Graced and Aglow

Graced and Aglow, the much awaited three day femme weekend of the Couples for Christ India (CFCI) commenced on April 22 at the Seasons Resort, Fatorda.

The first day of the weekend program started with fellowship, when all the women from all over the country spent time to greet each other and introduce themselves to one another.

This was followed by the first session of the weekend, “Arms of my father“, given by Beverly Braganza D’Souza. Through her heart touching sharing about her journey in understanding who she was, she helped the women gathered rediscover their relationship with God and identify the areas or reasons why they failed to connect with God. They were then presented “The Father’s Love Letter“, to remind them of how much the father loves his daughter. Some women shared how they felt that God’s love even when they think they have disappointed Him.

After a break and a light time of fellowship, the next sharing followed. Audrey Gerard in her session “Crown Jewel of Creation“, spoke on what a women is worth, using an analogy between the Sacraments and the role of a woman in homes. She spoke of how they are called to be as wives, mothers and women in society and that all that a woman does for her family is actually a sacrament. Audrey through her sharing inspired the women to face any negative situations not as a problem, but as opportunity to glorify God.

The session by Audrey, set the tone for the next session by Delwyn Lobo, “Rebuilding the temple“. In this session the area covered were the cries of a women, understanding her brokenness and surrendering the same back to God. The flashback into their past brought a lot of healing. Some even discovered the root causes for a few of their cries and discovered corrective and preventive measures.

Quoting

Titus 2:3-5 “Likewise, tell the older women to be reverent in behaviour, not to be slanderers or slaves to drink; they are to teach what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be self-controlled, chaste, good managers of the household, kind, being submissive to their husbands, so that the word of God may not be discredited.”

Suzette De Souza in here session on the theme of the program “Living Graced and Aglow“, led the people to question themselves as to what is it, that God is calling them to do. Sharing experiences and suggestions on how to live a life of grace and aglow, setting Mama Mary as the role model to achieve success doing so.

In the midst of all these sessions, the women spent time in worship, activities, games, and group discussions. Activities like exchanging Secret Sister Cards, got them elated to give and receive a card. They also shared recipes and health care tips which got them bonding and building lasting friendships, even with people they were meeting for the first time.

Truly it was a femme weekend like never before. After a round of selfies and group photographs. With a graceful smile and a glowing face, with the light of Christ, everybody hit the road back home to live as a renewed women.

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14 Responses to Graced and Aglow

  1. The programme was really awesome. Every small detail was taken care. All the four teachings were excellent. The speakers not only gave the teachings but they broke themselves. It really had a great impact on me. The teaching about God our father, different cries of life. And it also showed me how I can be a true friend. The general beauty tips, tips on diet and teaching on menopause also helped us a lot. Also the party night helped us to know other sisters. Secret sister was a unique idea. On the whole the whole programme has motivated us to do something for others that is why we feel other sisters also should experience this. God bless us all specially the sisters who organised this programme for us.

  2. The weekend for me was a treat. A banquet prepared by my lover God.
    The inputs were edifying. The wholeness tips were energizing. The sisterhood was very refreshing. God’s merciful reminder that life in CFC FFL community is beautiful A TASTE OF HEAVEN. Thanks to Blossom and Marie Lourdes and so many others that silently but efficiently worked to put tiny details in place.

  3. Thanks to tita Marie Lourdes and the team for organizing a lovely weekend for us ladies. It was a good time for us to reflect on who we are, why were we beautifully made and how do we need to live as women of God. It’s very true that our relationship with our fathers determine our relationship with our heavenly father. Audrey s testimony encouraged me to give glory to God in whatever situation i may be in. I too with get irritated when my husband would ask me to do things when I would be tired.
    Thanks to tita Marie Lourdes have started using a face wash and moisturiser at night. Leanne, you were superb! Got to know what’s my body shape. Oh I had jolly good roomies!! Tita Pramila was like a motherly figure in the room. For once I dint have to make my own coffee in the morning. Leanne and tita Pramila were good fun to be with chatting till midnight. Tita delwin s talks as usual were meaningful as she always shares her life in her talks. Suzette was very powerful and we needed somebody like her during that time. I had a lovely and supportive discussion group where in all were so open n comfy with one another. Oh I loved dancing that night. Enjoyed myself!!! I thank all my lovely sisters who wrote such lovely notes to me and made me feel special.

