More than 50,000 Catholics celebrate Saskatoon Asian News Manila – “Be bearer of Christ in families, church and the world,” said Card Fox Napier, archbishop of Durban (South Africa), at the end of the celebrations marking the 36th anniversary of Couples for Christ (CFC), a lay Catholic movement dedicated to families.

“CFC is God’s gift to the world and it is committed to renew family life,” said the cardinal in his address to the 50,000 Filipinos who, together with delegates from 114 countries around the world, attended the meeting on 24 June, in Manila.

In his homily, Mgr John F. Du, archbishop of Palo (Leyte, Philippines), urged the assembly to remain firm and strong in faith towards families and the Church.

“Strong faith in Christ will enable you to share your faith with others in joy amidst the challenges of life and the struggles you face,” the prelate said.

The week-long celebrations were marked by a series of spiritual talks and conferences on family life, theology of human body, evangelisation, as well as laity-clergy collaboration in mission, said CFC president George Campos.

“Marking the anniversary is a reminder to all of us to recommit ourselves to do more for families with love, commitment and joy,” he added.

“I am happy to say that the CFC has been a source of grace and a channel to renew our family life and Christian faith,” said Evrlyn Ylshsn, who took part in the grand finale along with her husband and children.

Couples for Christ is a Catholic lay movement that deals with families. Founded in Manila in June 1981, it is currently present in more than a hundred countries.

At the beginning, the movement focused on strengthening couples’ union. Afterwards, it turned to involving all members of the family to build strong family ties. This led to the inclusion of children in groups divided by age groups.

As a true Christian mission, CFC has become a movement to renew families and society. In 1995, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CFCP) declared it a private national association of lay people.

In 2000, it received the provisional approval of the Holy See, followed in 2005 with a permanent approval as a private international association of the faithful under Canon Law. by Santosh Digal