Tag Archives: Bob Hentzen

RISE AND DREAM NYC FILM TOUR SCREENING
Dec 14 2013

‘She was only 9 then, and look at her now’

Bob showing off Shaima's letter on the Rise and Dream Film Tour. Photo by Aisha Singleton, Aisha Singleton Photography.

Bob showing off Shaima’s letter on the Rise and Dream Film Tour. Photo by Aisha Singleton, Aisha Singleton Photography.

Written by: Erica Braker, marketing manager

The room was so quiet you could hear the taxies whizzing by outside.

The audience at Mary’s Nativity Parish in New York was all ears as Bob Hentzen spoke about his sponsored friend Shaima during the Rise and Dream Film Tour.
Read more

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Reddit Email
Oct 26 2013

Bob Hentzen left his mark on all he met

Bob and a CFCA sponsor talking outside St. Francis College before the screening

Bob and a CFCA sponsor talking outside St. Francis College before the screening


By Erica Braker, marketing manager and Rise and Dream tour manager

The world recently lost a legend, a visionary, a “rock star” as some called Bob Hentzen.

I first learned via Facebook that Bob had passed away suddenly in Guatemala. It was about 6:15 a.m. and my alarm had just gone off. My eyes were still fuzzy from trying to wake up, but I saw a lovely picture of Bob on CFCA’s Facebook page.

As I read the post, I honestly thought the page had been hacked. I was just with Bob on the Rise and Dream film tour the week before; it couldn’t have been true. I ran to check my work email and there was a message from our CEO confirming my fear.

The Rise and Dream tour was my first interaction with Bob. Being new to CFCA and since Bob lived in Guatemala, our paths hadn’t crossed much. But after 14 days with Bob in Kansas City and New York, I got a firsthand understanding of why people believed Bob was so special.

At Mary’s Nativity – St. Ann Parish in Flushing, N.Y., one of our tour stops, Bob shared the story of a child he personally sponsored and her family in the Philippines. The parents have eight children, but when asked how many are in their family they say 12. They consider Bob and his wife, Cristina, as part of their family.

At each screening in New York I saw people waiting patiently to just say “Hi” or shake Bob’s hand because they knew it was a rarity to see Bob on U.S. soil, as he spent most of his time visiting families CFCA serves overseas.

He was a real star.

Gina, a student at St. John’s University, came to the screening and had dinner with us at Monties, the school cafeteria on campus. When I told her the news of Bob’s passing she wrote to me: “I already loved him, even though I had just met him! He was such a light.”

At St. Francis College, one of the CFCA volunteers, Jennifer, mentioned to Bob that she had traveled on an awareness trip with him to the Philippines. He gave her a very serious look and said, “I know.” She couldn’t believe he remembered her out of the hundreds of thousands of people he has met.

In CFCA circles, Bob is famous for his 4,000-mile walk in 1996 from CFCA headquarters in Kansas City, Kan., to Antigua, Guatemala. Thirteen years later, Bob set out on a walk from San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala, to the Valparaiso, Chile, a nearly 8,000-mile trek spanning 18 months. On that journey he walked through countries where 182,000 sponsored friends and their families live, and he met many of them along the way.

Over the two weeks I spent with Bob I heard people ask him, “Where are you going next? Will you walk in India? In Africa?”

His answer was always the same: “We are going to walk to get closer and closer to our families.”

When Bob talked, people listened. He was an inspiration, a motivator and a visionary. He made everyone he talked with feel like the most important person in the world.

In all the songs sung, jokes told and wisdom shared, I will always remember a quote Bob shared from one of his heroes, Mahatma Gandhi: “A small body of determined spirits, fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission, can alter the course of history.”

CFCA will live on and honor Bob’s memory. We will continue to be a small body of determined spirits to walk with the poor and marginalized of the world and help them break the bonds of poverty.

I invite you to join us by becoming a sponsor or donating to the CFCA Scholarship Fund in Bob’s memory today!

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Reddit Email
Oct 15 2013

Bob Hentzen’s life celebrated in Philippines

About 1,000 sponsored children, youth and aging adults, staff members and friends of CFCA from the Quezon, Antipolo and Manila projects attended a memorial Mass for Bob Hentzen in Quezon City, Philippines.

About 1,000 sponsored children, youth and aging adults, staff members and friends of CFCA from the Quezon, Antipolo and Manila projects attended a memorial Mass for Bob Hentzen in Quezon City, Philippines.


By Loretta Shea Kline, CFCA communications editor

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — About 1,000 families and staff members from three Philippine projects filled Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Quezon City in an outpouring of love for Bob Hentzen, CFCA president and co-founder, who passed away Oct. 8 in Guatemala.

