“Have you learned to love the poor? How do you reach out to them?”
These are just a few of the questions reflected upon by the top CFC leaders who attended the Mission with the Poor Retreat (MWPR) on February 25-26, 2022 via Zoom.
Not just the ‘responsible poor’
But it wouldn’t be long before the attendees were faced with a more provocative question: “Do we love all the poor—and not just the hardworking poor?”
In session 4, Rudy Gaspillo, ANCOP Chairman, stressed one of the highlight lessons of the retreat: “We don’t just love the ‘responsible poor’ or the ‘hardworking poor’… We love all the poor because they have a special place in God’s heart.”
He also emphasized that people who help the poor will never regret it. According to Bro. Rudy, “Even if we don’t deserve to be repaid, God makes sure that no good deed is left unnoticed.” But what moved many hearts during the session was when he shared his personal story of rising up from poverty as a son of a sugar cane laborer who quickly found success after landing a college scholarship.
Embracing the mission of loving the poor
The retreat comprised four sessions:
- “Church of the Poor” delivered by Bro. George Campos;
- “Caring for the Person in Need’ by Bro. Jimmy Ilagan;
- “Sharing for the Common Good’ by Bro. Bboy Arguelles; and
- “A Future Full of Hope” by Bro. Rudy Gaspillo
Couple sharers also told stories from their personal experiences that led them to embrace the mission with the poor. It was a time for reminiscing about their memories as volunteers, as someone who has helped others, and even as someone who has also received help.
“Even if we don’t deserve to be repaid, God makes sure that no good deed is left unnoticed.“
Corporal & spiritual acts of mercy
To deepen the learnings from the MWPR even more, the participants were left with a 21-day challenge of putting their faith into action through the corporal and spiritual acts of mercy.
The MWPR aims to deepen the attendees’ understanding of the social teachings of the Church and how, we, as members of the Church should relate to our poor brethren.