Tag: catholic

Apr 16 2012

Celebrating Mass: Sponsored friends in Colombia

What are Mass customs and traditions around the world? In this blog post, CFCA explores how sponsored children, youth and aging friends who practice the Catholic faith in Colombia celebrate Mass. Thanks to Harrison Garcia Ruiz, our communications liaison in Colombia, for contributing to this article.

Mass customs in Colombia

Leidy, a child sponsored through CFCA, and her mother pray at Mass in Colombia.

The majority of the families in the CFCA Hope for a Family program in Colombia are Catholic, and they participate actively during Mass.

Boys and girls attend Mass with their families, and they sit down and they listen to God’s Word and the priest’s reflection. The Mass usually lasts for an hour, sometimes 90 minutes.

Leidy is a child sponsored through CFCA for three years. She likes to attend the Mass with her mother, father and little brother Daniel.

“We attend the Mass on Sundays, and we sit down and listen to the priest,” she said. “My favorite part of the Mass is during the sign of peace because we shake hands and we hug each other. It is a happy moment.

“Also, I like the music during the Eucharist. My favorite song is ‘Glory Hallelujah.’ It is a happy song. …

“I pray with my mother and my family, and we pray to God for our needs and I pray to do well at school. I like to talk with God, and I ask God for our health.” Read more

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Apr 4 2012

Lenten reflection: Living in the light of the Resurrection

Allan Weinert, CFCA board memberHere is the last of the Lenten reflections. This one is from CFCA board member Father Allan Weinert, C.SS.R. We hope you have learned from and enjoyed these as much as we did!

Happy Easter! April is a welcome month because those of us who live in northern hemispheres know that the heavy snows are over.

April also brings the good news that Christ is risen. Easter celebrates life after death and proclaims joyfully that Christ is with us. Winter will never be the final season of our existence.

Easter means living in the light of the Resurrection. Over these past days, in private prayer and public liturgy, we remember the story of our salvation.

We remember the violence we did to the Son of God and the love Jesus returned to us in bearing it. We who fashioned the cross are now saved by it.

Easter reveals God to us as no other celebration has ever done. On that morning life triumphed over death. Christ rose from the dead and we too shall rise from the dead on the last day.

Belief in the resurrection is a doctrine that we are taught, but it is also an attitude that engages us on every level of our being. It is the work of a lifetime and the hope of eternity. Read more

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Apr 3 2012

Young CFCA sponsor has big impact at religious education congress

By Carlos Casas, public relations manager for CFCA

I recently got the opportunity to help represent CFCA at the 2012 Los Angeles Religious Education Congress in Anaheim. The event is sponsored by the Office of Religious Education, a department of the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and is said to be the largest yearly gathering of its type in the world.

CFCA sponsor Daniela Bradvica

Daniela in the CFCA booth at the 2012 Los Angeles Religious Education Congress.

We regularly travel to national conferences to raise awareness of CFCA and our Hope for a Family sponsorship program, but having never attended this event, I was not sure what to expect.

Throughout the conference, the CFCA team interacted with clergy and staff members from various Catholic groups and organizations. We also met several vendors and others participating in the conference and discussed ways to increase awareness of CFCA’s work.

The best part for me, however, was meeting many current sponsors and hearing about the impact sponsorship has had on their lives.

One of these sponsors was Daniela Bradvica, a 19-year-old college student who has taken it upon herself to encourage young students to grow in their faith through sponsoring a child in need.

Daniela is trying very hard to launch a program for Catholic elementary schools to participate in sponsorship. It would encourage classrooms to sponsor a child in order to teach students about the Gospel call to serve people living in poverty, and to give them the opportunity to learn about a new culture through their sponsored friends.

Like many great ideas, Daniela’s has encountered some obstacles, but she continues to push forward with great enthusiasm and conviction.

I scheduled time while in the Los Angeles area to attend a meeting with Daniela at a local school to help promote her initiative.

