PAG-BIG SA DIYOS CATHOLIC COMMUNITY ( PDCC ) is a Catholic, Marian and Charismatic Community which started in the late 1984.
In the early 80’s, the Lord Jesus made His call to “ Come after Me and I will make you fishers of men.” ( Mk. 1:17). The Marriage Encounter Foundation established Marriage Encounter Weekends meant to strengthen the bond of married couples. ME couples from The Christian Family Movement & Buklod ng Pag-ibig ( who mostly attended the ME at the Mirador Jesuit Villa in Baguio City ) with the late Father Pascual Adorable, SJ as Spiritual Director had the desire journey with the Lord in a very special way.
They realized it was not enough to attend and serve at ME Weekends. These couples needed to grow spiritually and agreed to go through a spiritual formation and organized Bukas Loob sa Diyos Community ( BLD) in January 1984 at the Green Valley Country Club in Pasig with Father Adorable as Spiritual Director.
Various Spiritual Programs were planned and implemented, which includes: weekly Prayer Meetings, Life in the Spirit Seminar (LSS) and Growth in the Spirit Seminar (GSS).
The weekly prayer meetings were held every Tuesday. The first prayer meeting was held at the penthouse of the BF Topman Building along Ayala Avenue, Makati. Eventually, the venue was transferred to one of the rooms at the ground floor of the Salesiana Publishing Building at Don Bosco, Makati.
As BLD grew in number, differences in perspective and directional emphasis came to surface. This led to the division of leadership and membership of the prayer group.
On February 7, 1984, a new group was organized to form Pag-ibig sa Diyos Catholic Prayer Group. Wally- Nena Garcia started to submit an application of the group to the Manila Archdiocesan Secretariat of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. While the application was being processed, this new group under Fr. Salvador “Sal” Pico, Jr. MS regularly holds meeting in preparation of the programs of the Community.
Sal Pico had his MEW in 1981 in Isabela and attended one of our ME programs in 1984. He was known as “Fr. Available” and was willing to guide the group through its dream of building a Community of renewed Christians.
The weekly prayer meetings held every Tuesday was eventually moved to the Audio Visual Room at the 2nd Floor of Salesiana Publishing Building at Don Bosco, Makati.
For spiritual strengthening, the new group attended a retreat in Baguio City with the late Bro. Paul Aguas, who was instrumental in uniting the group. He provided powerful prayer sessions and inspired teachings. Fr. John Bertolucci of Ann Arbor, Michigan, also a charismatic priest gave teachings and direction for the group. He anointed each member of the new core-group to be filled with the Holy Spirit and serve for the greater glory of God.
In May 1985, this new prayer group was duly registered and named Pag-ibig sa Diyos Catholic Community ( PDCC) with the eleven ( 11) founders, namely:
Boy – Blanca Santiago who graduated in one of our MEW could very well be considered as one of the founders. He was then head of another community – Mary’s Joy but was requested to actively join PDCC. They accepted and took care of the spiritual growth of the Community. Wally-Nena Garcia was responsible for the prayer group programs and Ben-Luz Gadi took care of the Apostolates of the Community and was deeply involved in the Marriage Encounter activities.
The first Pastoral Team who gave direction and guidance to the newly organized PDCC were: Boy – Blanca Santiago, Wally – Nena Garcia and Ben – Luz Gadi.
Boy – Blanca Santiago served as head of the Growth in the Community Ministry; responsible in giving Life in the Spirit Seminar ( LSS) and Growth in the Spirit Seminar (GSS). Ben-Luz Gadi served as the Marriage Encounter Ministry head and was in-charge of all Marriage Encounter Weekends. Wally-Nena Garcia served as Prayer in the Community Ministry ( PCM) and coordinator of the weekly and monthly prayer assemblies. The Pastoral Team was co-equal and decisions were made on a unanimous basis.
PDCC’s entry point is through the Marriage Encounter Weekend ( MEW) Seminar. The first PDCC MEW was held at the Green Valley Country Club in Baguio City. ME Class No. 6. The first five (5) ME Classes were graduates of Bukas Loob sa Diyos. Todate, PDCC has conducted more than 450 MEW seminars with more than 9,000 couple graduates.
PDCC recognized that there should be order in the Community, that being a Christian involves a personal commitment in the service of the Lord. The book “Patterns of Christian Community” by Stephen Clark served as a guide in shaping and controlling the governance of PDCC.
It is worthwhile mentioning that the following couples planted the seed to many other couples to receive Christ in their lives. Because of the nature of their work, they are now on leave and have joined their respective parishes: Ramy-Anna Marie Llanos and Arnie-Stella Acedera, were the first team couples for the MEW with Fr. Sal as the Priest in the MEW, they were called “ SAL Team” for SANTIAGO ( Boy-Blanca who continue to be active with PDCC), ACEDERA AND LLANOS. Teddy – Olive Dimayuga were the first Prayer Group Coordinator of PDCC decided to go Parish base.
PDCC now has 21 prayer groups spread out in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite, Quezon and Mindoro. These prayer groups conduct prayer meetings once a week. The general membership gather in a Eucharistic Celebration every first Tuesday of the month.
We can also mention it with joy in our heart that PDCC was also responsible in helping build Marian Retreat Center in Silang, Cavite where up to now we continue to hold ME Weekends.
As the Community grow and mature, the following couples with tremendous and overflowing love for God and to one another, led the Community in its growing years. They served as Presiding Elders during the years:
July 1985 – Dec. 1987 Pastoral Team
(Wally-Nena Garcia, Boy-Blanca Santiago & Ben-Luz Gadi )
Jan. 1988 – Dec. 1988 Boy – Blanca Santiago
Jan. 1989 – Dec. 1989 Donald – Joy Dee
Jan. 1990 – Dec. 1991 Donald – Joy Dee
Jan. 1992 – Dec. 1993 Lorrie – Simple Buhain
Jan. 1994 – Dec. 1995 Jun – Rory Sicam
Jan. 1996 – Dec. 1997 Bert – Miriam Angeles
Jan. 1998 – Dec. 2000 Tony – Didith Cabunag
Jan. 2001 – Dec. 2003 Rene – Lillian Daquiz
Jan. 2004 – Dec. 2006 Boy – Blanca Santiago
Jan. 2007 – Dec. 2009 Dennis – Dulce Abcede
2010 – 2013 ?
To date, PDCC had conducted more than 450 Marriage Encounter Weekend, 90 Life in the Spirit Seminar ( LSS), 75 Growth in the Spirit Seminar ( GSS ), 50 Introduction to Community Workshop ( ICW ) and 70 Living in Community Recollection ( LCR ). The Community also conducts family and youth oriented seminars like: Family Encounter Weekend ( FEW), Me, You and Christ ( MYX) Youth LSS & GSS.
PDCC recently celebrated its 25th Silver Anniversary and we are greatly blessed for PDCC has evolved into a family oriented community that couples, young professionals, the youth and children are happy members.