Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Origins

THE ORIGINS OF COUPLES FOR CHRIST

Reprinted from the CFC News Supplement in the CBCP Monitor,March 3-16, 2008

In this issue, we begin a series on the history of Couples for Christ its origins, its development, the struggles and challenges it faced as it spread not just in the Philippines but worldwide, and its particular charism. This is an honest attempt to finally write the definitive history of CFC, and to leave to future generations a legacy of a true, fair and complete assessment of a community that began as a small group, became a movement and finally a Vatican-recognized international and private lay association of the faithful.

At an earlier time…

Charismatic is an umbrella term used to describe Christians who believe that the manifestations of gifts of the Holy Spirit seen in the first century Christian Church are available to contemporary Christians and may be experienced and practiced today.

The Catholic Charismatic Renewal as it exists today is the outgrowth of a retreat held in February 1967 of several faculty members and students from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, U. S. A. Many of the students experienced a movement of God's Spirit called being “baptized in the Holy Spirit.” What happened quickly spread to graduate students and professors at the University of Notre Dame and others serving in campus ministry in Lansing, Michigan. The movement spread rapidly, so that, as of 2003, the Catholic Charismatic Renewal exists in over 230 countries world wide, touching over 119 million members according to David Barret, head of Global Evangelization Movement in Richmond, VA.

The movement was given a major endorsement by Leon Joseph Cardinal Suenens, a leading liberal cardinal in the Catholic Church. Three popes have acknowledged the movement: Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul II, and Pope Benedict XVI.

In March 1992, Pope John Paul II stated: "At this moment in the Church's history, the Charismatic Renewal can play a significant role in promoting the much-needed defense of Christian life in societies where secularism and materialism have weakened many people's ability to respond to the Spirit and to discern God's loving call. Your contribution to the re- evangelization of society will be made in the first place by personal witness to the indwelling Spirit and by showing forth His presence through works of holiness and solidarity.”

The “FOUNDING”…

In the Philippines, the Ligaya ng Panginoon (LnP), founded in July 19, 1975 became the leading group in the charismatic renewal movement. It started as a simple prayer group held every Friday. Fr. Herb Schneider, S.J. who just arrived from Innsbruck, Austria, was invited to join them. By 1979, LnP was conducting two weekly charismatic prayer meetings one in Assumption Convent in San Lorenzo Village, Makati and another one in Christ the King Seminary in Quezon City. Around 800 people usually attended the Assumption prayer meeting every week while the other one had an average weekly attendance of 400. They were practically the biggest prayer groups in Metro Manila during that time. Women comprised about 80% of those who attended. The men stayed away from the prayer meetings, averse to the loud prayers and raising of arms in worship which characterized those meetings.

In one of his trips abroad, Fr. Herb, head of the coordinators of LnP was invited to attend a breakfast forum for men. The experience inspired him to form a similar one back in the Philippines. Together with some LnP businessmen, he started a breakfast meeting for businessmen which eventually led to what is known today as BCBP (Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals). Among those who attended the prayer groups were faculty members from the UST College of Engineering. In time, this led to the first campus based evangelization of students known today as the CYA (Christ's Youth in Action).

So in 1980, the coordinators of LnP led by Fr .Herb, directed one of the Ligaya coordinators, Vic Gutierrez, to design an outreach program that could attract married couples toward a renewed Catholic life. They realized that to effectively renew society, a conversion of both spouses, and consequently families, to Christ was necessary.

Vic Gutierrez formed a team and, after much prayer and discernment, they decided to hold homebased Life in the Spirit Seminars (LSS). They wanted to try a new evangelization method one that could draw the men in. They invited married couples to a social evening in the home of Eli and Ophie Concepcion in Quezon City. Vic told his team: “Our strategy is to introduce these couples to a personal relationship with Jesus in a social setting. We will invite them to a social time, not to a prayer meeting. There, we will share with them God's invitation to a renewed life with Him.”

His team arranged the living room to exude a friendly, relaxing atmosphere. They engaged the invited couples in small groups, discussing the challenges and joys of raising a family in the modern world. Light snacks and drinks were served. Before the evening ended, Vic spoke to them about the strong need to support each other in caring for their families and for Divine Guidance in their role as parents. He closed the evening by inviting the couples to come again the next week and start meeting regularly. He said a quick prayer and asked someone to lead in a group singing.

In an interview with Vic Gutierrez, he recalls: “In the succeeding weeks, we held discussions and sharings following the topics of the LSS. The ambience in the host home was so unlike the atmosphere of a charismatic prayer meeting. In those days, charismatics were often regarded as oddballs. So, we didn't raise our hands in worship. We didn't close our eyes as we prayed. No loud clapping of hands nor of booming 'praise the Lord' clichés. The invited couples, including the husbands, were more relaxed and, thus, more open to listen. We succeeded in bringing them through seven weeks of the LSS. By November 1980, all six couples who finished this LSS joined the community.”

Soon, another LSS was held, and 16 couples came. These couples and an equal number of service team members could not fit in the living room of the Concepcions. So, the team sent the other half to the nearby house of Poy and Elvie Estrellado. They all completed the LSS but unlike the previous group of six couples, they could not become part of LnP because the coordinators decided to postpone the community weekend retreat which serves as the entry point for LnP membership.

