our
identity and mission.
Q: Why make a change if the thing is not
A: As mentioned in the reasons above for
the change, the CFC name is broken. Further, as expounded
in the article below (the cure of the man ill for 38 years),
there are infirmities. But even if there were none of these,
a reason for a name change is to keep at the cutting edge
of rapid developments in the world we do our mission in. This
is the case with secular rebranding (see article below). Corporations
that stay on top and in front are those that have bold foresight
and deep insight, and make changes even if they “are
Q: What about our reputation with local priests
who support CFC-FFL?
A: We are still the same CFC-FFL but with
a new name. The nature of our call, our charism, our vision
and mission, our workall will be continued. With that
reality, together with all the reasons why we are changing
our name, we look to their continued support.
Q: Do we still continue with LCSC?
A: Yes, all the more so. LCSC is the Spirit’s
gift as our lay response to the call to the New Evangelization,
which we then share with our Church. LCSC is crucial to the
life and mission of the Church, considering the dark times
we now live in.
Q: What will the relationship be between
MFC and LCSC?
A: LCSC remains as separate and distinct
from MFC. But MFC gives LCSC its full embrace, engaging it
as its own. MFC is still the backbone for LCSC. MFC is able
to do truly massive evangelization and full support to the
mission of our Church through LCSC.
Q: With LCSC, can we mention that we are
A: We never need to hide the reality that
we are MFC, but at the same time, LCSC is a separate and distinct
work, which is of the Church and not belonging only to us.
In LCSC, we are a servant of the Church, seeking to serve
Christ by helping renew and strengthen his Church. We do not
have to take credit as MFC. Further, the reality is that new
ecclesial movements (such as CFC, CFC-FFL, MFC), by their
very nature, are running parallel to the Church, having their
own priorities, even as they strive to serve the Church. This
is why there are parish priests who are not keen on ecclesial
movements, seeing them as competition to the work of their
Q: How will we deal with CFC Global?
A: From the time of the split, we have not
engaged in words or actions against CFC Global. Perhaps now
that we have a new name, CFC Global will cease speaking against
us. We wish them well, as there is much to be done by all
Catholic associations of good will.
Q: How about detractors who will find fault
or distort things with regard to our name change?
A: There is no need for you to answer or
confront them. Rather, you must pray for them. To attack our
community that is established by God and is doing a lot of
good for the Church is a grave sin on their part.
Q: How will this move impact on any possible
reunification with the other CFC?
A: Through the years, the SG had reached
out to the very top leadership of CFC Global, a total of four
times. He proposed creative unity by having one CFC but with
two branches (historically this has been the case with many
religious congregations, which have split and re-split). Then
perhaps, if God willed it, an improving relationship could
lead to actual unity. Unfortunately, the other CFC rejected
the proposal each time. Now there is no more possibility of
unification. This is for the better, as there is much work
to be done overall, without having to contend with different
visions for a unified work.
Q: What will happen to the past of CFC-FFL?
A: Whatever CFC and CFC-FFL have undergone
through the years will remain part of our history. Our founding
is reckoned from June of 1981. God brought us through many
stages in our life and mission, culminating in the fullness
of the vision that we have now. We are thankful for all that
God has done for us.
Q: Does this change have the approval of
A: We cleared this name change with our Spiritual
Directors. But the decision is really up to us, as a lay ecclesial
movement within the Church. We of course will inform the bishops,
both in the Philippines and in other countries, from October
Q: Do we need to ask for recognition from
the bishops again?
A: The basic reality of our being a recognized
lay association has not changed. But as we have changed our
name, we may have to ask for a new recognition. We believe
such recognition will be given without any problem. You should
inform your bishops and pastors about our change of name,
and do what is needful.
Q: Can we introduce our new name to our local
A: Yes, you should do so. Let your pastors
and other Church personnel know of our new name, so that appropriate
adjustments in their records and communications can be made.
Q: Did we not say “Once a CFC, always
a CFC; CFC forever”?
A: Maybe some brethren were saying that,
but we officially did not say that. A CFC/CFC-FFL member remains
as such only if he/she is actively living out the CFC/CFC-FFL
covenant. This is why we in CFC-FFL have through the years
actively cleaned out our membership rolls to reflect only
active membership. Such membership is not an inherent right,
but a privilege, given to those who are willing to live the
CFC-FFL way of life and mission. CFC-FFL has been strict in
considering as members only those who are active and committed.
On the other hand, we do pray that those who have become members
of CFC/CFC-FFL but are no longer so will continue to live
out the life of Christ that they have learned about.
Q: I have an attachment to the name CFC-FFL.
How should this be handled?
A: We understand. Our name is important,
and it is not that easy to discard a name that has become
dear to us. But perhaps this is one way for us to be clearer
about what God’s call truly is. The essence of the call
is discipleship, following Christ and his way of life. It
should not really be about the organization we join, or the
name of that organization (important as a name is), but about
who we have become. In fact, as you deny yourself our previous
name, and as you embrace the cross of losing that name, then
you are more well on your way to authentic discipleship.
Q: Can we put the caption “formerly
A: Though there would be nothing wrong with
that, and at times it might be necessary to tell people, by
way of establishing our credentials, that we are the former
CFC-FFL, it is best if we just move on. Besides, a number
of the reasons for the name change has to do with the tension
with the other CFC. So let us now go beyond that.
Q: In serving our Church, can we still use
our CFC-FFL uniforms?
A: You can use your CFC-FFL shirts and other
apparel in many situations just as you would use other branded
items you might have. However, when doing MFC activities,
you should avoid using CFC-FFL items, so as to avoid confusion.
Q: Can we invite those who left after the
split back to community when we become MFC?
