Blessed to Serve

(by Marie Relucio, CFC SFL)

“The Lord is saying to you:  the greatest gift you can make to the Church and to the world is holiness.” – Blessed John Paul II

Last October 29, CFC-FFL enjoyed the privilege of being the production team-in-charge for the event “Blessed: A Call To Holiness” at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.  The Diocese of Cubao, together with the Araneta Center, put together this musical concert and liturgical celebration in honor of Blessed John Paul II, whose appointed feast day is every October 22.

It was an afternoon filled with beautiful memories of the Pope’s visits to the Philippines, with stirring musical performances by various youth groups and inspiring testimonials from people who knew the beloved pope.  One of the speakers was our very own Spiritual Director, Rev. Fr. Francis Gustilo SDB, who also took the opportunity to promote the Liturgical Bible Study as a way to strengthen family life through the study of God’s Word.   Other speakers were Henrietta “Tita” de Villa, former ambassador to the Vatican, and Jo Grafil, former executive director of the World Youth Day.

One segment that was especially touching was when the official theme song of the World Youth Day (WYD 1995 ), “Tell The World Of His Love”, was sang by the Holy Family Parish Youth Ministry (Diocese of Pasig).  Everybody in the audience spontaneously rose to their feet and began to sing with animation as if re-living that WYD moment when Blessed John Paul II was with us.

The occasion also marked the launching of a theme song specially composed to remind us of Blessed John Paul II’s teaching that we are all called to a life of holiness.  The song, entitled “Call Us To You”, is a collaboration of Ryan Cayabyab who composed the melody and Fr. Manoling Francisco, SJ, who wrote the lyrics.  The Anima Quartet led by soloist Michael Shimamoto sang the beautiful piece at the event.

Prior to the concert, Bishop Ongtioco blessed a marker at the green gate of the Coliseum, a place that the blessed pope himself declared on February 18, 1981 as the “colosseo of papal audiences”.

The program was concluded with a solemn Eucharistic Celebration presided by Bishop Ongtioco concelebrated by some clergy and in the presence of His Eminence Jose Cardinal Sanchez.

Blessed John Paul II has once again touched our lives that afternoon.  For CFC-FFL, we were truly blessed to serve at “Blessed:  A Call To Holiness”, as we continue to live out our core values, specifically, of being a servant to the Church.  May Blessed John Paul II intercede for us as we strive for holiness everyday.