Couples for Christ Handmaids for Family and Life (CFC HFL)
CFC Handmaids for Family & Life is a ministry focusing on the evangelization of women who wish to strive for deeper spiritual maturity. As part of the family of Couples for Christ Foundation for Family and Life, we share its vision, mission and core values.
I. CFC FFL Vision and Mission, Core Values, and Covenant
A. Our Vision and Mission
Vision We are an evangelistic and missionary community committed to become families empowered by the Holy Spirit to renew the face of the earth. Mission We strive for holiness of life, as we commit to renew the temporal order through our work with the poor, our work for justice, and our work for life. We are a servant of the Church, working to renew her children through every generation and throughout the world, until the Lord returns once again.
B. Our Core Values
Our Core Values describe who we are and what we are called to do in the world. They provide parameters and constant guideposts in our moving on in our life and mission.
1. Centered on Christ.
In everything that we are and do, we look to Jesus, who is our Savior and Lord. Jesus is our model in our obedience to the Father, in our faithfulness to His call, and to total submission to His divine will. And as He who called us is holy, we ourselves will strive for holiness of life (1 Pt 1:15-16), and look to exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit in our day-to-day lives (Gal 5:22-23).
2. Evangelistic and missionary. We are called to proclaim the good news of Jesus to the whole world (Mk 16:15). We are his witnesses (Lk 24:48). Every CFC-FFL member is an evangelizer, in the normal day-to-day environments of our lives. We look to doing mission beyond our own environments to the very ends of the earth.
3. Focused on the family. Our life and mission is founded on strong families in Christ. We recognize that the future of humanity passes by way of the family. We defend and strengthen Christian marriage, we raise our children to be the next generation of Gods people, we establish our homes as pieces of Kingdom ground. In our defense of the family, we are called to a strong advocacy and defense of the culture of life.
4. Being community. We are part of the larger family of CFC-FFL, a global family of many different nationalities and cultures but all sharing brotherhood and sisterhood in Christ. We desire to move forward together in our life in the Lord, providing love, affirmation, friendship, support and healing. We are committed to the good of our brethren, always living the truth in love (Eph 4:15).
5. Living a preferential option for the poor. We recognize Jesus mission to bring glad tidings to the poor (Lk 4:18). We look to both the spiritual and material upliftment of the least among our brethren. In doing so, we will be in solidarity with the poor by striving to live a simple lifestyle, to share our resources, and to fight for social justice in the world.
6. Exercising servant leadership. We are privileged to serve God and His people, both in and out of CFC-FFL. We serve with the mind and heart of Jesus, who came to serve and not to be served (Mt 20:28). Leaders are to serve with humility, self-sacrifice and submission to the Chief Shepherd, to whom we will render an account (Hb 13:17). He who wishes to be great shall be the least of all (Mt 20:26-27).
7. Being a servant to the Church. We in CFC-FFL are an integral part of the Catholic Church. We are submitted to our bishops and to the pope. Our life, formation and service will conform to Catholic values and ideals. We make ourselves available to be of service in the parishes and dioceses, especially in the areas of family and life. We look to Mary, the mother of the Church, as our inspiration and help.
II. CFC HFL
CFC HFL is a family ministry of women seeking a deeper spiritual growth. Its focus is three-fold: the evangelization, pastoral formation and involvement in advocacies of women from different ages and stages of life.
A. CFC HFL Vision:
We are the CFC Handmaids for Family and Life, a missionary and evangelistic community of women who are committed to grow in holiness and to bring others to Christ in response to his abundant love for us, and through Mary, to bring about His reign in our families, our community, our country and the world.
B. CFC HFL Mission
We seek to grow in holiness and fullness of life by following closely in the footsteps of Mary towards her Son Jesus Christ under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and in obedience to the will of the Father.
We are committed to working for the renewal of our families, our communities, our country and the world through our work for evangelization, for justice and for life. In all these we place ourselves in the service of the Church, of one another in sisterhood, and of the bigger community of CFC-FFL.
C. CFC HFL Purpose:
CFC HFL exists to provide an environment for women of different ages and stages to deepen their spiritual life. Based on the vision and mission above, these are the purposes of CFC HFL.
