Pacific Tri-Cities: Friends for Life

Miguel Legaspi gives the “Friends For Life” talk at the Tri-Cities Chapter Assembly on Friday, February 7, 2014 at St. Luke’s Parish in Maple Ridge, BC. (Photo: Gabe Canizares)

Coming in to the first Chapter Assembly (CA) of the year made me feel absolutely ecstatic! It had felt like such a long time since the last time Tri-Cities had come together as a chapter to worship, pray together, and learn about God and our faith. As always, the first Friday Mass and Sacred Heart of Jesus novena was very fruitful. I feel like not everyone acknowledges the fact that being able to go to Mass and novena before every CA is a blessing, but it definitely is. I admit to being guilty of either falling asleep or not listening to the message of the Mass and novena. But this time I felt focused, especially during the novena when we had to recite the longest prayer. I actually realized the meaning and importance of that prayer and I felt happy that I didn’t have to recite it in a monotone voice without any feeling.

Worship afterwards was quite a different experience for me because I got to stand at the front and change the song slides. I couldn’t really concentrate on my own prayer to God fully but watching everyone worship in front of me was amazing. I could really see everyone block everything else surrounding them and solely focus on their prayer to the Lord. It was such a neat moment because everyone’s facial expressions and hand placements were different, showing that God was present in everyone differently and personally. I have always wondered what it looks like to see people worship and I am happy that I did. Although we are such a small chapter, worship makes everything seem bigger and better.

After worship, the talk led by “Macapagaspi” (Miguel Legaspi and Pauline Macapagal) was called Friends for Life. The structure of the talk was a lot more engaging because it was basically personal shares from four people who learned important lessons. The main message that stuck with me from the talk was that we must choose friends who lead us closer to God and to a better and healthier life. The stories that were told really showed the mysterious ways that God works through us. Every share had a similar theme of going through rough trials and mistakes, yet finding God’s purpose and changing them for the better. We all question what our purpose in life is at one point and the talk gave good guidance on how to choose friends who will lead us to fulfill God’s will. I especially learned that God allows us to suffer and make mistakes that we may regret so that we can come to Him and acknowledge our weaknesses. Floating around from different circles of friends can be viewed as a good thing since we learn things from different people. We can make good or bad decisions depending on our influences but God makes sure that we learn a valuable lesson from it all.

I praise God for such an amazing and successful CA! New and old faces attended and made the experience much more fruitful. I am still amazed by the amount of things you can learn from a person from a 10 minute share about a tidbit of their life. I hope God will continue to bless Tri-Cities as a whole!

Tanya Zamora, CFC-Youth Pacific Region