FINAL STATEMENT AND RECOMMENDATIONS
13th NATIONAL WORKSHOP ON THE BIBLICAL APOSTOLATE
Theme: Jesus Christ - The Word of the Father.
Bethlehem Pastoral and Human Resource Development
Sogod, Bacacay, Albay
February 22-26, 1999
“The spirit of the Lord is upon me for he has anointed me…
to proclaim a year of favor from the Lord” (Isaiah 61:1-2).
These words of the prophet Isaiah were appropriated by Jesus (cf. Luke 4:18-19). The Good News that he proclaims is that indeed God’s time of favor is here! The Jubilee is upon us with Jesus in our midst.
At the threshold of the Third Millennium commemorating and celebrating the work of the salvation in JESUS CHRIST, THE WORD OF THE FATHER, the Episcopal Commission for the Biblical apostolate (ECBA) held the 13th National Workshop on the Biblical Apostolate. Hosted by Most Rev. Jose C. Sorra, D.D of the Diocese of Legaspi and the local Church, this workshop took place in the shadow of the scenic Mayon Volcano, at the Bethlehem Pastoral Human Resource Development Center in Bacacay, Albay. Workers of the Biblical Apostolate from all over the country gathered on February 22- 26, 1999 to renew their commitment to the work of spreading God’s Word and to plan strategies on how to help our faithful celebrate the great Jubilee of our Redemption in a meaningful way through the Biblical apostolate.
To these ends, we the 151 participants of this National Workshop, enlivened in our ministry by enriching inputs, discussions, fellowships, and liturgies, make the following recommendations, specially for the celebration of the Jubilee Year 2000; and these programs of the various local churches, highlighting their biblical perspectives.
For the Episcopal Commission for the Biblical Apostolate (ECBA) National Office
1. That ECBA promote a meaningful celebration of Jubilee Year 2000 by:
a. producing Biblical modules/primers on the Jubilee Year celebrations. These materials could be discussed to the media and could be carried on WORD WEB, the WCBA bulletin;
b. producing modules for special celebrations of the National Bible Week;
c. providing opportunities for sharing of Bibles at minimal cost;
d. providing Biblical resource materials to shed light on socio-economical-political issues, such as cancellation of international debt, ecological issues, concerns of the indigenous peoples, etc. ECBA shall link with Episcopal commissions on these issues;
e. Providing Biblical materials on the theme of conversion. These could be used for Biblical retreats/seminars or the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation;
f. Coordinating pilgrimages to the Holy Land;
2. That ECBA strengthen its networking function by proper coordination with the following:
· by encouraging them to establish and support regional and diocesan centers;
· by informing them of opportunities for intensive biblico-pastoral training for pastoral workers;
· by exhorting them to have diocesan coordinators for the Biblical apostolate;
b. Exegetes or Biblical Professors:
· by providing a national directory of Exegetes or Biblical Professors;
· By organizing a speaker’s bureau to assist in giving retreats and seminars.
3. That ECBA institute fund-raising projects to support biblical programs and activities at the different levels.
For the Regional Centers
That Regional Centers facilitate regional activities for the celebration of the Jubilee Year in coordination with the programs of the ECBA National Office.
For Archdiocesan/Diocesan Centers
1. That [Arch]Diocesan Centers coordinate with the existing diocesan structures for the meaningful celebration of the Jubilee Year by:
a. organizing a special celebration for the National Bible Week;
b. getting the support of the Catholic schools, covenant communities and other groups in organizing fund-raising campaigns for their biblical activities;
c. holding Bible Congresses;
d. organizing Bible activities such as quizzes, painting contests, song or essay writing contests, liturgical dances, etc;
e. giving Biblical retreats with the themes of Jubilee Year and on the Sacrament of Reconciliation;
f. encouraging pilgrimage to local shrines and to the Holy Land;
g. coordinating with the National Office on modules and programs on Biblical formation.
h. Conducting on-going formation of the Lay Ministers of the Word (for evangelization)
2. That the [Arch]Diocesan centers coordinate:
a. with school administration in the Biblico-spiritual formation in schools;
b. the Biblico-spiritual formation of the “men in uniform” (military office);
c. with the Prison Ministry for the Biblico-spiritual formation of prisoners.
For Parish Centers
1. That the Parish Centers implement and support all the biblical programs and activities of the regional and diocesan centers.
2. That the Parish Centers celebrate the Jubilee Year by:
a. encouraging fund-raising projects such as “Piso mula sa puso”;
b. holding seminars and retreats with the Lord’s Prayer as theme.
For the Affiliate Members
1. That the affiliate members share their human and material resources for the biblico-pastoral formation of the biblical apostolate workers.
2. That the affiliate members coordinate with the various centers in their biblical apostolate.
We ask the Lord for light and strength necessary for the celebration of the Great Jubilee. May He lead us and our people to renewed faith and generous participation. And may the Virgin Mary, who by the power of the Holy Spirit and through her fiat, brought the Incarnate Word, lead us through her Son back to the Father, Dives in misericordia.
For all the participants:
+CRISOSTOMO A. YALUNG, D.D.
Episcopal Commission for the Biblical Apostolate
The Episcopal Commission for the Biblical Apostolate (ECBA) is a pastoral commission of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) whose area of competence and service is the biblical-pastoral ministry in its five-fold ministries of:
Animating Biblical-Pastoral Formation
Organizing Bible Celebration
Promoting Bible Translation
Assisting Bible Production
Coordinating Bible Distribution
A Community of Disciples
nourished by the Word of God,
Witnessing to the Gospel,
and Striving to be a Church
that is poor and for the poor,
with Mary, Mother of the Word, as model.