1. WORSHIP to honor Christ and his Blessed Mother through a deep prayer life
2. DISCIPLESHIP to follow closely the steps of Mary towards her Son that we may know, love and serve Him more
3. FELLOWSHIP to deepen women ties, bonding and sisterhood
4. EVANGELISM to bring other women to a deeper relationship with God, and show love and compassion towards families, neighbors and community
5. MINISTRY to serve the Church through parish involvement and advocacies
D. The HEART of CFC HFL
The purpose of CFC HFL is found in her HEART. It is a womans heart that
H onors God through a life of holiness and prayer like the Blessed Mother (WORSHIP)
E mpowers her to be truly the woman God called her to be, as she closely follow the steps of Mary towards Christ (DISCIPLESHIP)
A cts in humble and loving service of the Church through the parish and community (MINISTRY)
R elates joyfully and lovingly with other women through deep ties, bonding and sisterhood (FELLOWSHIP)
T estifies to Gods love that families, and especially other women may come to Christ as well (EVANGELISM)
E. The Stages and Ages of CFC HFL Women
CFC Handmaids for Family and Life are women from different stages and ages. While the average age is over 40, women come from different stages in life.
WIDOWS women whose husbands have passed away
SEPARATED/DIVORCED women who are separated from their husbands either physically, legally or via Church approval; women who are divorced from their husbands legally (marriage acquired elsewhere no divorce in the Philippines)
SINGLE MATURE women who are still single and may or may not marry and women; some are cross-overs from SFL or formerly, SFC.
WIVES OF OVERSEAS WORKERS women whose husbands are working abroad and are separated physically from them; they see their husbands after long periods of time
SINGLE MOTHERS women who are not married but have children
ALONE IN THE SPIRIT women who yearn for community life and a thirst for a deeper sense of faith; they are searching for God in a deep way or wives whose husbands are not yet ready to commit to community life.
Entry Point The women attend a 9-week Christian Life Seminar (CLS). After the CFC HFL CLS, they are integrated into the community through regular household prayer meetings, prayer assemblies and regular fellowship. After three months, CFC HFL members will go through the Covenant Recollection to deepen their growth and relationship with God and a better understanding of their commitment to God in the community.
F. CFC HFL Life and Culture
CFC HFL is a life of
WORSHIP We are women who practice deep prayer and spirituality through personal prayer, charismatic worship as a community, the rosary, and a regular, deep sacramental life. We also gather for intercessory prayers.
DISCIPLESHIP We are women who are serious in following Christ, finding inspiration from the best woman example ever, the Blessed Virgin Mary.
FELLOWSHIP We are women who deeply value our friendships with other women and our community life. Our deep ties, bonding and sisterhood are evident in our regular gatherings that are joyful, fun filled with laughter and dance. Our community gatherings are wholistic, as programs cater to the mental, emotional, spiritual and physical.
EVANGELISM We are women who want to bring other women to a deeper relationship with God, that they too may know, love and serve the Lord with gladness. We show love and compassion to friends, neighbors and the bigger community.
MINISTRY We are women who are faithful in our service to the Church through parish involvement and advocacies. We are dependable, responsible and hardworking.
G. Stages of Growth of CFC HFL
In CFC HFL, we are aware that women normally follow this stage of growth into the community:
CROWD These are women who are not yet part of the community and do not have an active faith life/relationship with God. They do not yet have a prayer life and do not celebrate Mass.
CONGREGATION These are women who have some relationship with Christ. They attend mass regularly and pray. They want to know Christ more deeply.
COMMUNITY These are women who have recently become members of CFC HFL. They are growing in their spiritual/faith life and in community life.
COMMITTED These are women who are actively serving as household servants, unit servants, and leaders of programs of the community. They are ever-ready to serve and be tasked to help the community grow. They are likewise committed to a deep prayer life.
CORE These are chapter servants (and up) of the community. They are at the forefront of the mission, the instruments of where God wants to lead the community. They have a regular, committed, powerful prayer life.
H. Cycle of Activities
Monthly Cycle: 1 st Week Chapter Assembly
2 nd Week Household (HH)
3 rd Week Monthly Teaching
4 th Week Household (HH)
1st Q: precon talk/assembly
2nd Q: congress
3rd Q: post-con talk/assembly
4th Q: Christmas fellowship
Annual: World Handmaids Congress (2nd Q gathering)
Handmaids Enrichment Retreat (HER) 1, 2, 3 & 4
HFL Illinois Coordinator
Left to right: Joyce Bayona, Sally Manuel, Cora Calleja, Lucy Galleza, Amy Albertine, Dantea Labarda and Irene Puno
HFL Core Group