LCSC AND CFC-FFL

Read Propositions of the Synod of Bishops first.

LCSC IN SERVICE TO GOD AND CHURCH

 

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LCSC AND CFC-FFL

 

      How does LCSC intersect with CFC-FFL? It should not be about competition or mutual exclusion but about collaboration and synergy.

LCSC is intended to be a work separate from that of CFC-FFL. LCSC is not an outreach of CFC-FFL, nor is it a fishing pool for CFC-FFL. There is no recruitment into CFC-FFL. It is just the privilege of CFC-FFL to have given birth to LCSC, and of course it will be CFC-FFL brethren who will spearhead LCSC in the parishes.

For us in CFC-FFL, the relevant questions would be: (1) How do we respond to the call to the New Evangelization? (2) How do we give much more of ourselves in order to serve Christ and his Church? (3) How do we get deeper into the heart of the Catholic Church? The more self-giving we are, the less focused we are on ourselves rather than Christ, the more we empty ourselves for the sake of Christ, the more we are willing to die in order that there might be greater life for others, then that is the right path. That is looking to the cross on the road.

 

Since LCSC is a movement and CFC-FFL is a community, there is a need for both. CFC-FFL will provide much deeper formation that will be needed if one is to live Christ. LCSC’s basic focus is bringing Catholics back to Christ and to an active life in the parish. Once parishioners are in, it is up to the parish to provide further formation and support as needed. If such is not available in the parish, then LCSC can also provide these.

LCSC does not need huge resources from CFC-FFL. In fact, just one well-experienced leader can conduct the parish program with minimal support (music, registration, etc.). Eventually, parishioners will get involved. CFC-FFL is an initiator, but LCSC is a work for and by the parish. In fact, we do not favor huge CFC-FFL service teams, as it might appear to parishioners that it is actually just CFC-FFL under the guise of a different name.

One concern is that CFC-FFL members would opt to just be in LCSC in the parish rather than in CFC-FFL because of the easier commitment, so we would lose members. If that is the case, that is not a problem. In fact it would be good. Those who are not meant to be in deeper community involvement would leave CFC-FFL, and spare us the pastoral resources needed to take care of problematic members. Instead of lying low because they cannot keep up with the commitment, they will now be active in their parishes through LCSC. Those who are left in CFC-FFL are the more committed ones, who appreciate the vision for the community.

There will be LCSC members who will look for further formation and support in the different parish groups. CFC-FFL would be one of those groups.

 

There are a number of benefits LCSC provides for CFC-FFL:

(1) LCSC enables CFC-FFL to have a renewed response to the Great Commission. LCSC is pure, raw, basic evangelization.

It is not for recruitment to a particular community, but rather “recruitment” back to the Church through the parishes. As such, it is untainted by any bit of selfishness, pride, competitiveness, or disunity.

It helps fulfill the Great Commission, the final marching orders of Jesus to his disciples and his church. Jesus’ command is to proclaim the good news, and not necessarily to bring people into particular communities. For CFC-FFL, it is its privilege to use its 31 years of experience at the service of the LCSC movement.

 

(2) LCSC re-energizes the CFC-FFL base. As it is now, CFC-FFL evangelization has stalled. God raised CFC for massive evangelization. But, as with the body, if one limb is constantly not being used, it weakens, atrophies and even loses its functionality. If CFC-FFL does not do massive evangelization, for whatever reason, then the gift or charism is endangered. LCSC provides a fresh wind.[1] CFC-FFL members who have not been having any evangelistic activity can now participate and be energized once again.

 

(3) LCSC makes use of the accumulated wisdom and experience of 31 years, especially in those brethren who are now older.[2] LCSC, while open to all to serve in and not excluding anyone, has a preferential option for the older brethren (60s and up). Thus it can use those who are retired, who are tired, who cannot travel far from their home, who have time on their hands, whose spouses have gone ahead, who have an empty nest. In other words, life does not end at 60 or 65, but rather, with LCSC, an exciting “new” life begins. After 31 years we have a lot of these brethren. The whole Catholic world has just opened up for them, particularly within the smaller confines of their parishes.

