VISIT AND IMMERSION OF THE CLERGY
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Below the wonderful structure of Our Lady of Banneux in San Mateo Rizal lies a community founded through the helping hands of ANCOP and its sponsors. The said community is also the venue for the immersion of the priests attending the Clergy-Lay Congress as part of the celebration of CFC’s 36th Anniversary. Among the attendees are: Fr. Richard Ssajabbi of Uganda; Fr. Francis Fang of China; Fr. Raymond Mwale of Malawi; Fr. Casmir Uwumukisa of Rwanda; Fr. Martin Mcdermott of Ireland; Bishop Luis De Leon of Swaziland and His Imminence, Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier of South Africa, who also officiated the concelebrated mass.
Fr. Benedict Lagarde of the Diocese of Antipolo, shared in his homily that: “When we speak of the Couples for Christ’s way and the ANCOP way of loving, it means loving in the concrete. And loving in the concrete means providing roof over people’s heads”. With this, he pointed out that the opportunities and works through ANCOP are manifestation of the Lord’s love and the love of the workers and volunteers to the people. “They try to defect praises for them, because if you asked them, they’ll say: It is not really for us, it is for God. And that is the ANCOP way.”
The mass was followed with words from Bro. Jimmy Ilagan, the chairman of CFC ANCOP Global Foundation, Inc. He narrated to the priests how ANCOP lend its hands to the poor and how they were inspired by the Lord to continue their doings. “It is not only that we are giving the love of the Lord through these practical ways, but we are also giving this opportunities to make God known to his children. This is our way of evangelization, this is our way to share Christ.”
A brief history of the ANCOP-OLB community and its achievements for the past years was introduced by the CFC-ANCOP head of MM West B, Bro. Warren Isaguirre. He shared the story of the Our Lady of Banneux and how it became as an inspiration to build homes and dreams through the livelihood and education programs of ANCOP. Testimonies were also heard during the visit. It is from two of the Child Sponsorship Program beneficiary: Sheann Rodriguez- AGW sponsored, and Angela Malapote- Kuwait sponsored. Stories from homes was also shared through Bro Francis Omar Francisco, a home partner in the community.
Cardinal Napier, on his inspirational message shared an unbelievable story that reminds the people that they would be given a chance from hopelessness to a new way life. “The thing that we must always remember about God is the sign of the heart, the sacred heart. Because it is through the love of God that we can do this things.”
Lastly, the priests has been able to watch presentations from the ANCOP scholars; the young ones with a folk dance and a song from John Earl Vincent Saplay. They also had the chance to interact with the home partners and residents scholars and visit the homes within the vicinity.
By Diana Mendoza
Tala Leprosarium in Caloocan City is one of the eight in the country which serves as a sanitarium and hospital for patients with leprosy. Leprosy or Hansen's disease (HD) is curable and declared eliminated as a public health concern. However, patients and even those who have long recovered continue to be regarded as “unclean” and faced discrimination by the society and even by their own families.
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