CFA-MA was founded in 1960 by a Dutch priest Father Cornelio Lagerwey, a member of the
congregation of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC). His slogan was "Not tomorrow
but today," and his vision, "To serve God through media." At present, CFA-MA publishes various magazines
for high school students and elementary pupils in English and in Filipino. It has also other media
services for the needs of Evangelization.
Fr. Cor Lagerwey, MSC died on August 15, 1995. Please pray for and with him using his favorite prayer
"Abide with Me." Click
here for the text of the prayer with midi music, made available through
Melody Lane. (Melody Lane is protected; when prompted, put abc for User name, and 123 for Password).
Some Anecdotes from
(CD, August 2001) THE MONK'S OARS
The head of the monastic Order heard that one of the young monks was
expressing doubts about the Order's motto, "Pray and Work." So he invited
the young man to go rowing with him, and took the oars himself, but only
stroked with one of them. The boat was making no headway and the young monk
shook his head and commented, "If you just use one oar you'll continue to go
around in circle and you won't get anywhere." "True, my son," replied the
old monk. "One oar is called prayer, and the other is called work. Unless
you use both at the same time, you just go in circles and make no progress."
-- Don Bosco Salesian Bulletin
(CD, August 2001) OUR FIRST COMMUNIONS
Some distinctly Catholic memories are unforgettable. They recede but never
disappear. We can draw them up from the deep well of our youthful
recollections and savor them again and again.
Such memories can also be suddenly evoked - by something as simple as a
First Communion. There can't be many Catholics who don't remember their
For many, the mixture of childhood innocence, religious solemnity, and
human excitement made this day memorable. But the event itself, the first
time we recieve the Body and Blood of Christ, is singularly important to
every Catholic child in the world.
When Napoleaon was exiled for the last time on the island of St. Helena, his
biographer accompanied him. Every detail of the emperor's past was
pertinent. No item of information was too small. No date was
One day, knowing that Napoleon's life was nearing its end, the biographer
asked him a question. "Your Highness," the biographer wanted to know, "what
was the happiest day of your life?"
The dying man turned his head toward the window. He did not answer
immediately, but stared out for a while at the sea in the distance. He was
heard to sigh. Then, slowly, Napoleon, conqueror of Europe, turned back to
the biographer. "I remember it celarly, Monsieur," he answered. "The
happiest day of my life was long ago, when I was quite young. It was," the
emperor said, "the day I made my First Communion."
-- Father Peter V. Conley in The Pilot.
(CD, July 2001) A WEEKEND OF SINS
Having returned to the Catholic Church after a 20-year absence, I was a
little nervous about my Confession. I thought it might be best if I
scheduled a special meeting with Father. He agreed, but it only added to my
nervousness when he suggested meeting on the Saturday before Labor Day,
"just in case we need the extra long weekend."
-- Alan Weinberger
(CD, July 2001) GENIUS
The stage mother cornered concert violinist Itzhak Perlman in his dressing
room and insisted he listen to a tape of her talented son, the violinist.
Perlman, resentful of the intrusion on his time, nevertheless agreed to
listen, since the mother was so insistent.
The mother switched on the portable player, and it began.
Such music, Perlman thought. A difficult piece, but played with such
insight and genius that it brought tears to his eyes. He listened
spellbound to the entire recording, and composed himself before he could
"Madam," he whispered, "is that your son?"
"No," said the stage mother, "that's Jascha Heifitz, but my son sounds just
(CD, June 2001) GOOD FROM BAD
When I was four years old, I was badly burned in a fire. My face and arms
were scarred. As I grew up, I suffered mixed reactions from adults who
pitied me and children who were terrified of me.
When I was about twelve, I decided that a God who cared about me would take
away my scars. When that didn't happen, I stopped believing in Him.
A few years ago something changed that for me. A friend of mine has a
four-year-old boy who liked to play with fire. She called me and asked if I
would talk to him.
The next day I went over to her house and told her little boy all that would
happen to someone who was burned. He hasn't touch matches since.
I now realize that God showed me how to bring something good out of a
-- Lisa M. Miller
(CD, October 2000) HONEST MOM
My mother never lectured to me about the importance of honesty, but I knew what she believed by the way she lived her life.
In the summer of my junior year of high school, I got my first job. As soon as I received my first paycheck, I asked Mom to take me shopping. For starters, I needed new clothes for my new job. We scoured the stores until finally I chose a two-piece outfit.
Paying for it took a long time, too. The store was crowded and the clerks harried. Although both pieces of the outfit carried price tags, the cashier charged me only the amount on one tag.
I looked at Mom; she looked at me, but said nothing. I started to speak, but the people behind us were pushing, and the cashier was handling me the package. I imagined her having to call for someone to check the price, void out her register tape, and start over again while the customers grew angry and my face turned red.
I grabbed the package and left the store. She must know what she's doing, I reasoned. But the ride home was very quiet.
The outfit hung in my closet for several days. I couldn't bring myself to wear it; I couldn't stand to see it. All of the fun of the first job, the first paycheck, and the shopping trip was spoiled. Finally, I went to Mom. "I think the store made a mistake," I said. "Can we take them the rest of the money?"
Mom smiled. "I already sent it to them," she answered.
"But, Mom," I protested guiltily, "weren't you going to tell me? It was really my responsibility."
"All I know is that if something is wrong, I have to do what I can to make it right. Just like you're doing now," she said.
I gave Mom the money and hugged her. I got a lot of good out of that outfit.
-- Amy T. Russell
(CD, September 2000) SAY, "OUCH!"
A little boy was brought to the doctor with a possible fractured arm. "We'll have to take a picture of that arm," the doctor said.
Winching with pain, the boy replied, "Do I have to smile?"