Vic and his team thought of offering a course that would sustain the interest of these 16 couples and guide them toward Christian maturity while they were waiting to come into the Ligaya. They adapted a program used by The Word of God, a pioneer covenant community in Ann Arbor, Michigan. They modified the talks to suit the needs of the couples and added inputs of interest to the families. This became the first Christian Life Program (CLP).

But soon, Vic and his wife, Agnes, felt in their hearts that God had a greater plan. They sensed that God wanted the 16 couples to be the seed for a new movement for the renewal of families. Consulting with their assistant couple, Ed and Flory Montalvan and the rest of the team, they held the first CLP. Before the course ended, they had a name for the group Couples for Christ.

Vic recalls: “In May 1981, I was coming home from a meeting in Rome of the first Council of the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (earlier known as ICO) of which I was a member. I decided to pass by Jerusalem to pray for God's direction in this new ministry. As I visited and prayed in the holy shrines, I felt in my heart that God was urging us to continue with what we had planned to do to establish Couples for Christ. When I got home, I wrote the covenant of the CFC, which we would use at the closing of the CLP.”

Thus in June 1981, Vic and Agnes and Ed and Flory led the 16 couples in making their covenant to the Couples for Christ a family life outreach of Ligaya ng Panginoon community. These are the 16 couples:

1) Danny & Tess Aviado
2) Romy & Irene Arguelles
3) Chito & Shirley Borja
4) Tito & Tuding Collantes
5) Pete & Fely Cambel
6) Tony & Cora Espiritu
7) Manny & Ditas Garcia
8) Danny and Eggie de Guzman
9) Larry & Brenda de Guzman
10) Frank & Gerry Padilla
11) Monching & Baby Ramirez
12) Rey & Diday Saavedra
13) Boy & Elma Santillan
14) Jimmy and Malou Tan
15) Jun & Auring Tan
16) Jojo & Hedy Villegas


The “MOVEMENT”…

The 16 couples were divided into four cell groups called households where they would be formed in the life and spirituality of the new movement, Couples for Christ. Vic and Agnes trained four couples from the Ligaya to serve as the first household heads: Manny and Nida Sandoval, Manny and Josie Gaddi, Manny and Zeny Sy, Henry and Baby Hizon. Ed and Flory assisted Vic and Agnes until they were replaced by Ely and Nena Lademora.

The Christian Life Program (CLP) became the Christian initiation course of CFC. The strategy of introducing people to a renewed personal relationship with Jesus in a relaxed and friendly social setting proved to be very effective. The CLPs were held in the living rooms of the homes of CFC members. The warmth of personal relationships was a key factor in this type of evangelization. Personal evangelization was encouraged. As charismatic renewal gained wider acceptance, CLPs became bolder in their charismatic expression. Evangelization was brisk and, by the end of 1981, CFC had a total of 34 couples. Two years later, the CFC had grown to 160 couples.

Other groups involved in family apostolate began to take notice of the enthusiasm and commitment of the Couples for Christ. Fr. Ruben Tanseco, S. J. was particularly keen on the follow-up program which was part of the pastoral formation tract. He then invited CFC to tie up with Marriage Encounter. Couples for Christ started to conduct CLPs for their ME couples. However it was not pursued as other concerns later surfaced. In the meantime ,CFC was invited by Fr. Mark Lesage of Las Piñas and Msgr. Mercado of United Paranaque to introduce CFC to their parish. Two CLP teams were formed to serve in these parishes. Thirty couples in Las Piñas and 13 couples in United Paranaque were the graduates of the first parish-based CLP.

“CHARTING” a new course…

With the growth of CFC came many challenges. The rapid spread of the movement demanded that a clearly shared vision. In 1983, Vic formed and trained a pastoral team to help him lead and manage the growing movement. The team was composed of Ely Lademora, Raul Sarceda, Frank Padilla, Bobby Pilar, Popoy del Rosario, Pio Acampado, Danny Aviado and Jojo Villegas. Danny Aviado was later replaced by Carlos Salinas when Danny migrated to the U. S. Vic brought this team to a weekend planning session. There he wrote CFC's Statement of Mission while Raul Sarceda did the Statement of Philosophy.

By this time, CFC was beginning to receive many requests from all over the country to help in establishing family life apostolates. To address this need, Vic Gutierrez discussed with the pastoral team the idea of developing what he termed “exportable packages” -- a start up kit that would allow other provincial groups to establish new chapters with minimum help from CFC Manila.

Providentially, Ligaya member Raul Sarceda had resigned from his job to make himself more available to the work of Ligaya and its outreaches. Vic appointed him the first Executive Director of CFC and immediately put him to the task of developing the manuals of the CFC programs: CLP Manual, Household Heads' Manual, the Marriage Enrichment Manual and the other teaching courses of CFC. These manuals, together with audio teaching tapes, comprised the “exportable packages”. A number of overseas CFC chapters tremendously benefited from these materials. Considering CFC's limited resources, and that its overseas offices were set up and operated without much assistance from CFC leaders in Manila, these materials played a tremendous in helping to bring CFC's vision and mission.

Attention at this point was focused on developing and training leaders and imbuing them with the vision of CFC. A number of dedicated and committed leaders -- among them, Frank Padilla who was trained and appointed by Vic Gutierrez to replace Raul Sarceda as Executive Director when the latter moved his family to Malaybalay, Bukidnon in 1985 to help build a covenant community.

