Fatima Assn hosts Fil-Chinese Catholic women’s federation meet in Naga City
By Myrna S. Bermudo
The Our Lady of Fatima Association (OLFA) Naga Chapter hosted the 14th President Secretaries Meeting (PSM) of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Catholic Women’s Organization (FFCCWO) at the Villa Caceres Hotel, Magsaysay Avenue, Naga City on March 3 to 5. Participants arrived from various parts of the country.
The Federation’s Bicol Chapters from Naga City, Iriga City, Tabaco City, Legazpi City and Virac, Catanduanes collaborated to organize the 14th FFCCWO Presidents- Secretaries Meeting with the theme “FFCCWO Journeys Together Participating in the Church Mission.”
A city tour brought the participants to the Old Shrine of Our Lady of Peñafrancia and Jesse Robredo Museum on the first day, March 3. In the afternoon, the gathering started with a Eucharistic Celebration with Caceres Archbishop Rolando J. Tria Tirona, OCD, DD , as presider, at Our Lady of Peñafrancia Basilica Minore and National Shrine. Present during the celebration as concelebrants were Most Rev. Leopoldo C. Jaucian, SVD, DD, Bishop of Bangued (Abra), FFCCWO National Spiritual Director, Rev. Msgr. Rodel Cajot, rector of the Basilica, priests concelebrants from Caceres and visiting priests.
In his homily, Archbishop Tirona lauded the FFCCWO for the momentous event. He said that “the theme you have chosen, FFCCWO Journeys Together Participating in the Church Mission, echoes synodality. Pope Francis reminds us that the church is on a journey with a listening heart. What characterizes Synodality? communion, participation and mission- these are all embedded in your theme.”
“How do we journey as a federation? As a Federation you journey in communion. We have a God who always journeys with us. He is in communion with you. Always journey with the thought that you journey with the Trinity. If you are in intimate communion with God, you are sanctified.”
The archbishop also reminded the participants to be always “in communion with the church. Pope Francis said that in embracing all, without exception is inclusivity. All must be included in the federation, rich or poor. By journeying in participation, yours is a journey of involvement in the life of the federation towards the strengthening the life and the ministry of the church.”
“Lastly, if you stay in Jesus, you will not only be safe, but will be saved. This is the good news. This is the mission of the church. The mission of the federation where you are called to participate and to be in communion with as you journey together in this life. May your hearts burn for the mission of the Church,” the Archbishop added.
Bishop Jaucian, expressed his gratitude to the Archbishop of Caceres for the inspiration he gave in his homily and for presiding the Eucharist. He also acknowledged the priest concelebrants and the national officers of the FFCCWO.
Caceres Archbishop Rolando J. Tria Tirona, OCD, DD, (standing in the middle in purple vestment); Bangued (Abra) Bishop Leopoldo Jaucian, SVD, DD, National Spiritual Director of Federation of Fil-Chinese Catholic Women’s Organization (left of Archbishop Tirona in white vestment); guest priests and FFCCWO National Board of Trustees. Group photo was taken after the opening mass of the 14th Presidents Secretaries Meeting (PSM) of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Catholic Women’s Organization (FFCCWO) March 3-5, 2023. Mass was held on March 4 at Our Lady of Peñafrancia Basilica Minore and National Shrine, Pilgrim City of Naga (Photo credit: Fr. Gerome Pelagio)
On the second day, March 4, a Chinese Mass was celebrated and presided by Bishop Jaucian, SVD. This was followed by the President’s Report from Devorah G. Tan- Abing and a workshop facilitated by BOT Ruth Ang Ban Giok. After the workshop, simultaneous meetings were conducted by the FFCCWO National Board and the Council of Presidents. A tribute was given to Ina, Our Lady of Peñafrancia to cap the day. Some video clips on the Fluvial procession were shown. Cultural and fellowship night was celebrated in the evening.
A closing mass presided by Rev. Fr. Mark Anthony B. Balderama, LRMS, was celebrated, on the third day, March 5. To re-introduce St. Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Filipino saint of Chinese descent, a video presentation was shown.
BOT Rosemary D. Olivan, PSM Executive Committee Chair, gave her closing remarks and expressed her gratitude: “By God’s amazing grace and loving providence, we were able to hold this 14th PSM face to face with great promise. We, the Our Lady of Fatima Association, Naga Chapter acknowledge the inspiring motivation of our spiritual adviser, Bishop Leopoldo C. Jaucian, SVD, DD and the council of Presidents. We appreciate the support of our technical working group headed by our National Board Officers and Board of Directors and all Bicol Chapters, the enduring spirit and cooperation of our chapter members, benefactors, volunteers and friends. May this PSM give us reason to strive towards more purposeful lives for the betterment of our Church and community and may this experience teach us to love more deeply and share our blessings more openly. To one and all XIE,XIE and to God be the glory!”
Our Lady of Fatima Association, formerly named Naga Chinese Catholic Women’s Association has been in existence since 1961, according to the information posted on the social media page of FFCCWO 14th Presidents - Secretaries Meeting - Naga City, Camarines Sur.
According to the organization’s website, “FFCCWO was brought about by the renewed Chinese apostolate which is becoming apparent. They have organized themselves into organizations or federations that seek to preserve their identity and offer themselves for the service to the Church and the country.” (http://ffccwo.webtogo.com.ph)