Jun and Babie De Pedro were not regular churchgoers. Sometimes, they heard Sunday Mass once a month, sometimes not even once a month. They were simply busy with household chores.
Jun, whose own family is not Catholic, was not keen on going to Mass. But in time, he eventually appreciated the Faith.
Babie: We were not really inclined to go to Mass regularly. The heat inside the parish church and the noise of jeepneys outside the church doors were a distraction to us.
I preferred to watch the programs that I liked on TV instead of going to Mass.
I have my own share of imperfections. I nagged at my husband Jun— not a few times. I could get harsh on my son Ruffy when he committed mistakes. I smoked— a bad habit that irritated, if not worried, my husband and son.
I also used to worry a lot.
Finding The Feast
In 2011, my youngest sister, Joan, who lives in the Visayas, came to Manila for a vacation. As we needed to bring her sightseeing around the metropolis, our neighbor, Bella Estrella, invited us to attend Feast PICC.
So we attended, together with Ruffy. Instantly, we liked it there. But after a couple of months, Joan had to go back to the province. Then we faced financial problems and so we skipped attending the Feast.
But I did not stop praying. At The Feast, I received a copy of the Novena to God’s Love, that small but powerful prayer booklet given to first-time attendees. The booklet provided a space for your dream. I wrote down my dreams and prayed for them. Good things began to happen. My husband got promoted as warehouse supervisor in the food chain where he works. His job brought financial blessings to our family but still, we did not go to Mass regularly because he had work on Sundays.
I continued to pray for a better life for our family. I prayed I could kick off smoking. Lo and behold, at the onset of 2012, I was able to stop smoking— totally. Now, I don’t even want the smell of cigarette smoke anymore!
At The Feast, Bro. Bo gave talks about good parenting, so instead of lashing at Ruffy when he committed a mistake, I talked with him in a manner he would understand what I wanted him to do. As a result, Ruffy has become even more responsible and obedient.
Ruffy prays that he be successful in the future. He wrote this in his copy to Novena to God’s Love. Now, he is in his second year in college taking up Electronics and Communications Engineering and does his best to maintain his good grades.
I’d been kinder to Jun, and he has responded in a calmer and more loving way. So we have less conflict at home.
And by the grace of God, another good thing happened. The day-off of Jun was transferred to Sundays!
Then, Jun, who is not Catholic, decided to come along with us to The Feast.
Another big blessing came our way this 2016. We were able to move to our own house in Imus, Cavite.
Back to the Church
Jun: “It is not simply a matter of religion. My own family belonged to another Christian church but I was not baptized there. I attended Catholic Masses, but not always.
I find The Feast different. I learn a lot from the talks of Bro. Bo. He is a great instrument in my spiritual renewal. When I have problems, even when I feel like losing hope, I find myself not giving up because Bro. Bo’s talks give me direction. After listening to him, I would know what to do with my dilemma.
Babie: I wished I could serve God through The Feast, and He granted this wish. I became one of the new ushers in the Warmth Cluster.
I’m always excited and happy to come to The Feast every Sunday. I don’t say, “Next time na lang.”
I am relaxed at The Feast because there, problems seem to disappear. There are no distractions such as honking of vehicles passing by.
Masses are the same anywhere, but the difference is getting focused. I could listen well at The Feast. But just in case I fail to come to The Feast, I will still hear Mass in our parish.
Jun: At the Feast, we find meaning in the Holy Mass. We are able to focus and listen well to the Word and the homily of the priest.
Our son Ruffy, now 17, says, “I enjoy the Mass at The Feast, and the music. I can understand the homilies, and I laugh hard at the jokes of some priests. Even if I sleep late at night, say 11 p.m., I never feel sleepy the following day at The Feast. When Bro. Bo comes onstage, I feel happy. I am touched by his talks, deep in my heart. There are also gimmicks and I want to serve there.
“Yes, every Sunday, I’m excited to hear the preaching. The Word read from the Bible leaves a mark in my mind. It sometimes hits hard, and you feel like crying and be open to God’s Word. What they say is true. The Feast is the happiest place on Earth.
Now that we have moved to Cavite, we are very blessed because there are Feasts near us!