In celebration of the World Mission Sunday, the Verbum Dei Missionary Family had their monthly disciples’ retreat last Sunday, October 18, 2015 in their Apostolate Center, Good Shepherd Hills, Banawa, Cebu City, Philippines. The retreat started with the prayer of the Holy Rosary thanking Mother Mary for constantly guiding the family in following Christ and at the same time asking her to share her faith with the family to be open to the message and grace of God for the retreat. It was followed by the morning guidelines given by Mrs. Antonia Yncierto, one of the lay disciples of the Verbum Dei family. She anchored her talk on Lk. 10: 2-3 as she also emphasized that mission is the heart of our following of Christ and that we can continue our ‘yes’ to Him by committing ourselves to follow Him through the specific charism that we have received from the Holy Spirit as Verbum Dei missionaries. In the afternoon, the family was updated with the preparation of the VD National Family Encounter.
As mission is the theme of the retreat, that day was also the commitment of the disciples who wish to continuously say ‘yes’ to God’s call as Verbum Dei. Some disciples renewed their commitment for another year while there were some who professed their commitment for the first time. It was also historic for the Verbum Dei Missionary Family in Cebu because it was the first time that we had the first batch of stable committed disciples wherein they professed their commitment to the charism of Verbum Dei as lay disciples all throughout their life. This is in accordance to the VDMFa Statues #78 which says, “From the commitment* (temporal or stable) and sense of belonging to the VDMFa, the lay member/disciple is committed to live the spirit and the proper means of the Verbum Dei charism according to their particular call. The VDMFa, in its different modes of belonging, commits itself, on its part, to the spiritual accompaniment, formation, help in the practical mission, and living out an atmosphere of fraternal love and solidarity with its members.” There were 12 disciples who expressed their commitment for the first time, 34 renewed their commitment for one year, and there were 11 disciples who were part of the first batch of stable committed VD disciples in Cebu.
All disciples who wish to commit professed their commitment vows during the celebration of the Holy Eucharist that evening. It was being celebrated by Rev. Fr. Lucio Arellano, FMVD with our deacon Rev. Vincent Guinoo, FMVD. The commitment ceremony was facilitated by our local ecclesial coordinator Sr. Gabriela Rocha, FMVD assisted by Sr. Janet Gustilo, FMVD as the commentator, Ms. Aida Carpela, our lay consecrated missionary, and with disciples Rana and Pearl. As a tangible sign of their commitment, those who committed for the first time received a necklace with a cross. The previous cross of those who renewed their commitment was being blessed again while the cross that the stable committed disciples received during their first commitment years ago was also blessed and given to them. All the committed disciples received a certificate and a picture souvenir as a remembrance of their commitment.
*The duties of a committed disciple (temporal and stable) are stipulated in VDMFa Stat #74 and 80.
Patrick Tesorio is a Verbum Dei lay disciple and is currently part of the Communications Committee.
You may contact him via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Lordie.
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