-- Martha J. Beckman
(CD, July 2000) THE ACID TEST
When my little niece was about to try her first grapefruit, I told her the first bite would taste sour, but the ones after that wouldn't. So she handed me her spoon and said, "Here, you take the first bite."
One day recently I answered the phone and thought I recognized the voice of my small niece, but I wasn't quite sure.
"Hello," I said, "Who is speaking, please?"
There was a short silence and a puzzled voice said, "You are!"
(CD, March 2000) PEOPLE ARE LIKE THAT
On Christmas morning when Mama handed me the tissue-wrapped gift box, my heart beat so fast I could hardly get my breath. Money was scarce in our house in 1937 and I had assumed that presents were out of the question.
I had dreamed about a new dress for months--a very special dress, sky blue with lots of white rickrack and full skirted so that it would stand straight out when I twirled and may be rustle a little as I walked.
I carefully opened the package and peeked inside. My heart sank. The dress in the box was made of small squares of prints, plaids, stripes, and solids.
Crying uncontrollably, I threw it on the floor and fled to my room. I'll never forget the hurt look in Mama's face.
When there were no tears left, I went to Mama and tried to make amends for how I had acted. "It's pretty, Mama," I lied, "it's just that I wanted a blue dress with lots of white rickrack."
I cringed when I thought about wearing it to school, but I mustered all my courage and wore it the first day after Christmas vacation.
Tiny, a big mean boy, did a double-take when I walked into the classroom. "Hey, look, Betsy didn't have time to get out of the covers this morning. She's wearing her bed quilt." Even some of the nice kids snickered.
Our teacher, Miss Travis, was a rich woman (anyone who owned a car had to be rich) and she dressed like the pictures in the fashion magazines. She hushed the class and said, "My, my, Betsy, where did you get that beautiful dress?"
I thought she, too, was making fun of me. "My mother made it," I said quite loudly. And I like it."
Several kids giggled at my new-found spunk. Miss Travis said, "I think it's just about the prettiest, most original dress I've ever seen. Do you suppose your mother could make one for me? You're a very lucky girl to have a mother with such taste and imagination."
Within a week she wore her quilt dress to school. On her it looked very fashionable, and before long nearly every girl in school had one, too.
-- Bette Hickman
(CD, March 2000) IN OUR PARISH, on the night of a scheduled seminar, some parishioners became angry when they braved stormy weather to find the parish hall unlit and the event cancelled. Topic of the cancelled seminar? "Coping with Anger."
FACTS ABOUT OLIVES (CD, March 2000)
Black olives and green olives are both harvested while the olive is green.
The Mediterranean produces 90% of the world's olives. Italy and Spain together produce more than half the world's olives.
The earliest olympic flame was a burning olive bough.
Franciscan missionaries brought the olive to California from Mexico in 1769.
In the early missions, its oil was used in the diet and burned in lamps.
An eagle carries the olive brance (a symbol of peace) in its right claw on the Great Seal of the United States.
The first sign of plant life Noah saw after the flood was the olive branch.
Olives permeated almost every aspect of life in ancient Israel. Olives themselves served as food, the oil as fuel for lamps, medicine, anointing; the wood was used in making furniture.
An olive tree in the Vatican garden is believed to have been already bearing fruit when Charlemagne arrived in Rome in A.D. 800.
[Note: In Italy, olive oil is called "oleo vergine"]
(CD, March 2000) WORDS FOR QUITE MOMENTS
"To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage."
-- Lau Tzu
"All of our acts have sacramental possibilities."
-- Freya Stark
"Our life and our death are with our neighbor."
-- Anthony of the Desert
"Whenever doubts and silences of God are seen to deepen, will you look to discern the desert flower?"
-- Brother Roger of Taizé.
"For us there is only trying. The rest is not our business."
-- T. S. Eliot
"Faith is stepping out into the unknown with nothing to guide us but a hand just beyond our grasp."
-- Frederick Buechner
(CD September 1998)
I was baby-sitting my five-year-old granddaughter one day. While she was busy playing, I began to sew on my sewing machinede us but a hand just beyond our grasp."
-- Frederick Buechner
(CD September 1998)
I was baby-sitting my five-year-old granddaughter one day. While she was busy playing, I began to sew on my sewing machine. Since I was concentrating on what I was doing I didn't realize she was watching me.
All of a sudden she announced very seriously, that her "other grandmother had one of those, too, but she had never heard her play it."
(CD, September 1998) "Any problem that can be solved with money isn't a problem. It's an expense."
(CD, September 1998)
It is possible to travel alone. But the good traveller knows that the journey is human life and life needs company. Happy are they who feel that every man they meet is their chosen companion. The good traveller takes care of his weary companions. He guesses when they lose heart. He takes them as he finds them, listens to them. Intelligently, gently, above all, lovingly, he encourages them to go on and recover their joy in the journey.
-- Dom Helder Camara
(CD, September 1998) CRUISING THE GALILEE
A pastor made a pilgrimage to Israel, and the first stop was at the Sea of Galilee. The pastor found a boat to take him out to where Jesus is thought to have walked. "How much to take me to the precise spot?" the pastor asked.
"It's free," replied the captain.
So they went to the prescribed area, and the pastor was overcome with emotion. When he recovered sufficiently, the pastor said, "Let us go back to shore."
"Very good," replied the captain. "But going back will cost $35."
"You told me the trip cost nothing!" the pastor objected.
"But that was only the trip out," said the captain. The trip back costs $35."
"No wonder Jesus got out and walked!" harrumphed the pastor.
-- James Myers, A Treasury of Religious Humor.
Print Media (Editorial;
Printing and Production Center):
° Baby Jesus
° Catholic Digest
° Gospel Komiks for high school and elementary students, in English and in Filipino
Center for Catechetics and Evangelization