A: All are welcome to MFC. We intend to do
a wide work of evangelization, but not necessarily bringing
people to membership in MFC. But there are those whom God
would call to a more committed covenant relationship in community.
We will do what is best for those people God sends our way.
Q: Should all our communities throughout
the world adopt the name “Missionary Families of Christ”?
A: One of the main reasons why we are changing
our name is so that we get away from the current situation
of our having over 10 different names throughout the world.
So we do want to have one common name for all our communities.
The name MFC can be translated into Spanish or other languages
if that is more suitable for the particular country.
Q: Should the name change be implemented
immediately, to include even CLSs that are already prepared
A: While we have changed our name effective
October 7, the full implementation or roll-out will be effective
January 1, 2020. This gives everyone time to do what is needful,
such as informing all our brethren down the line, informing
the Church, informing and registering with civil authorities
as applicable, designing new websites, etc. Thus, for ongoing
CLSs or other community programs in parishes, you can discern
whether to implement the name change now or a bit later. Do
what is least disruptive.
Q: How soon are we having a new website?
A: We will have one very soon.
Q: Why “of” Christ and not “for”
A: With the word “of,” we want
to emphasize that we belong to Christ. We are totally His.
We are His servants. As such, we do only what is His will.
The word “for” in a way would put emphasis on
what we do for Him, somehow putting the focus and initiative
on us rather than Christ.
Q: When do we celebrate our anniversaryJune
or October? How many years will we be next year39 or
A: Our foundation is still established from
June of 1981. Everything that has happened to us through all
these years is a part of our history. God brought us through
different stages up to now, to make us what we are now. We
are MFC because we were CFC and CFC-FFL. So the MFC anniversary
next year 2020 will be our 39th, to be held in June.
The cure of the man ill for 38 years
On this 38th year in the life and mission of CFC/CFC-FFL,
we are changing our name. Let us reflect on the story of the
cure Jesus did, as told in John 5. “One man was there
who had been ill for thirty-eight years.” (Jn 5:5).
Now while CFC/CFC-FFL has been and is a great blessing to
us all and to the Church, in some ways it had also been ill
What were these infirmities or shortcomings? Basically this
was about not rising up to the extent of God’s plan
for us. Failure to see is blindness. Failure to act is paralysis.
1981 CFC was a part of Ang Ligaya ng Panginoon, and as
such was like an independent church, functioning apart
from the mainstream Church. It did not grasp the intent
of God for it to do rapid, massive and worldwide evangelization.
the re-founding in 1993, CFC started its Family Ministries
and moved stronger on evangelization, thereby establishing
the makings of being Families on Mission. It also moved
closer to the Church, but was still a parallel church,
running alongside the mainstream Church but not intersecting.
It still basically looked to its own priorities and agenda
rather than to that of the greater work of Christ in the
the restoration of 2007, CFC-FFL pronounced itself a servant
to the Church, moving closer to the mainstream, but basically
still did not have an accurate vision for the New Evangelization.
the introduction of LCSC in 2011, LCSC, and by extension
CFC-FFL as its backbone, became a servant of the Church.
But CFC-FFL up to now still has not been vigorous in its
embrace of LCSC, such that the mainstreaming of Catholic
lay evangelization is not as yet being fulfilled.
Jesus healed the man. “Immediately the man became well,
took up his mat, and walked.” (Jn 5:9).With
the grace of the name change as it signifies a greater grasp
of God’s vision, there should also be a corresponding
significant change in how we go about our life and mission.
We must by now have a clear vision, and steadfastly live out
Later Jesus told the man, “Look, you are well; do not
sin any more, so that nothing worse may happen to you.”
(Jn 5:14). To sin is to “fall short.” It is failure
to attain to the fullness of what God intends. So we have
sinned, and we hope to sin no more. The times are too critical
today, and we as a community are being thrust by God into
the fray. We must step up and strive not to fall short. Otherwise,
we will not only experience the difficulties and conflicts
we are today experiencing, but even worse.
The nature of rebranding
Secular wisdom says, “If it ain’t broke, why fix
it?” Well, for the CFC name, it is broke, or perhaps,
there are infirmities, as mentioned above. But even if not
broken, there are many positive reasons for changing our name.
A name is changed not necessarily because it is broken (though
that too) but in order to keep the entity at the cutting edge.
Consider the secular examples below. Re-branding is done for
various reasons: a shift in strategy, providing a fresh start
after a scandal, embracing innovation, the current name no
longer representative of what they do, the brand becoming
stagnant or controversial, for legal or practical purposes,
etc. These seem to be our reasons as well!
Imagine changing “Kraft” to “Mondelez”
and “Michael Kors” to “Capri Holdings”!
We of course are not secular but spiritual, not corporate
but pastoral. Still, Jesus did commend the dishonest steward,
saying that “the children of this world are more prudent
in dealing with their own generation than are the children
of light” (Lk 16:8b).
Michael Kors is just the latest company to announce its
intention to change its name, following a precedent set
by a number of the country's most famous brands. Most frequently,
a name change reflects a shift in strategy, but sometimes
it can provide a fresh start after a scandal.
They cite three main reasons: First, if the name no longer
represents what they do, and may even constrict them; second,
because the brand has become stagnant or has gotten caught
up in some controversy that tarnishes its name; and third,
for trademark, legal or more practical reasons, said Naseem
Javed, chief executive officer of ABC Namebank Inc., a corporate
image and naming consultancy with offices in Toronto and
rebranding, make a strong statement and then stand behind
it, even if it seems to be bold or unpopular at the time.
Your unwavering commitment and dedication is what people
will remember, and suddenly, the bold, fresh step you took
becomes the norm. Just look at smoking on airplanes and
in restaurants to see an example of this philosophy in action.
* * *
For any further questions, please email the SG at email@example.com.