Highlights from the CFC HOLD Canada National Conference
Imagine a sea of women in colourful attire swaying to a catchy theme song in synchronized dance moves and you’ll know that you are among the CFC-Handmaids of the Lord! The 12th Canada National CFC-HOLD Conference was held from September 17 to 19, 2010 at the Radisson Hotel in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The sun shone bright and the days were clear in a place sometimes called “Winter-peg” during this year’s conference entitled “Blossoms in God’s Garden”.
Friday’s Opening Night began with the Rosary and Holy Mass. After Malou Reyes, National CFC-HOLD Coordinator for Canada, declared the conference open, host Winnipeg welcomed the delegates with a bouncy opening number. Then the HOLD Council and Area Heads danced gracefully to the tune “Rhythm of the Night”. This was followed by a parade of Festival Princesses from each of twelve (12) areas present: Calgary, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Lethbridge, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto East, Toronto West, Vancouver, Victoria, Whitehorse and Yellowknife. The princesses were leaders who had shown their faith and commitment through the years. The evening was called “A Garden Festival”. Each of the areas presented their concept of God’s garden as they danced to familiar pop tunes like “Pretty World”,“Build Me Up Buttercup” and “You Are the Sunshine of My Life”, to name a few. The stage was filled with dancing flowers, trees, bumblebees, caterpillars and butterflies. One could see that all the areas really prepared for their respective numbers and even flew in their big, colourful props.
The conference sessions began on Saturday September 18 with four (4) very uplifting talks.
The first session was entitled “And God Saw That It Was Good” given by Marisa Nuguid of Toronto East followed by session two, “ Uprooted from the Garden”, given by Zony Mercado of Toronto West. Two more talks were given on Saturday by Cely Silla from Edmonton entitled “Regaining Paradise”, and Nody Boongaling from Vancouver who spoke on “Tending the Garden”. These talks were spiced up with colourful slides and videos as well as creative presentations of song and dance. Powerful sharers helped further by bringing home the message in their life testimonies.
The delegates celebrated Saturday night with an “East Meets West Fiesta”. The sisters came in colourful Filipiniana, Hawaiian and Caribbean attire. The dinner was delicious and the entertainment was very lively. The Winnipeg sisters and brothers also surprised everyone when they laid out a long table of delicious “kakanin” or Filipino sweet treats at around 10:00 in the evening which re-energized the lovely CFC-HOLD ladies who were on the dance floor.
The conference was capped by the last talk on Sunday, “In Full Bloom”, given by International CFC-HOLD Coordinator, Didi Galsim. The delegates were touched by testimonies of two sharers, as well as reflection periods during which beautiful songs were sung.
Archbishop Albert Legatt of the St. Boniface Diocese and Archbishop James Weisgerber, Archbishop of Winnipeg graced the event. Each of them, including the Friday Mass celebrant, Father Martin Bradbury of Holy Cross Parish, cited the special contribution of Couples for Christ and CFC-Handmaids of the Lord in supporting the various parishes and serving as witnesses to God’s love and message of evangelization.
Before closing this year’s conference, Malou Reyes handed out awards to the different areas which were met with loud cheers. All the delegates then said goodbye to Winnipeg and have now set their sights on the 2011 conference to be held in Toronto!