  4. When I heard about the weekend for us ladies I was all excited about it as the programme was a big suspense for me and was curious to know what it was all about. It was also going to be a good break for me from my normal routine and was eagerly waiting to spend time with my sisters.
    Indeed it was truly a blessed weekend. Took back a lot from the weekend which will be cherished for life. Marie Lourdes, Blossom, Fatima and all others who worked tirelessly did a fabulous job of putting up such an enthralling weekend for us ladies making us feel loved and special. Each speaker created an impact on our lives. There were moments when I felt like a spinster especially with my fab roommates Arina and Sandra. Not to forget the dancing and jumping which took me back to my college days. Our discussion group leader Debbie did a fantastic job of getting us to share from our heart.
    The need and ways to change my body, mind and soul, first, to be an example to the rest is what I took back from the entire programme.
    My special thanks to all intercessors especially who came to the venue and prayed for us to make this weekend a fruitful one for us. God bless you all.

  5. I thank God for bringing me for such a beautiful programme. Thks to Marie Lourdes for initiating me to attend. God the Fathers unconditional love, gift of womanhood and every detail in woman’s life was well taken care of. I am really blessed ñ feel special. Thanks to our sisters Marie Lourdes Blossom n all other sisters who tirelessly n secretly worked to make us special. Viva womanhood!!!

  6. Special, unique and dearly loved. Totally pampered. That’s how I felt at the Femme Weekend. The letter from my heavenly Father professing His deep n unconditional love for me brought tears of joy to my eyes . The fact that I am not a mistake set the ball rolling for me at the very start . The secret sister concept kept me on my guard. The talks were very inspiring more because the speakers shared their own life experiences. If the spiritual talks made me feel graced n set me aglow inwardly I know for sure that I was glowing outwardly too cause the mask did a great job. In other words all that was required to make a complete woman was taken care of. The Father’s love culminated into something even more beautiful. I’m really glad you did that. Blossom dear you must have spent quite a sleepless nights putting everything together for us. For the two of you n all the others who helped in even the smallest way to make this weekend a memorable one for us, a big God bless n deep gratitude . Love you all. Juliet.

  7. In General: About the FEMME weekend:
    I never expected the 3 days to be a relaxing, stress buster weekend. But from the time we got into the train with the rest of the 7 “Mangis” – boy it was so much fun to be “all girls” group where we could just shed our inhibitions of being mothers, wives and be ourselves as girls full of life.
    The group I got to mingle with – Nula, Arena, Maria & Jessica – were the cutest bunch of matured women though much younger to me in age. Loved every bit of the time we could spend together especially opening our lives to each other, and assimilate the good from each other’s lives so that we could use it positively.

    Marie Lou, Blossom – you & your team are superb! Every detail that was taken care of, the ambience, the simplicity yet elegance in décor, and most importantly the “secrets galore” was too much to digest. How did you do it – I still am in awe of you all.

    Oh ya the beauty tips (though I have shared with others- I am yet to follow the face pack) but it was a pleasure doing that exercise with our girls in our group – to pamper them and feel good about it.
    On the whole , with a mix of the right teachings , fun, dancing ( our group made you all laugh till it ached) good food, loads of love and affections from our sisters, getting an opportunity to know so many beautiful people- Oh ya the beautiful dainty Sacramanta- she is a doll & quite a techie with her camera ( I was ashamed of myself not knowing how to handle it) this weekend has been a booster for my life to put into practice what I learnt and brush off the thick skin I have developed over the years to be more caring person.

    To you Lord a mighty clap of praise for your blessings on this programme . I know the sisters have been continuously interceding for this and I thank you Lord for the sacrifices these sisters have made so that we could have a lovely time.

    How the Graced & Aglow touched my life:
    My view of my Heavenly Father and my relationship likewise with my earthly Father.
    One think I was sure of all my life is “My daddy God” has always been by my side especially from my childhood days when I did not remember even what my daddy looked like since I lived with him only till age 5 (abroad) and after that only when I was 13 my dad was able to come down to India. His problem of alcoholism broke our family life and especially seeing my mom struggling to meet ends and endure the snide remarks of people around her made me a strong person and I could only cry out to God to help us and bring our daddy back to us. Over the years God has worked countless miracles in my life especially the greatest miracle of my dad quitting alcohol and my faith in my Heavenly Father became stronger that I keep telling people who sail thru the same boat “Pray, go on your knees, but never doubt because Our daddy God may take time to listen – but He will never let His child down.”

    Beverley also discussed -how do we handle authority given to us. I take this as a great blessing how God works in me with the people whom I manage at my work place- this is put to test every day, even with my house help at home. Being Christ to them is the most important thing on my mind. When I give them correction I am able to do it with love, and even if I am stern, I am back after a while with a pat on their back and with a positive word. Praise God for filling me with this grace.

