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Kate19th SFC ICON
Posted by Kate Deiparine on 2/21/2012 9:57:51 PM



The Magnificat is the LSS (Last Song Syndrome) of our hearts! Winding down the 19th SFC ICON with the 4th session, Shok Ariola, SFC International Coordinator, described the Magnificat as:


 - A song of adoration. Mary enjoyed her relationship with Jesus and the Lord`s greatness in her life.


- A song about humility.  


- A song of gratitude. Mary was not just inclusive, she included even the not so good things in her heart, "[She] embraced everything, even the bad things that happened to her," Shok explained. Mary was grateful for everything and she sung this thankfulness into her life. 


Just like Mary, let us sing this Magnificat that is like that Korean hit, "Nobody but You". Let us tell God there is no one else but Him. Shok explained how we can sing our Magnificat:


- Proclaim the greatness of the Lord through the way you speak. Bernadette Sembrano, seasoned broadcast journalist and former SFC, shared on video that she proclaims God through her work. "Always para sa Diyos (Always for God)," she added. Shok noticed that she mentioned "God" 15x during her 2-minute video. Shok went on to ask the delegates, "How often do you mention God?" He encouraged everyone to make God present through how we speak.


- Proclaim the greatness of the Lord through the way you dress. Shok encouraged everyone to wear shirts that proclaim the faith, especially those with Scripture verses.  "You might be the only Gospel that [other people] will get to read during their lifetime," Shok explained.


- Proclaim the greatness of the Lord through the way you live your life. "Live your lives like great people," Shok said. "How can people see that your God is great when they see you and you`re not even smiling?" he asked further.


In the middle of the talk, Shok makes a bold announcement by daring everyone to form mission teams and go on mission. "I will be personally accountable if you don`t (get to go)!" Shok asks everyone, "Sino dito ang naiinitan? (Who here feels the heat?) It only means, brothers and sisters, that you are on fire!"


The SFC ICON ends but the urge to live out this LSS of the Magnificat has just begun. SFCs, see you at the 20th ICON in....!


[Nirva`ana Delacruz, SFC ICON Interactive Team]

Photos can be viewed at the SFC Global Facebook Page

Category: News

The Magnificat is being sung in beauty pageants, in media, in politics -- this is what the amazing sharers of Session 4 talked about to several thousands of SFCs this morning.


The following brought different faces of the Magnificat alive:



- Minnie Juan, an SFC who serves passionately despite her blindness (proclaiming through serving). Minnie serves as a commentator for Holy Mass, as a household head and attends conferences.  In simple ways too, she reaches out to "those who have no friends." She explained, "With God in my life, I lack nothing. I have everything." Minnie encouraged everyone, "Never get tired of serving the Lord!"

- Scott Llanete, a former YFC UP Manila Campus President and now the youngest congressman in the Philippines(proclaiming through leading). He shared,  "When we lead, it doesn`t necessarily equate to greatness but when you become great, you lead." Scott shared that he clung God even when leading became hard, especially when he and his family got ambushed. He told everyone to say to himself, "I am great because God works through me!" 


- Athena Imperial, an SFC member who is Ms. Earth Water International (proclaiming through the way she lives her life).She described how on the pageant coronation night, she surprised people in the backstage because she prayed aloud, "Sa gabing `to, Kayo ang lumalaban para sa akin! (Tonight, You are the One fighting for me)." Athena also strives to be truly God`s in the ordinary things of everyday life -- as a media practitioner, a sister, a girl friend. 


According to Shok, their lives put together is the essence of the Magnificat. Even as ordinary people, we are called to live out the Magnificat boldly everyday. [Nirva`ana Delacruz, SFC ICON Interactive]  

Category: News

“We are made for God”  – This is what Bp. Leonardo Medroso told SFCs today as they celebrated the last Holy Mass for the SFC ICON. 