Further, moving the older brethren on in this way makes room for the younger generation of leaders of CFC-FFL (those around the 50s and those around the 35s) to take over key positions. Youth brings greater vigor with physical and mental strength. If CFC-FFL was growing rapidly, there would be room for all the leaders of all ages. But with growth slow, LCSC enables CFC-FFL to bring the younger leaders to the forefront, without having to resort to retiring the older leaders.

 

(4) LCSC brings back rapid and massive evangelization that tries to reach everyone. While with CFC the whole world would be the object of evangelization, in reality such would be limited due to the proliferation of religious groups, parish ministries and ecclesial movements, as well as the opposition or lukewarm acceptance by parish priests. With LCSC we see the enthusiastic response of parish priests and parishioners starting with parish leaders. With LCSC, being embraced by the parish priest, with strong support by parish leaders, evangelization can shift to rapid and massive mode and potentially reach every Catholic in the parishes.

 

(5) LCSC helps CFC-FFL focus on its particular charism, and in the process, not get bogged down by pastoral problems.

CFC-FFL is called to evangelization within the context of family renewal. As such, a community needed to be built, with its structures, leadership, formation, events, etc. All these brought pastoral challenges and problems. When there was no LCSC, CFC-FFL would evangelize and then bring those who finish the CLS into the community. All would then follow the pastoral track, be taken care of, and leaders developed and trained for the work. But while everyone should be evangelized, not everyone who is brought back to Christ is meant to be part of community life such as that of CFC-FFL. Just consider the over one million persons who have left CFC over the decades for whatever reason. So while every lapsed Catholic is to be brought back to Christ, that can just be in the context of the parish.

LCSC thus enables CFC-FFL to do rapid and massive evangelization, casting a wide net that accepts all, while being more strategic in whom to bring in to a more committed life in community. It then does not insist on holding on to people who were not meant in the first place to be there. These are the brethren who cause pastoral difficulties, because a square peg is being fitted into a round hole.

By the way, in LCSC we are encountering those former CFCs and they are joining the movement. There is a lie-low army of one million brethren out there in the parishes that can be tapped!

 

(6) LCSC forces CFC-FFL to do strategic, person-to-person evangelization, which has always been its special gift. Since parish announcements are done by LCSC, CFC-FFL would no longer rely on such. As it should be, CFC-FFL members need to actively and prayerfully identify, talk with, pray for and convince prospective participants for the CLS.

Such action will actually strengthen CFC-FFL. Every Christian needs not only to meet Christ (via the CLS), to live Christ (via community or parish), but also to share Christ. This latter is not just what the community as a whole does, but what each and every CFC-FFL member should be doing.

 

(7) LCSC will facilitate building the Church of the Poor. The majority of Catholics in the Philippines (and in the world) are poor. The Church has a preferential option for the poor.

Many poor people actually have a hard time living the life of CFC-FFL. They do not have the homes, time and even money for household meetings. They have difficulty going out of their way to attend assemblies and conferences. Having the programs and activities in the parish, and later even right there in their local chapels, makes it much easier for them. Thus LCSC will ultimately be the one to do grassroots evangelization in the parishes.

 

(8) LCSC is a move deeper into the heart of the Catholic Church. According to the eternal plan of God, CFC has moved in stages deeper into the heart of the Church–from being transparochial and ecumenically-minded in 1981, to being a parallel ecclesial reality in 1993, to being a servant to the Church in 2007, and now to doing generic evangelization for the benefit of parishes in 2011. One fruit of this is merging the often discordant realities of new ecclesial movements and the institutional Church.

 

(9) LCSC is a concrete response by CFC-FFL to the New Evangelization. Many do not understand what the New Evangelization is about, and even more do not know how to respond to this modern-day prophetic call. As such, we will be seeing more of the same activities, including wonderful Church congresses and official documents and the Year of this and that, which actually had not strengthened nor expanded the Church through the years, but rather made her more under threat by the tsunami of evil that has overwhelmed the world. LCSC, in its goal of mainstreaming Catholic lay evangelization, may provide a part of the answer.

 


[1] One parish had no CLS for the whole of 2012, but when LCSC CLS was mounted, 41 parishioners finished, and more CLSs are planned.

[2] Aside from having more free time generally to be involved in parish life, older brethren can more easily be granted respect by parish priests and parish leaders, simply due to age.

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