SLP Affirms Support For CFA In Historic Visit

Mar 10th 2008

On January 21-23, 2008, the full Board of Stichting Little Philippines made their first joint visit – and a highly successful one — to the Communication Foundation for Asia. SLP is the foundation that Fr Cornelio Lagerwey had set up in the Netherlands in 1973 to support CFA’s work. Four Board members from SLP came to CFA for meetings and discussion of future plans: the chairperson Antonia Willemsen, the secretary-treasurer Nic Lagerwey, and members Leny Lagerwey and Wim Henke. They also stayed from February 1-4 for further discussions and interaction with staff.

SLP Board members have made previous visits to CFA, but this was the first time that all the Board members were together. They acknowledged the visit was “historic”. Nic Lagerwey (with his daughter Ireen) had last visited CFA in 1995, during the funeral of his brother Fr Cornelio Lagerwey, who also founded CFA.

The SLP Board had separate meetings with three groups of CFA officials: the top executives (CFA President and Executive Director), the Operations Committee (Executives plus Heads of CFA Clusters and Departments), and senior members of the CFA Board. During these meetings, the SLP Board affirmed their trust in CFA and pledged continued support, especially for CFA’s capital expenditure projects. In the past three years, SLP has been funding the renovation and upgrading of CFA’s electronic media studios and facilities, as well as the improvement of its training facilities.

Antonia Willemsen, who has been involved with CFA not just as SLP chairperson but as former secretary general of Aid to the Church in Need, praised CFA’s achievements in the past two to three years. “This is also the reason why other funding agencies have restored support for CFA,” she said She also expressed SLP’s support for CFA’s present leadership and the direction that CFA has taken, particularly its strong link with church programs.

A special occasion during the visit was the unveiling of a new bronze marker for the Lagerwey Hall (the new name of the CFA Auditorium) on January 24, 2008. Nic Lagerwey and Antonia Willemsen unveiled the marker, while CFA President Fr. Fil Pelingon blessed it.

CFA Executive Director Terry Hermano read the dedication on the marker, which said in part “…[This] auditorium was and still is a marketplace of ideas where people gather to keep the cause alive. By devoting his life’s work to this communication ministry, Fr. Lagerwey fulfilled his vocation of serving God through media.”

CFA staff, Board members and friends gathered for the blessing and the Eucharistic celebration that followed.

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