CFC FFL Laguna, Diocese of San Pablo echoed “Strength in God” Weekend Retreat last October 23, 2011 at Lina-Lajara Hall Calamba, Laguna. It was a one whole day retreat attended by 383 participants coming from different Clusters and Chapters in the whole province of Laguna. Participants swarmed the venue as early as 7:00 AM with excitement and eagerness as they register and claim their kit.
Ed and Jackie Aribon, Core Team member and Family Ministry Coordinator led the recitation of the Rosary. After the community singing of the Magnificat and prayers of our Consecration to our Lady of Mediatrix Ben and Nimfa Faller, Core team member and Social/WWP coordinator offered flowers while Hail Mary was being sung.
A powerful opening Worship led by Ben Faller accompanied by the Laguna Band headed by Allan Soliman set the tuned and marked the start of the retreat proper.
The first talk entitled “The Fervor of His First Love Our Call and Destiny” was delivered by Pat Oconer, Work With The Poor International Coordinator. Taken from Isaiah 49:1 “The Lord called me from birth from my mother’s womb he gave me my name.”
Second talk entitled “Living out our call” from Isaiah 49:3 “You are my servant, he said to me, Israel, through whom I show my glory” was delivered by Jay Pangan with gusto and with much participation from the participants.
Tony Espino delivered the third talk “Looking to God’s Strength” from Isaiah 49:4 “Through I had toiled in vain and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength, yet my reward is with the Lord, my recompense is with my God.” The sharing of Egay and Iyam Reyes on how they survived with their “5 in 1” trials and adversities manifested the grace of looking to God’s strength.
Immediately after the third talk was the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Renewal of marriage bow was incorporated. There was exposition and veneration of the Blessed Sacrament and everybody experienced God’s real presence at that very moment.
The last session, “Our Marriage as God’s Stronghold” from Isaiah 49:6 “It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and restore the survivors of Israel; I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth” was delivered by Rey Sotelo, Core Team member and Singles For Family & Life coordinator.
The retreat ended with participants in standing ovation – singing and dancing, worshiping the Lord and inside their hearts “everything’s in order in God who strengthens us.”