Jason Diala addresses the national conference of Couples for Christ at the U of A.
EDMONTON — About 500 youth from across Western Canada assembled at the University of Alberta July 29-31 for the second installment of the national conference of Couples for Christ.
The first installment, held in Ottawa July 15 to 17, was attended by more than 250 youth.
The conference began Friday night with a nation-themed opening number and pep rally. The celebratory opening session, From Seas to Sea, was led by Calgary area head, Jason Diala.
"Canada is really alive. . . . All delegations were all well represented," Diala said. Indeed, the conference marked the first time attendance of "mission areas" such as Red Deer, Ponoka, and Whistler, B.C.
Creative competitions took place Friday evening and Saturday morning. Notable performances included the recently added competition, poetry slam by Ajay Neyra, from the Pacific region.
The competitions varied from band, dance, banner, and more.
"God is very colourful," said Rieza Zara, technical director of the Couples for Christ conference.
Sports competitions took place in the early afternoon.
The youth were armed and readied for workshops later Saturday afternoon led by Father Jim Corrigan of St. Theresa Parish, Franciscan Father Dan Gurnick of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, pastoral worker Candy Subang and Cassandra Deluca from the Canadian Blood Bank.
Evening sessions, titled Target Identified and Armed and Ready, sought to brief youth about the schemes of Satan and equip them with God's armour.
They were led by Ellen Maigue-Talacca and Vince Gomba, full-time pastoral workers of Couples for Christ-Youth for Christ.
The evening closed with a Spirit-led praisefest led by AJ Cabaccang from the Pacific region.
Sunday morning ended the conference on an invigorating note. Speaker Gelo Saludo, event head, urged participants to take up the call of the True North, echoing all reflections surrounding the theme.
Following a powerful praisefest by James Rodas, it was announced the next national conference will be held in Winnipeg.
Archbishop Richard Smith celebrated the Sunday Mass at Horowitz Theatre, while Fathers Nilo Macapinlac, CFC Edmonton's spiritual director, and Paul Moret celebrated other conference Masses.
Spiritual invigoration was felt in both participant and service team members alike.
"Especially in the last praisefest, . . . I really felt that God was actually there" says Monica Cerin, an Edmonton first-time attendee from Edmonton.
"The conference is a reminder that God created us to be armed and ready for battle and ready for his victory," said Saludo.
For more information about Couples for Christ-Edmonton, visit its website at www.cfc-edmonton.ca or call (780) 982-9152.