Bp. Medroso explained that the modern sickness of emptiness is experienced because we do not have God. Sharing a story about an actor who, because of this emptiness in his life despite his success, killed himself.  Bp. Medroso explained, “Deep within himself when he was alone, he was empty. There was something missing within him that he could not articulate.”


This void can be filled only by God and often, sin keeps us from letting God fill that void. 


Comparing sin to paralysis, Bp. Medroso showed how we are all like the paralytic whom Jesus healed in the Gospel. He explained, “Sin paralyzes us, makes us immobile to do what is good in our life. It keeps us away from our brothers and sisters. It makes us selfish...because we have separated ourselves.”


The good bishop gave some concrete pointers on how we can allow God to fill this emptiness in us:

- Pray. Bishop Medroso encouraged, “Speak to Him, complain to Him..laugh with Him. Bring your active life to your prayer.” He said it should be the first and last thing of every day.   

- Receive the sacraments, especially the sacramentum caritate, sacrament of love. Receive Holy Communion. Then feel wihin yourself, how God has loved you.


 [Nirva`ana Delacruz, SFC ICON Interactive Team]

Category: News

God may not be who you think He is. 


Sounds weird, but possibly true. As Bro. Harvey Mateo, SJ said, you do not experience God`s goodness because deep down, you do not think He is all that good.


Bro. Harvey`s main point is this: change how we see God and automatically open yourself up to His goodness. Despite being in SFC for some time, many of us still see God as either a “judge” or a “tester”. 



The highest revelation of God is in the New Testament – God is Love.


Jesus` words and actions are proof:

- He welcomed all.

- He healed everybody.

- He denied the connection between sin and suffering.


Putting things into context, Bro. Harvey also showed how reading the Old Testament often confuses people because God always seems “punishing, angry and violent.”  


Bro. Harvey said that the Bible shows:


- progressive evolution of God`s images. Despite being 100% inspired by the Holy Spirit, the Bible was still written by very human authors with their biases and impressions. This shows that Man`s understanding of who God is was also evolving. 

- Biblical self-correction. Before, the Bible`s authors, for example, would attribute certain events to God`s anger. Eventually, they would cite the existence of evil forces like demons and evil spirits.     

- the idea that “suffering is because of sin” will be rejected. Characters like Job would show that sometimes, even good people suffer.  


Eventually, people have the following images of God:


- God as the Prodigal Father who is “wasteful” or extravagant in loving 

- God as the Servant-Friend who washes the feet of his friends, something a slave would do 

- God as the Crucified Christ. Jesus dies for us in the ultimate expression of love.


It turns out, the greatest hindrance to being with God is in our own minds and hearts. 


[Nirva`ana Delacruz, SFC ICON Interactive Team]


Category: News

“Para kanino ka bumabangon?” (Whom do you get up for in the morning?) – Rea Santos opened with this line for the third talk of the SFC ICON.  After listening to what draws us to Mary, Rea said that to become like Mary is to choose God, completely trusting Him.



This trust that Mary had comes from a deep relationship with God. Eventually, this is what will keep us holding on. 


Rea explained, “In every problem or difficulty, we have a choice. We just have to find Him.”  Rea  Rea called on several sharers throughout the session to show how each one is called to be like Mary despite many struggles:


?striving to be like Mary despite sickness in the family. Pat, an SFC from West A, shared about serving the community in Papua New Guinea for many years. He sees God`s goodness and faithfulness despite his father`s kidney problems. Today, his father`s health has improved. Pat explained, “Mas masarap na kasama si God dun sa pinakapangit, pinakamahirap na panahon kaysa sa napakasayang panahon na `di kasama si God.” (It`s better to be with God even during the ugliest, most difficult time than to have the most enjoyable time without God.) 

?striving to be like Mary despite being sexually abused. Julius Comia, a YFC Full-time worker, shared about how he was sexually abused for years as part of a “scholarship”. Years later, he would struggle with fears to be in  relationship. Now, he opens himself up to love, telling God, “Allow me to experience Your love by falling in love.”