    Crown Jewel of Creation by Audrey was so beautifully explained and she broke her life. It touched me and especially I was able to relate to it with the challenges I have gone through in my life. But God has got me victorious in all trials of life being able to face them positively and most importantly with joy in our hearts and not a day of remorse of sadness. Truly it is the Holy Spirit working.

    There have been struggles I go through especially of Self-pity- which I became aware of and need to work on this area.

    Knowing that God has created me to be His crown jewel of creation made me feel so loved and precious in the eyes of my God.

    Our cries: I could relate to quite a few of the cries and found the root cause of them too. This is helping me being aware of the problem and I have started working on them. This was every efficiently delivered by Dewing. Hats off to her.

    Suzette on Living Graced & Aglow needed more time according to me and if she was given a morning slot it would be better since I was a little distracted having to catch the train. But how I could be a better person in order to meet my Prince and the steps explained by Suzette were interesting. The way she shared her life was an eye opener and made me reflect better.

    Especially what Suzette said “Am I praying for myself”?? Simple prayer “Lord expand the capacity of my heart to love” This has so much depth. I have begun to pray this.

    The whole weekend was a time of sharing our lives with our roomies, encouraging each other and most importantly reflecting on how I could change and be Graced and glorify my God .

    I thank God for this opportunity given to us and most importantly choosing us to be a part of this lovely
    Weekend. God bless you all.

    Be blessed!

  8. The weekend of Graced and Aglow will always be cherished.
    It was certainly the fruit of fervent prayers and the encouragement of my husband that brought me there.

    Right from the time I reached the venue, I could sense that God was preparing something wonderful for each of His precious daughters. I felt so welcomed and loved by all my sisters, many of whom I was meeting for the first time.

    Right from Friday evening, God was speaking to my heart, reiterating His love for me. Beverley’s testimony about her relationship with her father touched me.

    Sharing my life in the session, Woman the Crown Jewel of Creation, is really God’s doing. While I was preparing to deliver this session, I got an opportunity to introspect my relationships. Especially the analogy between the Sacraments and the role of a woman in homes was so beautiful. Feminine Genius, by our beloved Saint John Paul II, helped me to apply it in my own life, Mama Mary being the perfect example for us to imitate.

    The teaching on the Cries and how to live Graced and Aglow were such beautiful teachings and gave me an insight into my own life. There is always room for God to work. He is our Creator and He knows best.

    I enjoyed the secret sister activity. As much as I loved making a card for my secret sister, I was elated to receive one. I find myself like a child looking forward to little joys.

    All the other sessions – beauty tips, simple recipes, how to dress, how to keep healthy and what to do when approaching menopause were very informative.

    The party night was super fun! I laughed so hard with our performances. Silly they may have seemed, but that is how God wants us to be. Be like little children.

    Last but not the least, I thank God and pray a blessing upon all those who toiled to make this weekend such a memorable one. The power of intercessory prayer was felt. All of us were in good health and high spirits. There was not a single dull moment.

    All glory and praise to God!

  9. I was very excited when i knew that d weekend was going to be held in margao mainly because i would b able to spend d weekend with my margao sisters cos i really miss them.

    Thanks to Marie Lourdes blossom Fatima n d entire service team who have worked tirelessly to put this prog together. It was a complete package with every aspect of a woman taken care of.

    The speakers were excellent n Audrey s testimony was inspiring n mind blowing although i knew some of it.

    A big thank you to the intercessors who silently prayed for us. Without them it would not have been a success.

    I was glad to have roommates from Mangalore Mavis n Priscilla.

    I enjoyed d dancing and every bit of d prog. This prog also gave d women a chance to lead praise n worship. It was a great experience for me to lead worship. It was a memorable weekend.
    Thank you all

  10. I must say this fem weekend made us feel special and loved.
    The talks were appropriate for us was presented to us tastefully and artistically.
    It made us fully aware of our worth at home with family and the community.
    I was touched to see that at every single moment there was someone interceding for us. Thanks to MacLean and all the members of CFC spending time with the Lord for us. God Bless you a hundred fold. Thanks to all. I liked the talk on Cries. It made us aware that we are not perfect and we all have Cries and if we surrender them to Him we will experience the Peace in all Situations.
    We were also given tips on grooming, dressing and style, Food and diet, and a medical talk too on Menopause. I’m sure some ladies must have benefited especially the youngsters.
    Veronica thanks for arranging the music and the dances etc. ?????When Marie Lourdes came up with the idea last year I was the first one to give my name and suggested a hotel so that it would be comfortable for the elderly ladies too.

  11. d programme was something to cherish in a life time. I have already started recommending to my other sisters never to miss a program like this. I am graced n aglow.

