FINAL STATEMENT AND RECOMMENDATION
14th National Workshop on the Biblical Apostolate
Theme: The Word of God: A Blessing for All Nations
Sto. Niño Seminary
February 19-23, 2001
“Deep waters cannot quench love, nor do floods sweep it away” (Song 8:7). And so not even Typhoon Airing could prevent us from coming to Numancia, Aklan for the 14th National Workshop – “The Word of God: A Blessing for all Nations” – proved true first for us participants for we have experienced the Lord’s “blessings” in many ways. The inclement weather only served to test the resolve of each one to come- and 201 came! All member-bishops of the commission attended, joined by the bishops of Western Visayas, the host region.
Blessings came in the hospitality of our hosts, led by Most Rev. Gabriel V. Reyes, Bishop of Kalibo, and Msgr. Jose Corazon T. Talaoc, Rector of Sto. Niño Seminary who worked in tandem with Fr. Tomas Teranis, the Regional BA director.
Blessings too came in the person of our resource speakers who elucidated for us the theme of the workshop in the light of exegesis and pastoral, cultural and inter-faith challenges. We were further enriched by seven specialized workshops, namely: The Youth and the Word (Ms. Joy Candelario); Healing Ministry and the Word of God (Ms. Hermie Corcuera); Lay Ministry and the Word of God (Mr. Jun–Neil Aperin); Media and the Word of God (Fr. Gil Alinsangan, SSP); Street Evangelization (Msgr. Vic Ocampo); BEC and the Word Of God (Ms. Estella Padilla). Our speakers and the bishops who shared their homilies have truly shown us “the way of life” (Acts 2:28).
The Province of Aklan is known throughout the world by its ati-atihan and Boracay beach. We were given a feel of the festive homage to the Sto. Niño during our cultural night. And, after two days of immersion in the Word of God, the Lord granted us fine weather to “rest a while” in the world-famous island.
We thank the Lord for the blessings of his word. Our national workshop has made us see clearly that these blessings are not only us and for our people but also for all men and women - for all are God’s children. The blessings are also our task. The Saving Word should be announced to the nations so that they too may share God’s blessings.
ON THE ORGANIZATION LEVEL:
1. To have an operational organization structure for the region and the diocese with a clear Vision-Mission-Goals (VMG).
2. To assign a full-time diocesan lay coordinator aside from the BA Director.
3. To have a committed core group/team at the parish and diocesan level.
4. To provide a BA office or center for the diocese.
5. To have an annual program with clear coordination from participating members, groups, communities or dioceses (on the regional level).
6. To conduct regular meetings, planning and evaluation of activities.
7. To continue recruitment of potential facilitators/animators.
8. To have women involved in seminary formation as teachers or lay companions.
1. To have a regular schedule of Bible courses for Bible animators, lay liturgical leaders, youth, BEC organizations, movements, etc.
2. To have a regular gathering and sharing of experience of one’s encounter with God.
3. To conduct regular meetings, planning and evaluation of activities.
4. To provide a regular spiritual renewal especially for the core team members.
5. To produce and provide training materials (if possible, packaged) for on-going formation that include the following topics/concerns:
5.2. Biblical Theology
5.3. Biblical Spirituality
5.4. Pastoral-biblical approaches and methods
5.5. Leadership Training
5.6. Social, political, cultural concerns/issues
5.7. Women issues
5.8. Inter-religious dialogue etc.
6. To utilize text messaging, internet, email, radio, TV, print media, theater and other cultural presentations for Bible promotion and mass education.
7. To give importance and training to the youth who can animate their fellow youth; provide them opportunities for active participation in the Biblical apostolate.
1. ECBA conduct a survey on the status and direction of the Biblical apostolate as implemented in the different dioceses in the Philippines.
2. The diocesan BA centers conduct a survey on the knowledge of the Bible, liturgy and laity in their respective dioceses.
1. Each regional center and every diocesan center will make an action plan on how to implement the recommendations if they have not been done yet.
2. Each regional center and/or diocesan center will produce a training kit/manual/module to be exhibited and shared in the next national gathering as a specialized workshop in 2003.
Through the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit - by the personal commitment of individuals and groups, we hope to move forward in these challenges.
May Señor Sto. Niño and the maternal care of Blessed Virgin Mary help us to make the Word of God a blessing for us and all nations!
(DRAFT OF THE FINAL STATEMENT OF THE WORKSHOP WILL BE DONE BY EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AFTER APPROVAL OF THE ASSEMBLY)
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.