In 1983, upon the advice of the Ligaya Body of Coordinators, CFC was registered as a non-stock, non-profit corporation at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under the name: Couples for Christ Foundation Inc. The incorporators and members of the first Board of Trustees were:

1. Victorino B. Gutierez
2. Raul G. Sarceda
3. Francisco A. Padilla
4. Francisco F. del Rosario
5. Pio S. Acampado
6. Jose T. Villegas
7. Roberto Pilar
8. Carlos C. Salinas
9. Antonio O. Vasquez
10. Victor U. Gamboa

Under Vic's leadership, CFC spread out to other provinces and eventually to other countries. The succeeding leadership continued with as much passion in spreading the mission of CFC. In his exhortation at the CFC 9th anniversary, Vic challenged the CFC community: “Let us bring whoever we can into a personal relationship with Jesus just as we ourselves have experienced it. Let us populate this nation with people who shall live according to this new morality the life of God. It is our duty to God. It is our duty to our nation. It is our duty to ourselves and to our children the future generation.”

The members heeded Vic's call. By 1992, CFC had grown. The Spirit was leading the community to greater heights. It would not be long before the community would feel the Spirit's stirrings to include their children in their new-found life in the Lord.


It has been more than 26 years since that first group of Christians was introduced to Christ in a social setting. Vic continues to be amazed at how CFC has grown. He now says: “…Since 1981, Couples for Christ has grown beyond our wildest imagination. Today, I watch from the sidelines, amazed at what God has done and continues to do through Couples for Christ. I am grateful for the privilege of having been there in its beginnings.”

(In the next issue: The Split of 1993)

COUPLES FOR CHRIST
UGNAYAN MULTIMEDIA CENTER

Download as a PDF file HERE.

42 comments:

athrunatreides said...

I have already revised the Wikipedia section and the CFCpedia section to reflect this.

I'm excited to see the next press release.

roundeyedtoddler said...

THIS IS GOOOOOOOD!

Ang saya ko sa Quarterly Cluster gathering namin a week ago; kaso di naiwasang banggitin ng outgoing Cluster Head na apat na chapters na lang kami, imbis na anim. Nakakalungkot, lalo na nang nakita ko sa Bulletin Board ng host parish ang mga posters ng mga umalis na nagsasabing sila raw ay "the authentic CFC". Parang may kutsilyong humiwa sa puso ko. Nahati tuloy ang puso ko: ang isa masaya, ang isa malungkot.

Ang hiling ko na lang ay magpapatuloy ang dalawang hanay ayon sa KATOTOHANAN at PAWANG KATOTOHANAN lamang. Walang lokohan at pag-iilusyon, pwede po ba?

Publications that tackle the true history of Couples for Christ as an offshoot of Ligaya ng Panginoon is a step towards the right direction. It gives credit to where credit is due, and it protects us from claims that seek to promote certain personalities way beyond what they deserve.

Forgive me for my anger. But I cannot help but notice that Ligaya ng Panginoon never--and I say that again--NEVER bannered the fact that they established COUPLES FOR CHRIST in the Philippines. I am humbled, very humbled, by that. It is from this observation that I am angered by claims of some people that someone is the "Keeper of charism" or "founder" of CFC. These claims are simply OUT OF PLACE! So may I ask these brothers and sisters of ours to simply, please, STOP!

Let's learn from the humility of LNP, our mother community, and move on with the lessons in mind and heart.

The Round-Eyed Toddler

cfcwestergroup brother said...

Hi, CD.

This article is enlightening and I can't wait to read the upcoming installments. Thanks for posting it. Thanks also to Ugnayan for an inspired article. God bless.

gratefulheart said...

Round-eyed toddler said and I agree,
"Publications that tackle the true history of Couples for Christ as an offshoot of Ligaya ng Panginoon is a step towards the right direction. It gives credit to where credit is due, and it protects us from claims that seek to promote certain personalities way beyond what they deserve."

Yes, it is time for that. One word comes to my mind to describe what I feel- 'utang na loob'!

All these years, nag mukha pala tayong mga 'ingrato'! I am humbled as well.

Thank you Fr Herb; wherever you are!
Thank Vic Gutierez; for all that you have done!

Thank you God for giving us this opportunity to right what is wrong and giving CFC a chane to set the record straight!

Ernie said...

CD,

This will give closure to the
The History of Couples for Christ I was praying for last year.

ErnieS

Ernie said...

Copy of my e-mail to you.
Erratum; History of CFC Thread
Ernie Santiago to idotrcfc
show details 9/10/07 Reply


CD,
If it is possible, kindly replace the name Fr Herb Snyder with Vic Gutierez in my thread. I checked my info and the honor should belong to Vic G. Fr Herb Snyder was the Spiritual Director of LnP that time.

ErnieS

mike said...

Two years ago during one MCG gathering, my wife and I shared. We thanked and honored those who started CFC. Because thru CFC, we were given the chance to renew our faith, witness and see God's beautiful plan for all.

It's been 13 years and I see now that CFC has come full circle. We witness how Kids for Christ way back then, are now Couples for Christ themselves and are starting a family of their own. Now bringing their own children to Kids for Christ.

Thank you CD. Ernie S. and the other contributors, for sharing with us the CFC beginnings.