  12. Hat off to d entire team, for arranging an excellent program only for us ladies. It dealt with every aspect of our lives. Love -which is all encompassing, relationship with God our Father, crown jewel of creation. womanhood ,greatest gift ,validation to d part v play in our fly, d cries ….I often didn’t pay lot of attention .your tips on self-grooming will help me . My focus now will be in accepting the love of God my Father n believing that he really cares for me n loves me . The time spent away from home, was well spent. Thk u also for organizing, well thought activities, surprises a plenty…..I thank God for bringing me for this ….Graced n Aglow Program. I am blessed.

  13. Well well. What do I say? We got home from a week’s holiday that same Friday 22nd by 10am; deprived of sleep as we were driving down since previous afternoon with 5hours stop to sleep
    Tired and exhausted I unpacked the bags thinking about the bag I had to pack for the femme weekend
    I’m not sure what I was feeling but surely a little excited.
    That feeling would instantly fade away each time I remembered that my maid from going on vacation till June
    …Come back to a home with no help loads of laundry from the holiday, cook, clean, scrub didn’t want to think about it…… just continue my holiday over the weekend
    So there I was… A Lil late to get in… Walking into the hall…actually tripped on that step…and pleasantly surprised by an ambience I hardly expected. WOW!
    Tita Fatima was as welcoming as she spoke lovingly in her sweet gentle voice. I couldn’t take my eyes off that flower arrangement. So beautiful and totally with common flowers. Amazing.
    Oops getting too long
    I realised that Our God is so loving that He is never disappointed when I think I disappointed Him. I figured that I was seeking in my hubby what I lacked in my dad. The letter from ABBA father did bring tears to my eyes.
    I was amazed to think of myself as the Crown jewel of creation. I realised that all that a woman did for her family is actually a sacrament. …when I looked at chores at home as boring and tedious
    I realised that I react rather than respond a lot many times. I hear a voice of correction when I correct my kids in the wrong manner.
    And yes I have to keep reminding myself to never miss an opportunity to shut my mouth
    The weekend was just amazing with so much to learn, loads of fun and pampering. The recipes and stuff got me excited to cook at home. Keep sharing
    I didn’t dance like that in a long time….feeling like a 16 year old
    my room buddies… we were chatting till after midnight.
    We even stole tita Maria the next night taking tips on life and family don’t know how tita survives with so Lil sleep. We love her hugs.
    Blossom too had sleepless nights and even headaches, love you. Tita Marie Lourdes for everything.

    Praise God I came home to a home with every dish in the house in the sink and found myself still smiling.
    Love you all. I thank God for each of you, intercessors, secret sister and each one who played a role to make this weekend so beautiful and blessed.
    May we remain in His love….Graced and Aglow.
    Amen.

  14. On behalf of our handmaids from Panjim i.e. Dora, Sacramenta, Astrid and myself. The Graced and Aglow programme was a truly beautiful experience. It really helped us to grow in beauty both inside and outside.

    We were really touched when we heard about the Father’s love for us and Beverly applying it to her own life was very moving. Reading His love letter brought tears to our eyes.

    We enjoyed pampering and cleansing our faces made us feel so peaceful and relaxed.
    Audrey’s sharing brought back memories of Dora’s own experience with cancer and was so uplifting. Wow we are created to be the Crown Jewel of Creation. What a beautiful thought. Delwyn really helped us identify the cries in our lives and taking us through our past brought a lot of healing.
    The sessions on nutrition and health were also very helpful.

    We could identify with Suzette’s inputs and examples and she truly showed us how to model our lives like Mama Mary. Her sharing and suggestions were so down to earth.

    All the worship sessions were so uplifting and anointed not to mention the actions songs that were fun filled.

    Despite of our age, we handmaids rock. We love to dance and really enjoyed the dancing sessions and working out the steps in our groups.

    The food was good and Fatima’s snack made us want more.
    Receiving the letters from our loved ones filled us with disbelief at first and then such a wave of joy it brought tears to our eyes.

    It was lovely meeting up with women from diff parts of Goa and Mangalore. Though we were meeting for the first time we bonded so well and intimately with one another. It felt so good to see the tremendous unity and bubbly joy among our sisters from Mangalore. It felt good relating with the younger ladies. We felt their care and concern and respect for our age. It also helped to pep us up and made us feel young again.

    The secret sister concept was beautiful where we observed and prayed for our sister and it was also lovely to both make and get a beautiful card not to forget the loving comments on our photo collage.
    Thanks Marie Lourdes and Blossom for all the tireless work and effort you’ll put in and thanks to Fatima too.

    We feel Blessed to have been given this beautiful opportunity and unforgettable experience. Now we are trying to put it into practice.?