History of CFD


 Apologetics is derived from the Greek word “Apologia” which means to give explanation for the faith. Since time immemorial Christianity is never without an apologist, in Acts 2:14:37 St. Peter the first Pope gave an apologetic discourse on Christ’s redemptive work. Countless saints in history also have the passion to defend the Holy Catholic faith, to name a few, we have St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Robert Bellarmine and St. Francis de Sales who converted thousands of Protestants back into the Catholic faith.  Apologetics is part of the prophetic ministry of the Church and the laity is an integral part of it. The task in defending the body of Christ (Col.1:18, Eph. 5:23) rests not only in the hands of our venerable priests and bishops but also with the laity, who when united with their local bishop and the pope forms the body of Christ. St. Peter in his first letter to the Catholic faithful mandates every believer to be ready in giving explanation for the faith.

“But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who defame your good conduct in Christ may themselves be put to shame.” 1 Peter 3:15-16

Henceforth, apologetics is a universal vocation for every Catholic faithful, as St. Jude would say “contend for the faith that was once handed down to the saints” (Jude 3). With the rise of various challenges against the Catholic faith, the Second Vatican Council encourages the laity to engage in apologetics.

. . .the Council earnestly exhorts the laity to take a more active part, each according to his talents and knowledge and in fidelity to the mind of the Church, in the explanation and defense of Christian principles and in the correct application of the problems of our times. (Apostolicam Actousitatem No. 6).

In response to the call of all the bishops united to the pope, the local Church in the Philippines sees it fitting to mandate the establishment of apologetic groups in the country. Thus, the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines says that “. . .Parish Priests should encourage the establishment of lay Catholic Faith Defenders.” (PCP II No. 222). In response to this, various chapters of the Catholic Faith Defenders were established across the country.

The Catholic faith defender’s humble beginning can be traced back in 1935 at San Nicolas Parish in Cebu, where religious laymen together with their Parish Priest Fr. Undoy Reynes discussed Catholic doctrines and answered objections from Aglipayans which was prevalent in their time. With the addition of Bro. Peter Cabaluna who was considered as “The Walking Bible” a small of group of Catholic Faith Defenders was born. In 1946, brothers Martin and Domingo Berido who were then assistants of Fr. Gerald Trenekeins, MSC of Virgen de la Regla (Virgin of the Rule) were already answering questions about the Catholic faith from those who dared to question it. Furthermore, in 1953, at Santo Rosario Parish Monsignor Esteban Monticillo were already training laymen to stand in religious debates and taught them the biblical foundation of the Catholic faith, they then subsequently founded the Catholic Faith Defenders. In our modern times the Catholic Faith Defenders are growing in numbers, from its bulwark in Cebu City the Catholic Faith Defenders are now present in Manila, Quezon, Laguna, Cavite, Davao, Zamboanga, Ormoc, Cagayan De Oro, Tagum and many more. The Catholic Faith Defenders is composed of members from all walks of life which makes it capable of connecting to different types of people. Aside from Archdioceses and Parishes the Catholic Faith Defenders is also present in various Universities which provides for the intellectual and spiritual needs of the students, to name a few, we have the University of Southeastern Philippines and University of Mindanao.

The Catholic Faith Defenders is closely coordinating with the Archdiocese to strengthen the faith of our Catholic brethrens by providing them the reasons behind our Catholic faith. We also engaged in Ecumenical dialogue with our separated brothers providing them with concise and biblical explanation for the Catholic faith so that they may not misrepresent it nor speak ill of it. The Catholic Faith Defenders is also active in Liturgical and Catechetical activities of various parishes, which in turn strengthens the spirituality and communality of its members. With its unwavering fidelity to Christ and His Vicar the Pope, the Catholic Faith Defenders will always be prepared to meet every challenges against the Holy Catholic Faith and to uphold its teachings in times of crisis.