As we have thanked and honored our CFC elders then, may we now thank and honor Bro. Vic and Fr. Herb for allowing to be God's instruments in starting this way of life we now know as Couples for Christ.

Ernie said...

To athrunatreides,

Good job....
Keep it up watching over the Wikipedia and CFCpedia sections...

ErnieS

C.D. said...

Ernie, it is great to see you again. I hope your stay in Manila has been restful and healing.

My Prayers are with you,

CD

emdeesch said...

Dear CD,

I found my comment under the topic of "HOLD Icon," when it was actually for the "Origins." Parang out of topic ako doon.
Anyway, thanks for this blog of yours. Since I discovered it last year, I sort of become privy of matters in our community that only a few know, leaving the rest unknowing. It also helped me discern as to where I should affiliate with, reading the thoughts of others & esp. watching those videos.
This blog is very helpful for us too who live abroad (I live in Europe). Dissemination of memos are a lot faster. Having said that,do I have to ask permission from you if I print news releases or memos for our e-group here?

God bless.

Ernie said...

CD,
Thanks for your Prayers....
I need every prayers (for physical & spiritual strength) in the remaining days of my life.

ErnieS

C.D. said...

To emdeesch:

Greetings to our Europe based brothers and sisters!


The memos and releases don't belong to me, I am just passing them on myself. By all means, print and pass them on too!

God Bless,

CD

TruthShallSetYouFree said...

as the saying goes...

big brother said...

"No one should be called the founder" this was written by our beloved bro. frank in his letter "CFC-GK3". Why is it that he never have the guts to correct out brother and sisters in FFL to stop calling him the founder. As true leader of Christ must walk his talk. Kaya kuya Frank, WALK YOUR TALK. Now I ask you.... are you the founder of not?

Anonymous said...

I was a CFC Member
I was an FFL member

When I became a CFC member, a dear friend painstakingly took time and with great patience gave me all details I needed to know about CFC in 1988. So one day grudgingly, me and my wife sat with other strangers in that program called CLP.

Soon I became "hooked" on the CLP talks and all the subsequent teachings, the most memorable for me and my wife were talks in "Sex In Marriage" of MER II and "The Power to See" & "The Power to Love" of the Power Weekend.

When we moved to Europe, we experienced the warmth of the members who received us in CFC as if we've been long time friends.

Now we're back in Manila, when we were just beginning to see the beauty and the rational of doing Gawad Kalinga...when suddenly this this resignation of FAP, TM & LA happened. We were sad.

But our Chapter Head wrote & invited us to FFL.

Now I read this story on the beginnings of CFC and I find it hard to accept what I've been told... that FAP is the 'Founder' of CFC.

In one of the masses we attended with FFL, one Bishop celebrant praised FAP to high heavens, sounding as if the FRancisCO of Antipolo, my leader is also a saint. While the homily of this celebrant was going on, I almost walked out, except that I remembered that someone was riding with us to go home.

So slowly with much prayer and tears... I am moving out of FFL.

I am doing so because much of what FFL does really bothers me....like they require us to attend FFL gatherings which are timed similarly to the CFC major events. I did nto like the the "coincidence" of the Ultra event last January after I realized that CFC was doing something at Araneta.

I did not like what I heard what we, in FFL, did to CFC in the booking of our February event when such dates actually were the dates reserved by CFC for their Disciples Weekend in CAP-Baguio. I am sad we are repeating the practice for the events of Handmaids of the Lord.

Then a few days back, I heard that our FFL leaders for the SIBOL got all the ramining balance of the CFC EFI Bank account under immoral and inconsiderate ways.

I am terribly bothered to be in FFL where our leaders seem to have developed a congenital anger towards everything that sounds CFC. I am bothered by the "new leadership" of FAP-- who seems to be hell bent on acquiring the title "Founder of CFC" when the such claim seems to far from the truth.

I was just praying and wishing that we in FFL could have simply declared that the LOrd, Jesus Christ is the 'Founder of CFC' and the 'Keeper of the Charism'; but I see no effort towards that direction...so my waiting for that time seems futile, and it is slowly building up an anger in me. Before I fall into the 'current mold' of the leaders of FFL who are close to FAP... I think I will just quit.

meantime, I am saying lots and lots of prayers before I call the CFC Sector that my wife and I left. Perhaps I will do that after the Holy Week.

Anonymous said...

I was a CFC Member
I was an FFL member

When I became a CFC member, a dear friend painstakingly took time and with great patience gave me all details I needed to know about CFC in 1988. So one day grudgingly, me and my wife sat with other strangers in that program called CLP.

Soon I became "hooked" on the CLP talks and all the subsequent teachings, the most memorable for me and my wife were talks in "Sex In Marriage" of MER II and "The Power to See" & "The Power to Love" of the Power Weekend.

When we moved to Europe, we experienced the warmth of the members who received us in CFC as if we've been long time friends.

Now we're back in Manila, when we were just beginning to see the beauty and the rational of doing Gawad Kalinga...when suddenly this this resignation of FAP, TM & LA happened. We were sad.

But our Chapter Head wrote & invited us to FFL.

Now I read this story on the beginnings of CFC and I find it hard to accept what I've been told... that FAP is the 'Founder' of CFC.

