Catholic Vancouver Mar 14, 2015

Couples for Christ celebrates first concert in B.C.

By Agnieszka Krawczynski

Worship leader Anton Brosas (front), several guitarists, and a choir take the stage at B.C.'s first Liveloud event Feb. 21. More than 1,500 members attended. (Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic)

SURREY—Couples for Christ recently celebrated its biggest concert in Western Canada. More than 1,500 energetic members filled an auditorium in Surrey for the event Feb. 21.

The praise and worship event, Liveloud, was first introduced to CFC in its founding country, the Philippines, in 2009. It was in B.C. for the first time.

"The message of Liveloud is more than a concert," said worship leader Anton Brosas. "It's more than songs. It's actually a lifestyle."

He explained every piece of music in his repertoire was an original piece written by a CFC member, submitted to the headquarters in Manila, and approved for use worldwide.

"We're singing prayers that have been written by people in our community - that have touched their own lives - in the hopes that through their experience, and God working through them, we can also recognize that God is working through us."

This first Liveloud in B.C. was held at Chandos Pattison Auditorium on the 21st anniversary of CFC's arrival in Canada. It included Mass with Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, exhibitor booths, and the high-energy concert.

Enthusiastic CFC members cheered, sang, clapped, and waved their arms as they sang the powerful and simple lyrics. Archbishop Miller had praised their joy during his homily earlier that day.

"I thank you for your steadfast love and your zeal in bringing others to the Lord," he said. "It doesn't take too much imagining to think how impoverished our local church would be without your zealous presence in our midst."

Liveloud has been held in Canada before: its first appearance outside the Philippines was in 2012 in Toronto. At the most recent events in Toronto (2014) and Calgary (2015), the number of participants has hovered around 550.

Event organizer John Navoa was impressed CFC had sold all 1,500 tickets for its first-ever praise concert. "It is a very good vehicle for evangelization," he said.

The crew of 150 volunteers, including the worship band, arrived at the auditorium as early as 4 a.m. to prepare for the show. Its theme, which came from CFC higher-ups in Manila, was Love More.

"The biggest takeaway is: evangelize. Do not be silent, but live loud, loving God. That's all it is. We just have to go out there and love God more."

Kathleen Subang, a pastoral worker for Singles for Christ, said members of Kids for Christ, Youth for Christ, Singles for Christ, Handmaids of the Lord, and Couples for Christ came from as far away as Victoria, Prince George, Calgary, and Edmonton.

"Hopefully, after the concert, people will have more courage and prudence to talk about Christ, not just contained where there is a cross, or in our activities in the community, but (spread) even to those people who we think do not accept us," she said.

Mary Clarin was thrilled to connect with fellow Youth for Christ members from across the Lower Mainland at Liveloud.

"I love praise and worship, and this is an awesome time to praise and worship with other people who are just as passionate about their faith as I am."