Article: House of Prayer for All Nations: A Verbum Dei Family Cebu Dinner for a Cause 2014 (by Patrick Tesorio). Updated: With photos
The Verbum Dei Missionary Fraternity has been in Cebu, Philippines for 23 years. They have touched the lives of many Filipinos with their missionary spirit and charism which is Prayer, Preaching and Ministry of the Word. In their effort for a perennial pastoral and evangelical nurturing of their disciples, they are looking for ways wherein they can raise funds to build an Apostolate Center here in Cebu where all their disciples can find a home in the ever-growing Verbum Dei Missionary Family and a permanent place for the Verbum Dei Missionaries (both for the Male and Female branches) to stay.
In one of their endeavors, a Dinner for a Cause: House of Prayer for all Nations was organized last Saturday, November 15, 2014 in the Cebu City Sports Central to raise this awareness, to look for future and possible benefactors, and to gather funds for the aforementioned project. It started with an anticipated celebration of the Holy Eucharist at 6:00 pm (+8:00 GMT) celebrated by Rev. Fr. Michael Cheong, FMVD together with our deacon Rev. Lucio Arellano, FMVD. Fr. Michael highlighted how the event is very much similar with the Holy Eucharist when Jesus instituted the Catholic Church through a meal. Likewise, the Dinner for a Cause would also serve as a catalyst to spread the Verbum Dei charism to all people with the presence of a House of Prayer for disciples to gather as one family.
A program followed after the celebration of the Holy Eucharist which was hosted by Mr. Lucio Pulmones, a Verbum Dei lay disciple from the Couples group. He gave a short introduction of the event and of the Verbum Dei missionary community. Since not all who attended the event were disciples of the community, a short video clip was presented introducing the Verbum Dei Community internationally and locally starting from our founder, Rev. Fr. Jaime Bonet, FMVD, to the missionaries, the mission countries, and the different realities existing here in Cebu. At around 7:30 pm, the sumptuous dinner was already served in a buffet style. To entertain the audience while having dinner, the Mandaue Children’s Choir exhibited their talents with their angelic voices through Christian songs, Inspirational songs, Christmas carols, Visayan medley, and even their own original piece. The Mandaue Children’s Choir had earned their prestige through a number of awards in the international competitions and was even asked to sing in Rome during the canonization of St. Pedro Calungsod, the second Filipino saint. Indeed, the audience was marveled with awe and spectacle in their performance.
Afterwards, Sr. Maggie Gustilo, FMVD presented the purpose of the event and the project design of the soon-to-be Verbum Dei Apostolic Center in Cebu. She expressed her gratitude for the positive response of the people and also to those who helped in the preparation yet she admits that they still need more help for the realization of this project for its cost would worth millions of pesos. Nevertheless, she is optimistic that God provides blessings and soon enough, together with the efforts of the Verbum Dei family, this Apostolate Center would stand erect in the soils of Cebu. As their expression of thanksgiving to all the people who helped in one way or another for the success of the Dinner for a Cause, the Verbum Dei Missionaries prepared a dance presentation giving a message that we can help build the Kingdom of God here on earth with Him. After which, the MusiCom sang the different original Verbum Dei compositions that showcase the fruits of prayer of the missionaries and disciples in their effort to follow Christ. The event ended successfully and meaningfully around 10:00 in the evening with the words of St. Paul, “We make a home in the Spirit of God as we dedicate our time to Prayer and Preaching of the Word of God” (cf. Rom 8: 9; Acts 6: 4).
Update: See some photos of the event below
(Photos courtesy of Documentation committee)
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