In one of the masses we attended with FFL, one Bishop celebrant praised FAP to high heavens, sounding as if the FRancisCO of Antipolo, my leader is also a saint. While the homily of this celebrant was going on, I almost walked out, except that I remembered that someone was riding with us to go home.

So slowly with much prayer and tears... I am moving out of FFL.

I am doing so because much of what FFL does really bothers me....like they require us to attend FFL gatherings which are timed similarly to the CFC major events. I did nto like the the "coincidence" of the Ultra event last January after I realized that CFC was doing something at Araneta.

I did not like what I heard what we, in FFL, did to CFC in the booking of our February event when such dates actually were the dates reserved by CFC for their Disciples Weekend in CAP-Baguio. I am sad we are repeating the practice for the events of Handmaids of the Lord.

Then a few days back, I heard that our FFL leaders for the SIBOL got all the ramining balance of the CFC EFI Bank account under immoral and inconsiderate ways.

I am terribly bothered to be in FFL where our leaders seem to have developed a congenital anger towards everything that sounds CFC. I am bothered by the "new leadership" of FAP-- who seems to be hell bent on acquiring the title "Founder of CFC" when the such claim seems to far from the truth.

I was just praying and wishing that we in FFL could have simply declared that the LOrd, Jesus Christ is the 'Founder of CFC' and the 'Keeper of the Charism'; but I see no effort towards that direction...so my waiting for that time seems futile, and it is slowly building up an anger in me. Before I fall into the 'current mold' of the leaders of FFL who are close to FAP... I think I will just quit.

meantime, I am saying lots and lots of prayers before I call the CFC Sector that my wife and I left. Perhaps I will do that after the Holy Week.

emdeesch said...

Dear CD,

A contact in Rome told me yesterday,that FP is going there to meet with the Vatican officials this week or maybe April(?). From hearsay, I was told that the Vatican (with interpreters around to be sure that nothing be misunderstood) is trying to mend the tear between us and will only recognize one CFC!

Did the FFL,with the prefix CFC, apply for Vatican recognition?

In any way, if Vatican can settle this case, then, I will welcome my dear bros.& sisters back "home," with open arms,with a heart oozing with love & with a "forgive & forget attitude." Because that is what Jesus commanded us to do.

"Thy will be done,Lord."

i-can'-tbelive-it's-real-utter said...

I eagerly await the next issue. For the following reasons:
1) I want to know what happened in 1993. Why did CFC leave Ligaya?
2) I want to know if the split was really amicable as Frank mentioned in his article?
3) I want to know what is the reason behind all the cover up, why do we know of these facts only now?
4) I want to know if it was a deliberate act on the part of our elders at the time of the split to downplay the role of Ligaya in the founding of CFC?
5) I want to know who were the CFC leaders involved in 1993 who were behind the decision to spin off CFC from Ligaya?
6)I want to know what is the reason why Frank Padilla today refuses to 'give credit were credit is due'...
7) I want to know what happened between Fr Herb, Vic Gutierez and Frank Padilla in 1993?
8)I want to know why does Frank refuse to acknowledge that Fr Herb and Vic Gutierez were instrumental in the founding of CFC?
9) I want to know- (if CFC and Ligaya had a reconciliation before the silver anniversary) - how come the article (re-founder)shows an apparent feeling of disdain on the part of Frank Padilla towards his former elders?
10) I want to know who is telling the truth and who is telling a lie?

I want to know all these and I want to know, pronto!

Anonymous said...

Kapatid anonymous who wrote "I was a CFC Member
I was an FFL member"

Please come back to CFC. Be victorious, dont let satan win with this trials in our community.

morningGlory said...

It was announced in a chapter gathering in TO that FP intends to change the FFL structure. The Top leader will be the 'Supreme Head' (FP) and he will assign twelve disciples.......almost fell down from my chair laughing when i heard this....still needs to be verified but .... a lot of heads turned and comments made by FFL members after the announcement.

Have a good weekend.....and happy blogging.

a-men said...

I am a 'Historiography' student. To understand the "ROOTS,ORIGINS OF COUPLES FOR CHRIST", I simplified the data:

July 19, 1975
Ligaya ng Panginoon became the leading group in the charismatic renewal movement

1979
two weekly charismatic prayer meetings (Assumption Convent and Christ the King Seminary)

1980
coordinators of LnP led by Fr Herb Schneider, S.J., directed Vic Gutierrez, to design an outreach program that can be offered to married couples towards a renewed Catholic life.
Nov 1980
1st group- 6 couples finished this new outreach program (LSS style)

1981
2nd group- 16 couples attend the first Christian Life Program
May 1981
Vic Gutierez wrote covenant that would be used at the closing of the CLP
June 1981
-Vic and Agnes Gutierrez with his team led the 16 couples in the reading of their covenant to the Couples for Christ.
-A family life outreach of Ligaya ng Panginoon community was born.
-Frank and Gerry Padilla (one of the 16 graduates)
-16 couples were divided into 4 cell groups called households.
-Vic and Agnes trained four couples from the Ligaya to serve as the first household heads
End of 1981
-CFC had a total of 34 couples

1982
-160 couples

1983
-Vic Gutierrez formed and trained pastoral team composed of 8 men, to help him lead and manage the growing movement.
-Frank Padilla was a part of Pastoral team
-Vic brought the team to a weekend planning session
-Vic Gutierez wrote the CFC’s Statement of Mission
-Raul Sarceda wrote the Statement of Philosophy
-Vic and his team developed CFC programs into what was termed as “exportable packages”.
-Raul Sarceda was appointed by Vic as the first Executive Director of CFC developed the manuals of the CFC programs:
1) the CLP Manual,
2) the Household Heads’ Manual,
3) the Marriage Enrichment Manual
4) other teaching courses.
-CFC International was formed using start up kit( manuals and audio teaching tapes)

1983
-upon the advice of the Ligaya Body of Coordinators, CFC was registered as a non-stock, non-profit corporation at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under the name:
Couples for Christ Foundation Inc.
-CFC spread to the provinces and then to other countries.

