THE SERVANT GENERAL
WAY FORWARD IN CHRIST
and a half years after the restoration of CFC (from
July 2007), on its third year (2007, 2008, 2009),
CFC-FFL is well underway in pursuing its clear vision
and mission. We are called to renew the family and
to defend life. This is within the context of our
overall mission of evangelization, with emphasis
this year on God’s divine mercy.
was impressed upon me as I and my wife Gerry were
privileged to attend and participate in 3 significant
events in this first month of the new year. First
we went to Mexico for the 6th World Meeting of Families.
Then we participated in the 36th March for Life
in Washington DC, USA. Finally we made a pilgrimage
to the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Stockbridge,
World Meeting of Families
This is the major event of the Vatican’s Pontifical
Council for the Family, of which Gerry and I are
members. It is mounted once every 3 years. In 2003
it was in Manila, while in 2006 it was in Valencia,
Spain. There was a 3-day Theological-Pastoral Congress,
where there were 9,000 delegates from 96 countries,
including 20 cardinals, 200 archbishops and bishops,
many clergy and religious, and of course lay people.
This was followed by a festive meeting of families
with 20,000 people, and a Eucharistic celebration
on the last day. Normally the pope attends these
last 2 days. However, for health reasons, this time
he did not go to Mexico (the altitude was a problem).
He did have a videotaped message.
and I were privileged to present a paper on “Couples
for Christ in the Renewal of the Family and the
Defense of Life” during the plenary. It was
very well received. We also had the opportunity
to interact with the Church hierarchy, among them
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican Secretary of
State (representing the Holy Father), Cardinal Ennio
Antonelli, President of the Pontifical Council for
the Family, Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, President
of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and many
World Meeting of Families, with its plenary presentations,
testimonies and other activities, highlighted our
thrust for the family.
March for Life
After making a pastoral visit to our CFC-FFL brethren
in Phoenix, Arizona, we were off to Washington DC,
to participate in the 36th March for Life. The March
for Life has been held since 1973, when the infamous
Roe v. Wade legalized abortion throughout the USA.
Since that time 50 million unborn children have
been slaughtered through surgical abortions.
event started with a Youth Rally and a Eucharistic
celebration. It was a sight to see, with the venue
packed with 30,000 people, including about 50 bishops,
400 priests and 500 seminarians. Then the march
itself had 300,000 people, including the CFC-FFL
contingent of 109 brethren. Our brethren were enthused,
and promised to participate in the marches every
year in ever increasing numbers.
March for Life highlighted our pro-life thrust,
our defense of the culture of life, our promotion
of the gospel of life.
Then Gerry and I were off to New Jersey, then to
New York, to visit our CFC-FFL brethren there. But
before these, we were able to make a pilgrimage
with some of our brethren to the National Shrine
of the Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
It was a blessed time, with very few people, with
fresh snow on the ground, with the air cold but
with a bright sun overhead.
were able to attend the Eucharistic celebration,
pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and kiss the relic
of Sr Faustina.
visit highlighted our new theme of Trust in Jesus
for 2009, with the very important element of the
the right track
In the midst of attacks on marriage and the family,
in the face of the holocaust of the unborn, under
the onslaught of anti-family and anti-life forces
in the world, God continues to reach out to a world
in darkness and sin. And God precisely raised CFC
in 1981 for this task. The enemy almost succeeded
in destroying CFC in 2007, but God raised a remnant,
and has restored His creation to its authentic charism.
continues to do its basic mission of evangelization,
within the context of the renewal of the family
and the defense of life. The events this January
have affirmed our calling and work. We are on the
us never veer away again. Let us move forward with
the confidence that God anoints us, Jesus is with
us, and the Holy Spirit empowers us. Let us trust
in Jesus and always look to God’s divine mercy.
we trust in you!
bless you all.
brother and servant,