?mastering the art of letting go. Jojit Villar from West A suffers a heartbreak when a special relationship ends. Despite so much hurt, he pushes on to be active in SFC. He tells God, “God whatever Your plan for me, then so be it. Just give me Your plan.” Jojit explained, “I`m proud na `di ako naglie low, `Di ako nag-emote lang sa bahay.” (I`m proud that I didn`t become inactive or just mope at home.)  

?mastered the art of walang iwanan (No one gets left behind). Mike Santos, CFC from West A, shared about his doubts before: Why did I get married to my wife? Why do I need to serve? He realized that years ago, he prayed to God for someone to love, then he met his wife. Mike realized this is God`s plan despite the challenges of married life. “Paramatulungan siya, matulungan ako (To help me, to help myself), I needed to hold on to God.” Mike also realized that their service changed a lot of lives.


Sharing her own struggles about being sexually abused for years, Rea talked about making Mary her journey companion. “It was not me going to Mama Mary, it was Mama Mary coming to me,” Rea shared. The session ended with delegates writing personal prayers.


[Nirva`ana Delacruz, SFC ICON Interactive Team] 

Photos on SFC Global Facebook


Category: News

“Beauty will save the world” – This basically sums up Fr. John Paul Del Rosario`s rousing talk tonight, which focused on how Mary is our true model of love. 



Using a compelling combination of rap, personal stories and laugh out loud humor, Fr. Rap-rap, as he is also known, talked about how we are all called to mirror Mary`s beauty. More than just a Belo or Calayan-esque beauty, he talks about a beauty that “emanates from goodness.” 


It is a beauty that comes from:

- being favored. God set Mary apart for a special mission.

- living out this favor. Mary, despite being “full of grace”, was still human. She had to cooperate with the grace given to her.


The qualities of Mary`s beauty:

- Mary`s beauty is undeniable. According to Fr. Rap-rap, “`Pag mabuti kang tao, `di mo `yan kayang itago. (If you are a good person, you cannot hide it.)” It is like being in love, it will eventually show.

- Mary`s beauty mirrors the love of God for the world. It is a universal love that embraces all. Fr. Rap-rap shared about how he met a person who disapproved of so many gays being active in the Church. He answered him, “If all their life, they have experienced consternation and being excluded..then they should find a home in this Church..No one should be excluded.” 


Mary was and is constant. Even at the crucifixion, she stood at the foot of the Cross. Fr. Rap-rap explained, “Mary was standing up at the crucifixion, she could have made lupasay `di ba? [She could have started flailing around, right?].” Her posture is indicative of the role she plays. 


Her role is inclusive and expansive.  Fr. Rap-rap said, “This is why we are called Catholics, we are the Church that includes all.” Mary shows us how. 


Ending his talk, the irrepressible Fr. Rap-rap said that our call is to become true Catholics, breaking down boundaries. It is so easy to have divisions and sometimes, it seems so natural. He added, “We like separation, coño kayo, jologs kami.Exclusive village kami, gilids kayo”. In following Mary, our call is to love as God Himself loved, embracing everyone. [Nirva`ana Delacruz, SFC ICON Interactive Team] 

Category: News

It`s a paradox! But as Fr. Soc Mesiona shared during his homily this afternoon, it`s the only way to go – to be truly great is to be humble.

Fr. Soc talked about a great challenge: to devote our lives to become like Mary. In her Magnificat, Mary proclaimed God`s greatness but she did not see God`s greatness using the world`s standard but through the eyes of faith.

We see that:

- Whoever desires to become great must become the servant of the rest. According to Fr. Soc, “Servanthood [is] best expressed in Philippians: `though he was in the form of God, he did not regard equality with God something to be grasped.`”

- Being humble is also being willing to embrace suffering and death.