1985
-Frank Padilla is appointed 2nd CFC executive director to replace Raul Sarceda

------end of origins part1------

Fact:
1980-1981- Conception of CFC
*Incharge Ligaya (Fr Herb/Vic)

Fact:
1981- Birth of CFC
In-charge (Vic and team)
*Participant- Frank and 15 other couples

Fact:
1983- 2 years after birth of CFC
- start of corporate CFC
- pastoral team formed
Head Pastoral Team- Vic Gutierrez 1st exec dir- Raul Sarceda
*Member Pastoral Team: Frank Padilla

Fact:
1985- 5 years from conception
4 years after birth of CFC *Frank Padilla became 2nd exec dir

It will be safe therefore to conclude that:

The origin of CFC is Ligaya ng Panginoon Covenanted Community

The roots of the CFC was planted by Vic Gutierez.

The Holy Spirit provided the sun and the rain for it to grow.

The farmer is Frank who worked from sunrise to sunset, tilling the ground around the tree.

Alas, one day he looked at the tree. He looks and looks and thinks, ..."ahhh but this tree is veering away!" Not pleased with how the tree looks, he takes out a piece of rope. He sharpens his saw and his pruning shears. Today he is busy with a new project. He wants to restore back the tree to its original form!

Poor CFC, it is confronted by the farmer who prefers a bonsai tree!

Dear Lord deliver us from this farmer...

Amen.

solidyfc said...

Hello po titos and titas, I was here on this blog 1 or 2 weeks after it started running

And I was an observer to all, I read some statements and stuff. And Titos titas be assured :) The Vatican would recognize only one CFC and that is the original CFC. ALam niu na po kung ano un ;) got it from a source

So, Titos and TItas, try to read this blog on true Fasting for lent and read it not with hatred but out of love :) Just try reading it :)

http://www.cfcfflcanada.org/Homepage/TrueFasting.html

for the season of lent!!! Happy Easter everyone


solidyfc
yfc uae cluster B

Anonymous said...

Full marks to'Origins' for its terrifically lucid presentation of CFC's genuine history. No pedantry, no self-aggrandizement. Just a simple re-telling of one of God's greatest gifts to the Filipino people and to the world. CFC is really God's work, but some men's delusions.The former: exquisite. The latter: pathetic.

bourghams said...

I have been a follower of the blog since 2007 crisis. In fact, I sourced truth materials from the site in leading our sector in the province to our God-given journey, "... from crisis to where Christ is!" The Lord led us to the journey in a spirit-filled HH mtg sometime in 2007 to give us track to pursue in deciding on the split. Our discernment led us to stay with the Lord in CFC realizing then that it is Christ who should be the basis of our decision and not anybody else. With that, we received so much affirmation from Him and we even documented our processes in a sector booklet to be shared to our brethrens and families marking our journey in the CFC history of the province.

Today, lo and behold, I am even more and more and more convinced and affirmed on our decision to stay with Him in CFC. The historical perspective gave me so much confidence and understanding of what me and my wife are as CFC. It made our lives in the community more complete knowing the roots and directions. Knowing our true being. Indeed, we are affirmed today.

Truly, I admired a leader in the past who became my inspiration as I follow all his books and directions. But with the split-up, now I could not understand him ... and their directions. Though I pray for them.

What happened today as I read the first part of the CFC history, we felt so affirmed by Christ Himself. True enough, Christ is the reason for our being... we will forever be Couples for CHRIST... for Him alone and no one else! Everything started from Him and goes on through Him... for CHRIST, for life!

Bourghams

nangarapmagpari said...

super inggit me sa inyo mga bros and sis.

hanggang ngayon pinagaawayan pa rin natin ang pagsisilbi sa iisang Diyos.

after a century, lilipas ang mga mortal na buhay natin, then what? 2 taon (and counting) naging manipis ang service natin kay God dahil inuna natin ang pagtatalo kung cno talaga ang "founder," "starter," "pinagkakautangan natin ng loob," "charism keeper," "recognized-by-plaque leader," etc., etc. 2 years nagpa
patigasan tayo ng prinsipyo, 2 years natin pinagdedebatehan kung cno ang tama at kung cno ang mali. after a century, the only recognition that will survive is the recognition that we all serve one God.

let's go back to reality. wag kayong magpadala sa mga sappy notes. and may i suggest - why don't we all go for the Book? the real Word of God?

after consulting the Book and doing what is written, then and only then we could say that we are right and on the right path of eternal salvation. praises and thanks to You, Jesus, our Lord and Savior.

Sleepless in NJ said...

As a teacher, I encourage my student to generalize what they have learned in my classroom and in their text books. I encourage my student to apply them in their lives.

