CLC-God’s Work in Progress-NCR
Our group started back in 2003, when one of our members, Joanne Jesena-Gonzaga, walked past the CLC Center and saw a poster with the picture of her friend’s sister, Dawn Sim (we find out later on that the poster is that of the Pray CD). She went inside and found out what the office was. After learning what the CLC was, she inquired if she could join a group. She was then advised to gather friends and then they would be given a guide. Jo then approached her friends who were helping with her monthly gathering of street kids. These monthly outreach involved feeding the children, arts and crafts, and storytelling of Catholic values. These friends of Jo’s were people she met from a retreat organized by the Bukas Loob sa Diyos. At that time, they weren’t receiving any formation as a group, and thus they were happy to join a CLC group.
Tita Chibu Nañagas was then recommended by the CLC Secretariat as our guide. Back in 2003, we would meet in Tita’s house at San Lorenzo, Makati. There were about five or six of the original group. Eventually, only two remained—Tonette and Joanne, since some got married, got busy with children, while others went overseas. Tita Chibu asked them if they wanted to join another group since there were only two of them left. They reluctantly said yes, but soon after more members started trickling in. These were Tonette’s and Jo’s friends from a group called PSI. After several years Jo and the current members asked individuals who joined the CLC Silent Ignatian Retreats if they wanted to join the Community also. At some point the group had about 11 active members.
In 2011, we applied for an Observer Status with the Community Development Team. We were given the accreditation status during the National Assembly of that year. Many of us attended that gathering, and when the rest of CLC saw us, they wondered, “Akala namin full member na kayo!” (“We thought you already have a full member status!”). I guess because our Community always had a presence in most of the CLC activities.
The group got its name from the group of the street children that the original members were helping many years ago. Since the first members of God’s Work in Progress were originally those who volunteered to help them, they agreed to name the community as such. To this day, we are “God’s Work in Progress”. We continue to do God’s work, and God continues to do His work in us.
Our apostolate is a program called “What’s Next?”—it is a basic CLC Orientation for people who are interested to know the CLC Way of Life. Since we almost always have our Holy Week Ignatian retreats offered by the CLC Formation Institute, we would usually go around and invite non-CLCers to try out CLC after the breaking of the silence. We would invite them to sit-in in our community. Most of the present members of the GWIP CLC came from invitations to sit-in GWIP and see if they wanted to stay in the community. We figured that since this was a natural inclination, and a good practice, we officially made it our apostolate. Also, since we received so much from the formation that CLC gives us, we thought it would be good to share these to others.
Now we are back to a small group of five to six active members who join the weekly Friday night meetings. Other members got married, some moved abroad or to a different province, others got a different time schedule for work, and thus weren’t able to attend anymore. But wherever they are, we always remember to pray for them every Friday during our meetings. Thank God these people are still living actively the CLC Way of Life wherever they are, in their own communities.