Daniela was given less than 20 minutes to present her idea, and from the beginning it was clear that the school representatives had all but made up their minds that this program was not for them. Read more

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Mar 30 2012

Celebrating Mass: Sponsored friends in Guatemala

Church Mass in Nahuala, Guatemala

People in Nahuala, Guatemala, enter a church for Mass celebrations.

What are Mass customs and traditions around the world? In this blog post, CFCA explores how sponsored children, youth and aging friends who practice the Catholic faith in Guatemala celebrate Mass. Thanks to Luis Cocon, our communications liaison in Guatemala, for contributing to this article.

The official religion in Guatemala is Catholicism. We also have Protestants and those with indigenous Mayan beliefs. Freedom of religion is practiced in Guatemala.

“Mass celebration is to remember the sacrifice of Jesus for each one of us on the cross,” said Yesica, 9, a child sponsored through CFCA. “Mass is our bread for the road to eternal life. I enjoy every moment of Mass, but especially the celebration of the Word of God and the Holy Rosary.”

Musical instruments during Mass vary depending on the church. Sometimes youth groups will lead the worship.

Yesica’s church has a choir of six, and they play instruments such as the kena (wooden flute), guitars and drums. Read more

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Mar 28 2012

Lenten reflection: Seeing Jesus in those living in poverty

Scott Wasserman with CFCAEvery Wednesday throughout Lent we will post a reflection on the upcoming Sunday readings. We hope these help you on your own Lenten journey. This week’s reflection was written by Scott Wasserman, chair of the CFCA governing board.

Suppose you knew for certain that someone was planning to kill you tomorrow. How would you prepare tonight?

Would you flee as far as you could travel as fast as you can? Would you hide where you could never be found?

Would you stock up on weapons, train how to use them, and recruit a bevy of friends to fight for you and protect you?

Flight and fight are natural responses to a threat. However, there is nothing particularly human about them. Rodents and reptiles do the same.

In the Passion account in the readings for Palm Sunday, Jesus knew for certain that unspeakable forces were conspiring to kill him. He knew they had infiltrated even his 12 closest disciples.

In the face of certain enmity and violence, he chose neither flight nor fight. He chose a third way, the uniquely human way of nonviolent love for enemies. Read more

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Mar 21 2012

Lenten reflection: Waiting for fruit from the seeds we plant

Tim Deveney in CFCAEvery Wednesday throughout Lent we will post a reflection on the upcoming Sunday readings. We hope these help you on your own Lenten journey. This week’s reflection was written by CFCA preacher relations manager Tim Deveney.

This year I am trying to start my entire garden from seed. It’s more work than a trip to the nursery.

Fortunately my 4-year-old daughter is enjoying planting tomato seeds, and her small hands and fingers handle these tiny seeds much better than my mitts.

She waits expectantly for me to get home so we can put dirt in the cups fashioned out of newspaper, place two seeds, water and wait.

Wait for them to sprout. Wait for them to grow. Wait for the crisp cool mornings of late winter to give way to spring’s warmth so we can plant them in the garden. Wait patiently for the plants to bear fruit.

Our Lenten path, like our lives, is filled with planting seeds and waiting for them to grow and bear fruit. Read more

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Mar 20 2012

Celebrating Mass: Sponsored friends in the Philippines

Mass celebrations in Legazpi, Philippines

Communion during Mass celebrations in the Philippines.

What are Mass customs and traditions around the world? In this special blog post, CFCA explores how sponsored children, youth and aging friends in the Philippines celebrate Mass. Thanks to Gari Olavario, CFCA project coordinator in Legazpi, for contributing to this article.

Our mission at CFCA is to serve those living in poverty and recognize the God-given dignity of each person.

Most of our sponsored friends and their families in the Legazpi project are Catholic, and attending Mass every Sunday is their practice to praise and thank God.

Here are some of their thoughts about Mass: Read more

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