Same goes with God's word...
Same goes with Christ's Teachings...

This medium or forum is full of such application and generalization.

When the Good Book talked about Righteous Anger... many have shared their comments and have expressed their correction in this community.

When the Good Book talked about forgiveness... many shared their compassion, kindness, and mercy to those who have hurt them.

When the Good Book teaches about Humility... Many have humbled their views and asked for understanding and forgiveness.

When Christ ask us to love...
many have opened their hearts to who are in need. Many have forgiven those who have wronged them.

In churches and communities throughout the world, we are encouraged to testify and give witness to the Living Word of God that the Good Book are more than words written in paper... it is the living application of our spiritual journey.

As a Christian, I have learned a lot from others thru this medium. I am humbled by their sharing and hopeful by their complete trust in God.

Your Sharing (positive or negative) may not be significant to many... but could be significant to one.

Anonymous said...

CFC name is for CFC only.

Vic G is the founder of CFC.

Need some more affirmations?

If not, go back to work.

Anonymous said...

bros & sis, i firmly believe, Christ is the Founder of CFC, all the rest were just instruments. Whoever claims to be the founder... i pray for his enlightenment. Happy Easter! - bro ariel EB-2a

Anonymous said...

"Whatever comes our way, whatever battle raging inside us, we always have a choice... It's the choices that make us who we are and we can always choose to do what is right."

Peter Parker, Spiderman III

garnet said...

Happy Easter everyone!!! It was truly a time of reflection this Holy week. A small group of us parishioners had a sharing after the way of the cross- I realized that i had truly been affected by "close "friends who have organized,and set up the corporation of FFL. Whenever I think of the damage it has done to all of us, I just don't want to have anything to do with them. But the reflection says : forgive... I certainly need a lot of Grace from our Lord to be able to forgive, and forget!

Anonymous said...

I often hear of 'FAP-The Founder of FFL's' mis-adventures in the Philippine provinces.

What are these? We who are FFL [ako at saka tatlo pa ng mga lider dito] here abroad can not but be concerned because to be honest we only were told that you in CFC have disobeyed the Bishops and that you have tolerated the use of condoms in the GK areas.

Some of us here in FFL are beginning to worry that what we might be getting from our FFL leaders are all one sided.

Now we hear that FAP, our beloved founder was embarrassed by some priests in some Philippine province because he could not reply straight away that he sort of maligned the CLERGY with his book, "Friend or Foe". Totoo ba ito?

Or that one province prepared a basketball gym as venue for the 'thousands' who were raring to come to listen to our founder [not yours!] speak, but only 14 persons came; sayang daw yung packed meals that were prepared. Ano ba talaga, kuyA?

In the interest of truth will you please enlighten us?

Thank you.

[Sorry I have to write anonymously for PEACE in our HOME. My son is with you in CFC; his parents in law are with CFC in USA ...but I have to be in FFL...kasi my wife says "friend daw niya si GERRY Padilla" kahit one time lang namin hi-nost dito. Sa Manila nga last June, hindi kami pinansin! But I have to remain faithful to my wife, even with this shortcoming...kasi ako marami din sala!]

CFC West C Sector said...

To nangarapmagpari:

wag pong mag-alala. hindi po napabayan ang gawain para sa Poong Maykapal.

makakaasa po kayo na sa aming lugar tuloy ang gawain at hindi kailanman inisang tabi ang pag-aaral at pag-namnam sa Mabuting Salita!

kaya nga po bukas ang aming mga pinto at bukal sa aming loob na akapin sino man nais makiisa muli ano pa man ang nakalipas.

Ikaw po ba ay handa rin makiisa?
handa rin mayakap muli?

Pag palain nawa tayo lahat ng Poong Maykapal!!

Grain said...

To Bro. Anonymous in FFL,

This is the same tack that FFL has used in some parts in Europe. In fact, the "disobedience" slant has mutated and taken on other forms, ad nauseam. In fact, some even went to the extent of saying that Frank Padilla was unceremoniously removed as a member of the International Council. I was at the MC gathering in Xavier Gym on February 20, 2007 when he announced his resignation. Clearly, the idea is to be vague and unclear and at the same time pretend to be the underdog to get sympathy votes!

Despite the attempts to bulldoze a beatiful gift from God that is our community, we continue to have faith in our God and carry on with spreading His love to everyone. Continue praying for His guidance, brother, and someday, God will reveal to you the truth.

Be blessed.

Anonymous said...

To: Bro. Anonymous in FFL

We were there too in Xavier School when Bro. Frank resigned in front of all MC members. He even said that we can now tap him as speaker for our CLP's and asked us to support the IC. They even prayed over the remaining IC.

Then this veering away issue confused us because most of us CFC members have not been part or what he accuses the original CFC of. Now we are being accused of veering away just because we stayed with the original CFC because we are not convinced of the issues he raised, because we have not seen the facts or the statistics to support the veering away issue and even if there has been veering away, we were taught to condemn the sin and not the sinner, ask forgiveness and to repent and correct the mistake. We were also taught to forgive 70 times or more. We were taught to keep our church or our community united always, just like our family. No matter how big the storm or the problem is, we are not supposed to leave our family behind. Leaving is not a solution for us. So we continue to work for our God through our CLP's, work with the poor, and services in our parishes.