The memorial Mass was one of several held throughout the Philippines on Saturday, October 12, including services in Legazpi, Zamboanga and other communities where CFCA works.

The Mass in Quezon City was attended by children, youth, elderly friends, parents and staff members from the Quezon, Antipolo and Manila projects.

“Bob’s memory and his legacy will ever be fresh in the minds of his people,” said Ed Miranda, vice president of the board of trustees for the Quezon project. “These are his people. These are the people of God entrusted to Bob, and he took good care of them.”

The Mass, celebrated in Tagalog, ended with all 1,000 in attendance holding candles and flowers as they filed out of the church. “It’s amazing how the people of the Philippines loved Sir Bob,” said Carmen Vicente, program development officer for the Manila project. “It manifested in their presence tonight.”

Elizabeth Bo, 20, a sponsored youth in the Antipolo project, is a fourth-year college student who attended the Mass with a group of friends. “I’m here to express my love with the simple action I have made,” she said. “By spending this little time, I want to honor him because without him, I don’t know if I can be here (and studying in college) today.”

Arnold Bavajadid, a leader in the ERPAT fathers group in the Antipolo project, traveled two hours in the rain to attend the Mass along with others from his community. “Without him, we don’t have CFCA to help our children,” he said. “We needed to come here to salute him and to thank him.”

The ERPAT (Empowerment and Reaffirmation of Paternal Abilities) group is involved in community service such as disaster response and house repairs.

The main celebrant of the Mass, Father Angelo Pusiquit, has encountered CFCA through partnering with the ERPAT group in community service and through sponsored youth who graduated from college and are now helping their families.

Father Angelo said he is a former street child who got an education with the help of others, and shares Bob’s vision of sponsorship as a way to empower people and transform lives.

“To be free from the bonds of impoverishment, that is the work of Bob,” he said.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Reddit Email
Oct 12 2013

Bob’s legacy lives on in the families of the Philippines

A memorial mass for Bob Hentzen was celebrated at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Quezon City, Philippines. The mass was attended by 1,000 sponsored children, youth and aging adults, staff members and friends of CFCA from the Quezon, Antipolo and Manila projects.

A memorial mass for Bob Hentzen was celebrated at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Quezon City, Philippines. The mass was attended by 1,000 sponsored children, youth and aging adults, staff members and friends of CFCA from the Quezon, Antipolo and Manila projects.


By Loretta Shea Kline, CFCA communications editor

We got the call while traveling from the picturesque mountain city of Baguio to the charming seaside town of Agoo, where CFCA serves 3,200 families through our project in Quezon City, Philippines.

CFCA’s Philippines communications liaison, Teejay Cabrera, answered his cell phone and listened for a bit. From the look on his face, I could see something was wrong.

“There’s bad news,” he said. “Sir Bob has passed away.”

Disbelief is the best way I can describe our reaction. Bob Hentzen, CFCA president and co-founder, always so strong and so vibrant, had passed away of natural causes Oct. 8, at age 77.

I had just spent a week with Bob and the Rise and Dream tour team in New York, the second leg of a two-city tour that also included Kansas City. It was one of the best weeks of my 13 years at CFCA.

The reaction of audiences to the film and to the talks by Bob and Paul Pearce, CFCA director of global strategy, was special, even more so than usual, I thought. I feel blessed that I had that week with Bob out on the road, hearing his stories and songs as he shared CFCA’s work with students, Filipino communities, CFCA sponsors and others who came to see the film.

Bob believed in personal connection, and he modeled that for all of us on the CFCA staff, at the Kansas City headquarters and in the field.

He led one of the 200 largest nonprofits in America, but he didn’t do it from behind a desk. He led from the road, from the homes of the families CFCA serves in the urban slums and seaside fishing villages.

As we met families in Agoo (pronounced a go’ oh), I felt Bob’s presence there. He believed in the potential of people in poverty to use their talents to stand on their own, and it is happening in Agoo.

Parents of sponsored children showed us the rice mill, tailoring shop, wholesale store, peanut butter production and various food sales operations they began with capital and encouragement from CFCA. The businesses were providing income for parents so they could give their children a better life.

Bob also believed in growing the staff from the grassroots.

Geselle Cipriano, social worker; Miriam Laron, correspondence assistant; and Noel Garcia, livelihood officer; all former sponsored children and college graduates from the community, showed us the bright future of CFCA as they guided us through our visits in Agoo.

The staff is led by Benedictine Sister Mary Josephine Difuntorum, who told me that Bob had inspired her in her work, especially when it came to believing in the families and their ability to achieve their dreams.

“He had the air that attracted people to really want to work with him for the poor,” Sister Mary Josephine said. “Whenever I was near him, I felt the vibration was very strong, to love the very poor ones.”

“He made me realize working with the poor is working with the angels.”

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Reddit Email