Sunday, March 12, 2017

INDIA - From the Philippines a gift of faith for Catholic couples in Orissa

Raman and Teresita Santiago, a Christian married couple from the Philippines, members of the Catholic movement "Couples For Christ", have arrived in Orissa in recent days for a meeting with about 100 local Christian couples in Balliguda, in the district of Kandhamal, which houses the community of the baptized marked by anti-Christian massacres that occurred in 2008.

As Fides learns, the theme of the meeting was taken from the Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians 16: 13-14, "Be on your guard. Stand firm in your faith. Be courageous. Be strong. Your every act should be done with love" and on the other hand there was a reference to the missionary impulse the Pope talks about in Evangelii gaudium, that "can transform everything"(EG 27).

The Filipino couple invited those present to become aware that "we are all called to mature in our work as evangelizers, to give witness to the Gospel" and brought their experience in the movement of "Couples For Christ", saying that "that family that prays together stays united". "We are impressed to see people who have left their daily work to be here and prove to have a thirst for God", said Raman Santiago, coordinator for Asia of the movement "Couples for Christ".

"We are grateful to our guests because they help to strengthen the faith of the people of Kandhamal and help to provide education for poor children", said Mgr. John Barva, Bishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar.

"Couples For Christ" (CFC) is a Catholic movement founded in 1981 in Manila, the Philippines. 

Over the years, CFC has expanded and is now present in 110 countries. In 1995, CFC was approved by the Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, as a private national organization of lay faithful, and since 2000 has been recognized by the Holy See as an international association of lay faithful of pontifical right. 

The organization of CFC partners, called "Answering the Cry of the Poor" (ANCOP) helps the poor and the needy through programs regarding education, health, nutrition. There are currently 267 poor children of Kandhamal who receive aid from ANCOP.

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