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Sharing of Faith during Pandemic Time - CDB of Manila

By Fr. Eli Cruz
Assistant CDB (Con Don Bosco) secular institute

Manila, Philippines, 2 June 2020 -- Since 2014, the few members of the CDB Center (Group) in Manila, Philippines , is slowly but surely growing - in numbers, in their vocation and in secular apostolic consecration. Accompanied by their Ecclesiastical Assistant face-to-face in Manila and by their CDB at a distance (online) since 2015, the candidates for the secular Salesian consecrated life are familiar with digital technology.

We are glad to present some pieces of their sharing over Easter, during pandemic times. In the Philippines the lock-down was declared already before Easter Sunday, and all three Easter sharings are within this context. For the sake of 'secular consecrated reserve' we don't report their real names. The questions for Gospel meditation are a trigger from their Assistant:

What would you like to talk about in your dialogue with Jesus?

How would you make Him stay as you continue walking towards your goal in this CDB formation year?

In this time of virtual noise amidst the seeming unreal silence, how do you re-echo a voice that is care-giving and life-giving?

When was the last time you heard the voice of a Good Shepherd and how have you re-echoed it?

"In my journey these past few weeks during the Extensive Community Quarantine it was a time of testing and a trying time. Classes are still on-going, and it is more challenging because it is more demanding than seeing the class face to face. But aside from this which concerns me, is the testing times when my father contracted COVID virus. (Peter)

I said the rosary this time with the other CDB brothers via Zoom. I really asked the Lord to continue to guide me in my time of quarantine to really prepare for my profession of vows towards the end of this year. I make myself available for the weekly journey of formation in the CDB. I have asked Him to stay with me so He can remind me of the path that I am going to. (Andrew)

The whole quarantine period was not that all bad. I had the chance to reconnect with long-lost friends online, enhance my cooking skills with the help of YouTube (from level 1, I think I have improved to level 1.5... :), read books that I bought several years ago which I just opened this month. Currently I'm reading "The Four Gospels: Catholic Personal Study Edition" (Jacob)

Aside from being online for work, I spend some of my time in the apostolate of the social communication of the parish. Despite being in lockdown inside the house for almost 2 months, it is my little way to help other people that the prayers and celebration of the Eucharist reach their home. I equip myself as to how to make the Facebook Live more appealing to the people. I believe in this way, I may able to bring God into their homes. It’s my little help to let Jesus be felt in the households everyday.. Aside from assisting in the live streaming of the prayers in the Facebook page of our parish, I do entertain private messages of young people who are looking for someone to talk to." (Paul)

In a few months time the first CDBs in the EAO region will make their first profession. You are invited to accompany them in your prayers!

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