Mission Ad Gentes: The Canada-Philippines connection
By Father Mark Weber, SVD
Father Carlos "Kaloi" Macatangga, SVD, and the parishioners of Cristo Rei parish in Mississauga, Ontario, have put their spirit of global mission into action by building a village.
Partnering with Answering the Cry of the Poor International Canada (ANCOP), a social ministry of the Couples for Christ (CFC), the parish has sponsored the project to build a village for the economically poor people of the Mangyan tribe in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro in the Philippines.
ANCOP worked with the villagers to take their culture and living practices into consideration in designing the plan for the development called Cristo Rei Village.
With an estimated cost of some $90,000 to build 30 houses and another $25,000 to construct a multipurpose hall, the villagers will contribute their "sweat equity" to build the structures.
After completion of the construction, ANCOP volunteers will continue to work with the local government to provide education, electricity, adequate water supply, health care, agricultural methodology, and other income-generating activities.
Founded in 1981, CFC is a worldwide association of families who work together in the Holy Spirit to renew the face of the earth.
It began in Manila when a local Christian community tried a new approach to evangelize married couples. CFC soon developed into a Christian family life renewal program made available to parishes and groups of married couples who wish to live their Christian life in an active, supportive relationship with one another.
CFC came to Canada in 1994, when a group of immigrants from the community started holding prayer meetings and organized Christian life programs in Toronto and British Columbia. ANCOP developed out of the CFC’s commitment to the poor.
CFC has a worldwide network with a presence in each of the Philippine provinces and in more than 150 countries. ANCOP Canada has built more than 2,500 shelter homes for the poorest of the poor in the Philippines. The organization has sponsored more than 1,500 children of all ages—from elementary school age to college.
"Cristo Rei has sponsored this project as an expression of its commitment to the global mission of the church," Father Macatangga said. "While the connections were made through the Filipino community, the multicultural parish community embraced the project as a missionary commitment to the poor across the globe."
He added, "The people of Cristo Rei truly engage in prophetic dialogue with those of other cultures and the poor and marginalized, embodying the characteristic dimensions of mission animation and justice, peace and the integrity of creation in a concrete way."
Article posted: April 10, 2012