Fr. Soc explained further, “Mary saw what God did to her as the beginning of His salvation of the world.” The disciples, on the other hand, did not understand this so well. Jesus had to give a short “workshop” when he brought them to Mt. Tabor.

In ending, Fr. Soc encouraged everyone to look to Mary, “We want to proclaim God`s greatness. Get a clue from Mary.”

Admitting that he thought he would be celebrating Mass for only a hundred SFCs, Fr. Soc was happily surprised to see more than 6,000 delegates at the Carlos P. Garcia Cultural Center, Tagbiliran City, Bohol. [Nirva`ana Delacruz]

Photos are on SFC Global Facebook Page

Category: News

Great, great, great. Noli Manuel, missionary to the Middle east, talked about the reality of God`s greatness as he gave the first talk of the 19th SFC ICON.

Featuring a ride in a “time machine” that took everyone back to the beehive 1960`s, the groovy 70`s up to the present and a trip around the world, Noli`s asked the singles to do the following:

- Remember God`s greatness. The path to holiness is to remember that HE is in control. Most of us remember an encounter with our Great God during our Christian Life Program.

Blessed to Bless
- Share in His greatness. Created in God`s image and likeness, we are all destined for greatness. 

Noli shared about overhearing an SFC say, “I want to have my moment with my GG in Bohol.”  Noli instead encouraged everyone, “Do not look forward to moments like that. Look forward to moments with God!” 

He went on to say, “Don`t seek (out) your GG, seek God`s greatness!” Seek His greatness first and He may give you your GG. 
The Lord is asking us to give our entire being, we are not blessed for nothing. Noli went on to say, "If there is LOL, there is B2B or Blessed to Bless."  

- Live great.  

How do we live a great life? It does not mean having an easy life. It means being:
1.) Grateful in all things. We have to be grateful even more during the difficult times.   
2.) Ready for the mission. There is an urgency in what we do. God also shows us His faithfulness when we go on mission.  
3.) Excited for the future. If you believe in God`s promise, claim it! To be excited for the future means to be “on the edge of our seats”.    

Ending the session, Noli told all the SFCs present,”Do not settle but always aspire for God`s best for you.”

[Nirva`ana Delacruz, SFC ICON Interactive Team] 


Category: News

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kuya noli pls help me to be integrate here in riyadh i want to join sfc riyadh chapter especially HH and activities here... 054 385 6704
Posted 3/19/2012 1:23:39 AM
kim harvey
kim harvey
19th sfc icon in bohol is a Great experience specially for a first timer like me.
Posted 3/10/2012 10:37:11 PM
I am SFC and I have a GREAT GOD!
Posted 3/8/2012 8:10:33 PM
Phoebe Jane
Phoebe Jane

----> really lucky!!you are blessed to bless!
Posted 3/8/2012 6:18:05 PM
Phoebe Jane
Phoebe Jane
HHHMM where`s the session 2? Is it about "THERE`S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY?" i guess it`s time for me to share the greatness that God showed me.. i will be the one to share something about the session 2 topic in our incoming re-echo this Sunday.. please support me friends in Christ and don`t forget to include your brod and sis in your prayers.. GOD BLESS EVERYONE!!

Posted 3/8/2012 6:16:44 PM
Iam Blessed to Bless!!
Posted 3/3/2012 2:38:01 AM
Rowley Van
Rowley Van
I am Great because I have a great God!
whooooh whoooh whoooooh!
Posted 3/2/2012 3:49:45 AM
Fr. Raprap not just entertained but he smoothly came across the audience in telling us how to use our inner beauties to proclaim God`s Great Love.

When the praise fest culminated the 19th SFC ICON, I was in tears raising my hands to the Lord. I was thankful to have attended despite the odds. And now I could cascade all the experiences to the people around me...
Posted 2/22/2012 11:17:23 PM
i like the 19th SFC Icon.. .great God Bro and sis. god bless always..
Posted 2/22/2012 8:54:48 AM

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