Thousands expected here for 2-day religious confab
May B. Miasco (The Freeman) - November 5, 2016 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines – Over a thousand lay members from different dioceses in Visayas and Mindanao are expected to convene in Cebu today for workshops and activities aimed to make them better "agents of mercy."

The 2nd Regional Catholic Charismatic Conference will start today until tomorrow at the International Eucharistic Congress on John Paul II Avenue, Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City.

Fe Barino, Cebu Archdiocese-Catholic Charismatic Renewal Service chairperson, told The Freeman that the two-day conference will engage participants on various discussions, particularly on how to better help those addicted to drugs.

With the theme, "Empowered by the Holy Spirit as agents of mercy," Barino said they decided to focus the conference this year on the country's drug problem because it is one of the pressing issues in the community.

They are expected to come up with concrete action plans to help those involved in drugs.

Barino said they will have to adopt their own faith-based recovery programs to help those "spiritually lost" find their way back to their communities through renewed divine intervention.

Rene Francisco, program director for the community-based drug recovery program Surrender to God (SuGod), will be discussing about "Agents of Mercy to Evangelize the Lost."

Father Ramon Ofredo, spiritual director of Catholic Charismatic Renewal Service of the Archdiocese of Cebu, will also be one of the speakers.

In the afternoon, Ale Aguspina, evangelizer and founder of God's People Catholic Fellowship, will discuss about "Agents of Mercy to Strengthen the Family Life" while Arnel Sacris, Couples for Christ Cebu provincial area director, will also be giving discussing about family life.

Tomorrow, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma will be celebrating a mass at 11 a.m.

Attendees of the second bi-annual religious gathering will mostly be leaders of various Catholic lay organizations.

Today, the conference will be open to lay members while tomorrow, the event will be open to all. Organizers will be accepting on-site registration.

The first gathering was held in Mandaue City in 2014. —/ATO (FREEMAN)

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