Its so sad because we could have kept the name of CFC untainted or united. But now, when we evangelize, even if you are CFC or FFL hindi na ganun ang tingin ng tao sa atin. Sabi nila, kung kayo nga hindi nyo na keep united ang community nyo, paano kayo maging magandang halimbawa para sa iba? Tutuo, di ba?

God bless us all!

Anonymous said...

To: Bro. Anonymous in FFL

We were there too in Xavier School when Bro. Frank resigned in front of all MC members. He even said that we can now tap him as speaker for our CLP's and asked us to support the IC. They even prayed over the remaining IC.

Then this veering away issue confused us because most of us CFC members have not been part or what he accuses the original CFC of. Now we are being accused of veering away just because we stayed with the original CFC because we are not convinced of the issues he raised, because we have not seen the facts or the statistics to support the veering away issue and even if there has been veering away, we were taught to condemn the sin and not the sinner, ask forgiveness and to repent and correct the mistake. We were also taught to forgive 70 times or more. We were taught to keep our church or our community united always, just like our family. No matter how big the storm or the problem is, we are not supposed to leave our family behind. Leaving is not a solution for us. So we continue to work for our God through our CLP's, work with the poor, and services in our parishes.

Its so sad because we could have kept the name of CFC untainted or united. But now, when we evangelize, even if you are CFC or FFL hindi na ganun ang tingin ng tao sa atin. Sabi nila, kung kayo nga hindi nyo na keep united ang community nyo, paano kayo maging magandang halimbawa para sa iba? Tutuo, di ba?

God bless us all!

athrun atreides said...

Dear brothers and sisters (on both sides),

I encourage everyone to LOVE THE EARTH (as we LOVE ONE ANOTHER) by participating in the EARTH HOUR event.

On March 29 (Saturday), from 8:00pm to 9:00pm, everyone is encouraged to turn off all lights and even switch off all electronic equipment in their homes, schools, and offices. This is part of an advocacy to combat global warming.

(While we're at it, why not light a candle for the reunification of CFC and FFL? It's been 407 days, I hope our leaders are not waiting for Day 1000.)

Thanks, God bless to all!!!

athrun atreides said...

Dear brothers and sisters (on both sides):

Let us show our LOVE FOR EARTH (just as we LOVE ONE ANOTHER) by participating in the EARTH HOUR event.

On March 29 (Saturday), from 8:00pm to 9:00pm, everyone is encouraged to turn off their lights and even their electrical equipment in their homes, schools, offices, and other places.

This is an advocacy to help combat global warming as well as reduce the production of pollutants coming from energy production.

(While we're at it, why not light a candle for the reconciliation and reunification of CFC and FFL?)

Visit the website: www.earthhour.org

Thank you and God bless us all!!!

Deo Volente said...

To athrun atreides,

You are veering away from our main mission of evangelization. Not that there's anything wrong with it but if you really want to focus on the environment, then let CFC be an "environmental ministry".

Just kidding, bro! :-)

Thanks for people like you, our planet might have hope for our children.

Yes, you can evangelize and be spiritual yet still caring for the environment or the poor people at the same time. Don't let other people tell you otherwise. :-)

No offense meant. Let's just take things easy and have a laugh. We're all in this together.

May the Lord be praised!

Out Spying for Condoms said...

Anonymous in FFL said:

"We who are FFL [ako at saka tatlo pa ng mga lider dito] here abroad can not but be concerned because to be honest we only were told that you in CFC ... .... have tolerated the use of condoms in the GK areas."

What? Wow...this is being told to FFL communities overseas? As someone who resides in Manila this kind of thing truly saddens me.

While it's a very creative invention, it's certainly not a worthy thing to say. Apart from the fact that CFC volunteers have not been deployed to every GK village street corner to spy on people and make sure they don't ever buy a condom, there's no basis for such maligning statements.

Of course we can't be spying on GK villagers, but neither can we be spying on each other in CFC to make sure no one buys a condom - all we can do is encourage each other in CFC and in GK villages to follow the Church's teaching - something that is surely done in the GK provision of teaching on NFP, noh.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous in FFL said:

"We who are FFL [ako at saka tatlo pa ng mga lider dito] here abroad can not but be concerned because to be honest we only were told that you in CFC ... .... have tolerated the use of condoms in the GK areas."


I have been to many GK Villages (Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao) since 2005 as a GK volunteer and never was the use of condoms tolerated. In every village I was involved with (100% of them) there was always the presence of CFC that was never denied or hidden from the beneficiaries. CFC was always very prominent, even in Mindanao like in Lanao. The culture of CFC was always a part of the villages.

WillyJ said...

Vatican admonishes Couples for Christ over Gawad Kalinga

??? Any comments?

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/topofthehour.aspx?StoryId=115222

Anonymous said...

The latest conflict in the CFC aggravated when Tony Meloto won the Ramon Magsaysay Award, as primary leader of Gawad Kalinga. Frank Padilla and his followers thought he should be a co-awardee. This was not possible anymore since the winners were already announced. To appease Frank Padilla and his followers, the Gawad Kalinga received also the Ramon Magsaysay award as an institution. But unfortunately, this was not enough for Frank Padilla's pride and his followers. Now, they are doing the same tactic what they did to Ligaya ng Panginoon. They should not be allowed to use the name of CFC because they are giving CFC a bad name.