RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE
1st NATIONAL WORKSHOP ON BIBLICAL APOSTOLATE
Theme: "Do whatever He tells you" (John 2:5).
Dominican House of Spirituality
San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan
February 23-26, 1986
“Come, let us walk in the Light of the Lord” (Is. 2:5).
A new day has dawned on our beloved land, brought about by the kindness and fidelity of God and the people’s response to his call for unity (cf. John 1: 16-17, 21-23). At this momentous hour or “kairos” in our salvation history, we, participants of the First National Workshop on the Biblical Apostolate, feel strongly challenged by the words of the prophet: “Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord” (Is. 2:5). We are also convinced that the invitation of Mary, “Our Lady of the Bible,” pointing to her Son, the Incarnate Word, is specially addressed to all Filipinos today: “Do whatever he tells you” (John 2:5).
We gathered together as a family to listen to God’s Word and to give witness to our firm hope in the bright future of our beloved land even as political developments seemed about to bring days of conflict and confusion in our country. In spite of difficulties, twenty-seven dioceses from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, were represented in our workshop by bishops, priests, religious sisters and lay leaders, including the youth and family sectors, totaling fifty-seven.
In the field of Biblical Apostolate in the Philippines, we acknowledge that great strides have been made by the EPISCOPAL COMMISSION FOR BIBLICAL APOSTOLATE and its action arm, The National Catholic Bible Center, and the Regional Centers appropriately named “John Paul I” in Vigan and “Paul VI” in Davao. A regional center in Jaro, Ilo-Ilo, and a number of Diocesan centers have also begun their work with great enthusiasm. In some regions and dioceses, the Biblical Apostolate is still in the planning stage.
We give our wholehearted support to the Pastoral Letter on the Biblical Apostolate issued by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines in February, 1985; to the Statement of the First Asian Workshop for the Biblical Apostolate, issued in Hong Kong on October 31, 1985; and, to the Statement of the Third Plenary Assembly of the World Catholic Federation for the Biblical Apostolate held from August 12 – 25, 1984 at Bangalore, India.
For our part, we recommend that:
1. a national workshop on the Biblical Apostolate be held annually;
2. a regional center be established in each of the following regions: Central Luzon, Southern Luzon, Bicol Region, Eastern Visayas and Central Visayas;
3. the CBCP approve an annual national collection for the Biblical Apostolate;
4. the National Bible Week be celebrated in the last week of January;
5. the National Bible Institute be held annually for the on-going formation of biblical promoters;
6. an out-reach program of Biblical Apostolate for Filipinos Abroad be implemented in coordination with the EPISCOPAL COMMISSION ON MIGRATION AND TOURISM;
7. a Synod of Bishops on “Sacred Scriptures in the life of the Church” be endorsed by the CBCP;
8. there be an exchange of materials pertaining to Biblical Apostolate among the National, Regional and Diocesan centers;
9. the bishops appoint Diocesan Biblical promoters whose task is to form Diocesan Care Teams and Diocesan Bible Centers;
10. the Diocesan Bible Centers provide Bible animation seminars for beginners as well as for the struggling core teams;
11. the Bible be enthroned in all parochial churches;
12. regional and diocesan centers subscribe to WORD-EVENTS published by the WCFSA as well as other biblical magazines and periodicals.
In conclusion, we invite all Filipinos to realize that the Word of God is “Alive and Active” (cf. Luke: 24-32) and, as a nation, we can “go forward in the name of the Lord, Our God” (Micah 4:5) to bring our new day to its full splendor.
For the national workshop on the Biblical Apostolate:
+CIRILO R. ALMARIO, JR. D.D.
Bishop of Malolos
Chairman, 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 (ABPF),
Organizing Bible Celebration (OBC),
Promoting Bible Translation (PBT),
Assisting Bible Production (ABP),
Coordinating Bible Distribution (CBD).
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.
We commit ourselves to a renewed evangelization through the
implementation of Vatican II’s Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum)
and the Plenary Council of the Philippines’ (PCP II) vision of a Church of
the Poor in our reading, studying,
praying, living, sharing and celebrating the Word of God in response to Verbum Domini's call to “animate every
pastoral activity in the Church with the Word of God”. (VD 73) .